“All parts of the body if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy and well developed, and age slowly; but if unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth, and age quickly.” - Hippocrates
Few things benefit the body more than maintaining physical fitness. While doctors have typically recommended exercise for younger patients, we’re realizing how important it is for our older patients as well. Regular exercise, even in one’s senior years, can still reduce your risk of a number of health conditions, particularly heart attacks and strokes.
Most communities are blessed to have many options available for exercise, especially those that are supervised. I prefer these activities because a trained professional typically leads the group. This person can make recommendations to get the most out of the program in the safest way possible.
Why is regular exercise so important for seniors? You may have noticed that as our bodies age a number of physiologic changes occur. We lose muscle mass and tone, leading to weakness, reduced flexibility, and problems with balance. Our bones become weaker from a lack of weight-bearing activity. Balance problems and weak bones lead to falls and broken bones. Our hearts and lungs can get out of shape causing reduced stamina and difficulty breathing with activity.