Exercising as you age is becoming increasingly important. While our society continues to see an uptick in medicinal methods to treat illness, people often forget that exercising promotes a natural rejuvenation of the body. Activities as simple as walking around the block or doing some light yoga in your living room allows your body to recharge and reinvigorate itself.
Charles Eugster, a 97 year old bodybuilder and track and field sprinter, said, “Inactivity is a major cause of death.” As your body ages, your muscles inherently become smaller and your bones become weaker. The less active you are, the quicker this process occurs. As a result, exercise is the best way to counteract these bodily changes. Even if you begin to follow a light regimen of working out, any form of activity slows the body’s aging process. Eugster, who didn’t start any serious weight training until the age of 87, is a testament to the fact that you’re never too old to reinvent your exercising habits.
Exercising specifically counteracts the aging of many bodily functions including the usage of your heart, lungs, intestines, bones, muscles, metabolism, and nervous system. So for example, aging automatically makes the heart work harder. As you get older, your maximum heart rate decreases, your blood pressure increases, and the heart’s pumping capabilities decrease. Exercise is proven to directly counteract these negative functions.
It’s still early into the New Year, and one of the most common resolutions is the goal of exercising more. Of course, that’s easier said than done, and if you’re like me, the thought of going to the gym and lifting weights immediately turns you off to the idea.
What really helps is changing the way you think about exercise. In many cases, simply being active has similar, positive effects of hardcore exercising. That means heading down to the local mall and spending a day shopping. It’s a simple, daily activity, but what you don’t realize is that you’re working your body and increasing its endurance by standing on your feet and walking around. Or maybe try planning a fishing trip with some friends. You might think you’re enjoying a relaxing day on the water, but reeling in those fish is a great workout for your arm muscles.
Any exercises or activities you do promote total body health, and as you age, this becomes paramount. If you’re unsure of where to get started or if you struggle to maintain activity on a daily basis, Residential Home Health can help. Once in our care, Residential’s licensed physicians and physical therapists can help put you on the right path with a plan of physical activities you can do right from the comfort of your home.
Residential Home Health's expert services include a number of specialty programs to help you work toward your specific health goals safely at home. Call (888)930-WELL (9355) to discuss your specific situation with a Home Care Specialist today.
Also, be sure to check out Charles Eugster’s inspiring TED Talk where he discusses his philosophy on exercising while aging in more detail.