Exercising regularly is essential as we grow older because it helps improve muscle strength and makes joints, ligaments, and tendons more flexible. Even half an hour of exercise a day can lead to many health benefits, including reducing falls due to loss of muscle mass or weakness.
However, before seniors can start exercising, it is always recommended that they consult with their doctor first. Individuals over the age of 65 should have their physical activity monitored to ensure it's safe for them to exercise.
Once a senior gets approval for physical activity, he or she should concentrate primarily on building muscle strength. This is because stronger muscles can make them less susceptible to falls, as well as, other physical and mental health problems.
To learn more about why aging adults need stronger muscles read on!
5 Reasons Why Aging Adults Need Stronger Muscles
Below we have highlighted the reasons why seniors need exercises that promote muscle growth and muscle strength.
Stronger Muscles Help Support Joints
Seniors who experience joint pain, need strong muscles around their joints for support. The decline in muscle strength is a significant cause of the deterioration of joints because bones alone cannot support the body. Seniors can start with light exercises or they can consult their doctor or physiotherapist to determine what exercise is best suited for their joint issues.
Stronger Muscles Assist With Balance
Muscles not only support joints but also help seniors in maintaining balance. Unfortunately, the development of muscle weakness is a common occurrence in seniors who haven’t been physically active.
Regular exercise can help build these muscles, helping them maintain their balance and stay upright.
Regular Exercise Helps Make Bones Strong
Osteoporosis compromises bone health among individuals, especially seniors, and it can put them at an increased risk of disability if they get involved in an accident. Therefore, to make their bones and skeletal muscles strong they should exercise.
They can start with limited aerobic activity and then slowly increase its intensity. This way the rate of muscle loss will reduce and their bones will not get strained.
These exercises build up vital muscles and add weight to bones, improving physical functioning and quality of life.
Being Stronger Helps Reduce Fall Risk
Seniors with chronic conditions or mobility issues can experience a loss of strength due to inactivity. This increases their risk of falls.
Falls are a significant health issue for seniors in Canada. As such, every effort should be made to prevent them from happening. Caregivers can help by reducing other types of fall risks, like clutter, but exercise is also crucial.
Among the many benefits of exercise, one big one is that it reduces fall risk among seniors. Exercise also offers several health benefits that include increased strength, attention and stability further reducing the risk of falling.
Being Stronger Helps Self-esteem
Age-related changes can cause lower self-esteem in seniors because they feel less confident in their physical abilities and remain doubtful of themselves. However, the right exercise plan can greatly help in boosting confidence and self-esteem making them a lot more independent.
Seniors trying to get in shape or those experiencing high blood pressure should do weight-bearing exercises. It will help them lose weight and provide other benefits such as an improved heart rate which can reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
Exercise can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases as it helps improve immunity. It can also protect against health conditions that limit mobility.
Seniors that took part in physical sports in their youth, will also find it much easier to get in shape and achieve a lean body mass.
Top Exercise Recommendations For Seniors
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things seniors can do for their health. It can prevent or delay many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps in growing their muscles stronger so they can keep doing their day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.
Adults over the age of 65 should follow the below-mentioned guidelines for exercises:
- At least 150 minutes a week (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking. Or they need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running.
- A minimum of two days of muscle-strengthening activity per week is recommended.
- Approximately three days a week, performing activities that improve balance, such as standing on one foot.
- Using resistance bands instead of heavy gym equipment. This allows seniors to exercise safely.
In the case of chronic conditions, seniors can be as physically active as their condition and abilities allow.
Throughout the day, seniors should move more and sit less. Keep in mind that any form of physical activity is better than none.
Remember, daily mobility is one of the building blocks of maintaining health and independence for seniors!
Medical Devices For Aging Adults With Weak Muscles That Are Prone To Falling
It is always recommended that individuals over the age of 65 have a medical alert system on them at all times regardless of their medical history or fitness levels. These devices can be simply lifesaving!
Fall Detection devices, such as the ones offered by Northwood Intouch, offer a cost-effective solution for senior safety and fall prevention. Automatic fall detection devices send out a help call as soon as a fall is detected without the user having to push any buttons. The call alerts the nearest emergency response center to come to your loved one’s immediate aid.
Such a device is highly recommended for seniors who have fallen in the past or are afraid of falling. By wearing this device around their necks seniors no longer have to limit how they live their lives and caregivers can also feel more relaxed. For more information on medical alert systems visit Northwood Intouch.