Many seniors don’t want to bother with exercising because they think it’s only necessary for people who want to look like fitness models. However, exercise is beneficial for people of all ages and lifestyles, and it’s particularly helpful for seniors because those who exercise can end up feeling several years younger. Exercising cannot entirely halt aging, but it can address many of the major issues aging causes.
Retain Mobility for Longer
One of the biggest factors in a senior’s ability to retain independence is the ability to move around without assistance. Seniors who exercise often have better muscle tone, more flexibility, and increased balance, which lets them move around more easily to take care of themselves throughout the day. When seniors don’t have to stop and worry about stepping up on a curb or bending over to pick up a shoe, they can feel healthier and more youthful.
If you have any concerns about your loved one’s ability to exercise safely, consider hiring a trained in-home caregiver to provide assistance. Portland elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s
A 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined more than 1,100 seniors and found that those who engaged in aerobic exercise had a much lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Even seniors with Alzheimer’s had better cognitive function when they exercised regularly. The researchers theorized that because exercise boosts cardiovascular health, the brain is able to get the nutrients it needs and discard waste products before they build up and cause problems.
Keep the Heart Functioning Like It’s Younger
In many seniors, the circulatory system starts to wear out with age, and the heart and blood vessels become stiffer and more fragile. 2018 research from the journal Circulation found that people who followed a consistent exercise routine for at least two years had a 25 percent increase in heart elasticity, which lets the heart pump more efficiently so it doesn’t strain itself. Exercise can also be just as effective as medication at lowering blood pressure, so it can prevent common issues such as strokes.
If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, hiring a caregiver to take over on occasion is a great option. Portland respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
Balance Blood Sugar
As people get older, their bodies tend to become less responsive to insulin, which makes it difficult for the pancreas to regulate blood sugar, and it can potentially lead to type 2 diabetes. Exercise is a good way to fight insulin insensitivity before it worsens. Those who are physically active also tend to have a lower weight, which also regulates blood sugar better.
Sleep Better at Night
Another common issue of aging is light sleep that’s frequently interrupted. People who exercise during the day are less likely to have this issue because they fall asleep quicker and have better quality sleep. Seniors who exercise end up with sleep patterns more similar to young people, which means they wake up feeling alert and full of energy.
Assistance with exercising safely is just one of the benefits seniors receive when families enlist the help of at-home caregivers. Portland senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Trust Align Home Care to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (207) 835-3490.