Exercising regularly and correctly is key to ageing healthy and strong. 3 main benefits of exercising to age better are to help develop body mechanics, promote bone density, and benefits heart and lung health. It’s never too late to start exercising but it definitely helps to start young and keep a steady schedule of at least 4 times a week.
Regular exercise is also associated with lower cardiovascular risk, better blood lipid and blood sugar levels, healthy lung function, and decreased risk for bone fractures. Starting an exercise program, even at an older age is associated with lower morbidity and mortality.
Maintaining a certain level of physical activity as one gets older also becomes crucial to being able to care for oneself and to continue to perform everyday tasks without or with minimal assistance.
Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living, or ADLs, involve performing everyday tasks such as eating, bathing, changing clothes, walking, and going to the bathroom.
As one gets older, performing these tasks may become more difficult and increasingly require assistance to prevent injury and ensure proper care.
Regular exercise such as walking, resistance training, and practicing unilateral balance exercises can improve physical strength, flexibility and coordination. This, in turn, means the person can continue to play an active role in self care and live a healthy lifestyle for longer.
Osteoporosis is a type of bone disease where the bones lose density and become porous. Osteoporosis increases a person’s risk for fractures when falling and performing other strenuous activities. Exercise promotes bone density, making bones less likely to fracture.
In older individuals, exercise helps slow down the loss of bone density thereby prolonging functional independence. The strengthening of the muscles themselves also help protect the bones and promote good body mechanics and balance; lowering the risk of falls.
Exercise to promote bone density is important for younger and older individuals alike. Having more bone density in one’s younger years lowers one risk of osteoporosis later in life, while exercise at an older age helps slow the loss of bone mass.
Proper nutrition, including a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamin D and calcium, promote healthy bones in younger and older individuals alike.
Vasper, which stands for vascular performance, is a high-intensity training machine that works to increase hormones that we normally lose as we age, like HGH (Human Growth Hormone).
These hormones help us to retain and increase our lean body mass, thus increasing bone density!
Vasper gives the hormone response to the body of a 2 hour workout in just 21 minutes, and is very beneficial for lean muscle building and cardiovascular performance.
Heart and Lung Health
As one ages, the heart and lung function gradually decline which may affect a person’s quality of life, physical limitations, and susceptibility to disease.
Blood vessels, for example, may begin to stiffen from the years of plaque build up which can affect their function and increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes. The heart walls may also stiffen, making it harder for the heart to perform its pump functions.
According to the American Lung Association (ALA), lung function begins to gradually decline after about age 35. After which, respiratory muscles such as the diaphragm and intercostal muscles may begin to lose muscle mass and weaken.
The lung tissue itself may become less elastic as alveoli (grape-like structures where gas exchange happens) begin to lose shape and become baggy (ALA, 2018). For these reasons, and many more, it is important to make exercise a daily part of one’s life throughout the lifespan.
Regular exercise helps lower the risk of high blood pressure as well as the build-up of plaque in arteries and help keep heart muscles strong.
The active use or respiratory muscles helps strengthen them even at an older age and improve function when chronic lung disease is present.
Risks of Exercise
Not everyone who is older is capable of the same level of exercise, and older age brings with it increased risk of injury. However, when carried out correctly and within one’s physical capabilities, the benefits of exercise far outweigh the bad.
If unsure on how to exercise or which exercises are appropriate and safe, consult with an expert who is familiar with clients of older age. CORE’s Corrective Exercise Specialists have advanced certifications in working with the older populations.
Check out our doctor and our Sports Chiropractors to make an appointment and see what path is best for you. Let us help you make it a habit to get frequent check-ups. Older age doesn’t have to be a stagnant part of life, and can continue to be rewarding with a proper diet and exercise.
- Nied, R. J., & Franklin, B. A. (2002, February 01). Promoting and Prescribing Exercise in the Elderly. Retrieved from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0201/p419.html
- Heart Health and Aging. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/heart-health-and-aging
- Editorial Staff T. (2018, April 24). Your Aging Lungs. Retrieved from https://www.lung.org/blog/your-aging-lungs