Everybody wants to grow old gracefully, and one of the ways to do exactly that is to exercise regularly as you age. Exercise seems to become more challenging and uncomfortable as we get older. You’ll notice that if you go slowly, are consistent in your workouts, and modify exercises to match your capabilities, exercise can and will become an activity in your daily life that you look forward to rather than one you avoid.
In this article, we’ll discuss how exercise affects some different problems that naturally occur with aging. Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and pneumonia are three diseases that many aging and elderly people live with on a day to day basis. What they may not realize, though, is that regular, gentle-to-vigorous exercise (based on your current health and physical capabilities, of course always use common sense and contact your physician before embarking on any exercise program) can prevent, alleviate or eliminate the occurrence of these diseases.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects women who are past the menopause years (though it does affect men as well). The bone tissue cannot replace itself as quickly as it breaks down, and the result is brittle bone that breaks easily. Regular resistance exercise helps build bone, and therefore combats this disease.
Resistance exercise can be in the form of small weights, exercise bands, or isometric exercises. They can be performed alone, with an exercise video or DVD, or in a group. Usually group exercise is safer until the individual is sure of their form, and that they are performing the exercises correctly. This will lessen the chance of injury.
It has been shown that regular aerobic exercise helps promote healthy brain function, and reduces the likelihood of the brain shrinking as we age. Clearer thinking, less memory loss, and better cognitive function are a few of the benefits. Even a 20-minute brisk walk will work wonders for your brain, and it will increase circulation, and promote a sense of well-being also.
Pneumonia is usually brought on by something else that is taxing the immune system, like the flu virus. Because of this, it is vitally important to keep a strong immune system as we age. Exercise not only helps our immune system function properly, but aerobic exercise promotes healthy heart and lung function. A healthy set of lungs is very important in keeping pneumonia away.
Keeping your immune system healthy will help you avoid viruses like the flu and covid, which are how many cases of pneumonia begin. Of course, pneumonia can be viral or bacterial, and only your doctor will know how to treat each type, but every doctor will agree that utilizing exercise to keep yourself healthy in the first place is a great way to start.
Aging happens, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be healthy and happy as well. Regular exercise will enhance the state of both your body and your mind, and should be a part of your everyday life, no matter what age you are.
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