Exercise is what we need, at any age, to keep our lungs clear, our blood flowing and our bodies strong.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians the benefits of regular exercise reduces illness, improves your mood and aids in prevention of injury.
The person 65 and older should also exercise. There are illnesses that can benefit from regular exercises including dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and blood pressure. The benefits of moderate exercise can improve colon cancer and heart disease as well.
With regular exercise you can improve your immune system as well as your neuro-cognitive function.
Regular exercise also aids in decreased mortality, and age related morbidity in elders.
There are 3 types of exercises that are advised for the elderly:
- A form of aerobics for cardiac strength
- Strength training for the lessening of muscle mass in the aging
- Balance and flexibility. Of the aging develop fears of falling due to the decrease in balancing abilities.
Flexibility training is ideal for the aging. As we age our muscles get shorter and lose the elasticity. The structure of the bone muscles change and aches and pains begin as well as decreased range of muscles. Stretching can relieve tension and cause relaxation particularly when incorporating breathing.
There are 2 types of stretching exercises, static and dynamic. This will increase your range of motion.
Static stretching which is the preferred method of stretching is a matter of taking a position and holding it for 30 seconds. The position you take should be part of a DVD of static stretching. Dynamic stretching is oscillatory and used to increase ones range of motion.
Stretching in and of itself is a very productive form of exercise. Some benefits can be relief of arthritic pain, better posture and an aid in back pain.
Stretching should be done 2-3 times a week holding each stretch for up to 30 second at 5 stretches.
There are a few things that one should do prior to and during stretching:
- Warm up
- Do not hold your breath
- Do not bounce
- If you are doing knee bend do not drop your butt below your knees. This will cause added strain to your knees.
- Avoid pressing head back; this can cause damage to the vertebrae. Always slowly and gently move your head side to side.
The elderly and exercise are indeed a good combination. There is no reason to think that you can’t do a few things because of your age.