Stay Independent with These Fitness Activities

Posted by Perspectives Blog Team on Sep 12, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Here’s how exercise can help you maintain your independence as you age.

As if you need another reason to exercise, maintaining your independence as you age can be added to the list of benefits physical activity offers. Regular exercise not only helps improve your physical health, but it can make you more mobile, helps reduce the chance of falls and may also improve your brain.

Being able to move better makes it more likely you’ll maintain your independence. You’ll be able to walk farther and perform daily activities on your own, such as carrying groceries, climbing stairs, making your own meals, doing laundry or going to the mailbox. Exercise also lowers the risk of falls, which is the leading cause of disability in older adults.

Additionally, physical activity has been shown to help your brain as you age. One study found that exercise may improve brain function such as planning, perception and decision-making skills.

There are many other factors that also affect your brain function and mental health. This includes things like a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and social interaction. What kind of activities can help you maintain your independence?

  • Endurance—Aerobic activities, such as brisk walking and swimming, improve the health of your heart, lungs and circulatory system.
  • Strength—Lifting weights and using resistance bands are good options for increasing your muscle strength.
  • Balance—Activities like Tai Chi help you control and maintain your body’s position and may prevent falls.
  • Flexibility—Stretching helps your body stay flexible so it’s easier for you to move when you do everyday activities.

Although there are many known benefits of exercise, older adults aren’t getting enough of it. According to the National Institutes of Health, only about 30 percent of people between age 45 and 64 exercise regularly. That number drops to 25 percent for people ages 65-74 and 11 percent for those 85 and older. The good news is that it’s never too late to start exercising, even if you’ve never done it before. Just check with your doctor first before starting any activity.


Fitness - Stay Independent with These Fitness Activities

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Review Date: August 19, 2016
Reviewed By: Andrew Overman, PT, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS
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Topics: Fitness

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Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness.

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