The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found older Americans spend most of their time socializing, pursuing hobbies, exercising, or engaging in community improvement (e.g., volunteering). These four activities have marked mental and physical health benefits. Social older adults feel happier and are less likely to feel isolated and lonely, both of which are linked to increased mortality. Physically active older adults are less likely to experience serious injuries that lead to disability. Engaging in leisure and productive activities is associated with greater quality of life and a sense of purpose. Each of these types of activities improves mental and physical well-being, but does one type reign supreme?
Lack of activities can prevent you from living healthy. When you do not enjoy activities, you may feel fatigue or find it difficult to sleep at night. When you awake in the morning, you may feel tired until you finally fall asleep. As we, age our body change and we have to make changes to accommodate our lives.
Having a good night sleep makes the mind think more clearly. A good night sleep also boosts your energy while controlling your weight. You can also make decisions with less stress. Sleeping well at night makes our immune system stronger to keep us healthier. Researchers have proved that a good nights sleep is necessary for our health. Researchers have found that lack of sleep reduces the growth hormones in our bodies, since it changes muscles to fat. Sleep overall is most important, yet it stands behind activities. To improve your health, try walking each day.
Walking will help to loosen our muscles, reduces stress and depression along with anxiety. By reliving these things, it will help us to sleep for a longer and deeper period. So, when we wake up in the morning we feel happier and more rested.
When you exercise, you get a good night sleep, which promotes metabolism. Without the right amount of sleep, our bodies crave energy. Our body will release insulin or glucose into the bloodstream, which slows down metabolism. This action causes the body to gain weight, rather than control weight.
When a person feels exhausted, they will feel weak and repressed from enjoying activities. This leads to additional problems. Sleeping right balances out our bodies giving us, more energy leading to more activities that will satisfy our sleep needs.
What to avoid:
To rest proper and feel active you must reduce your intake of caffeine, nicotine, harmful chemicals, such as over-the-counter meds that keep you awake, alcohol and so on. The chemicals and substances will keep you awake. Try to avoid drinking anything after 8 p.m. in the evening. Nicotine should be avoid if possible, yet if you must smoke try to avoid smoking after 8 p.m.
Start a walking program in the morning to help wake you up, while boosting your energy. You will feel better since the joints will feel flexible enough to move freely. In addition, walking will help you burn fat and calories. You’ll notice a big change in how you feel the rest of the day. Start out walking at a slow steady pace for as far as your comfortable. Each day pick up the pace a bit and walk further. Just remember when walking that you want to work up to a steady brisk walk to make you sweat but not out of breath. Take a short walk before and after meals to calm your nerves, and burn calories too, it will give you energy, relieve that stress from the long day and help you sleep.
If you start a walking program for yourself, it is a lot more fun if you have someone to go with you. Talk to that neighbor you don’t know and maybe they’ll walk with you. Just think about it; you’ll be acquainted with someone new, talk about new things will relieve stress and get in you exercise as well. This might help that neighbor too who maybe hasn’t seen or talked to anyone in a couple of days and than they can sleep better at night.
After walking that brisk walk your doing be sure to cool down. When walking at a vigorous pace your heart rate will go up and it needs to be back to normal. Just walk a bit slow and relaxing until you’ve cooled down.
If you can’t go to sleep at night instead of getting up and turning on the TV try pacing around the house. Do some stretching and shake your arms and legs. Even walking around the house can relax you especially when everyone else is in bed and you can relax more.
It might not seem like much, but even walking around the home can make a huge difference in the heart health among aging adults. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seniors who do any level of physical activity whatsoever decrease their chance of a stroke and heart attack. House cleaning, strolling to the mailbox, and even walking from room to room are all lower-level activities that make a big impact toward brain and heart health.
As physical abilities begin to decrease in a senior’s later years, aging adults see the concept of exercise as an overwhelmingly tall task. For this reason, it might help to stay away from the word altogether and opt for phrases such as “being active” or “physical activity.”
In a life stage where a senior’s mental health is not where it used to be, confidence boosters are imperative. These confidence boosters are more productive if they are accomplished through physical activities.
We highly recommend that you encourage your loved ones to set challenging, yet easily attainable goals. Easy objectives such as standing up for thirty minutes a day or strolling to the corner and back can eventually evolve into more involved physical goals.
Local Senior Centers
In addition to stimulating mental and brain health, senior centers are one of the best resources you can find when it comes to keeping seniors physically active. It doesn’t matter where your loved one lives. There is a strong likelihood that you will find a local senior center nearby. Nearly ten million older adults use senior centers each year.
These facilities not only organize social outings and offer volunteer programs, but most offer exercise classes as well. It is not uncommon for your local senior center to have trained staff in the building available to teach seniors Tai Chi, yoga, swimming and general aerobics classes. Some senior centers have opportunities for aging adults to learn how to ballroom, line or even square dance. All of these are all great exercise options for seniors.
Sports for Seniors
Sports that need manageable levels of physical exertion are perfect for seniors. Golf is a good example of a fairly accessible sport because it promotes healthy aging among seniors. Even if your loved one decides to use a cart, this sport still requires a moderate level of walking on the grass. It is perfect for seniors looking to get active.
Every eleven seconds, a senior citizen is treated at the emergency room for a fall. Aging adults might be averse to the idea of physical activity because of a perceived likelihood of the risk of falling. In actuality, exercise and physical activity can greatly prevent the risk of falls in seniors, as it increases an aging adult’s agility and ability to react.
With that being said, there are a few precautions to take when deciding the best exercises for fall prevention. You should talk to a doctor initially. The doctor can help find the certain health conditions that could increase the likelihood of falls. History of past falls and medications can influence the probability of a future incident.
Wearing correct footwear is another safety tip for avoiding injury. You should make sure the senior is wearing shoes that fit correctly and have good tread. There are certain types of shoes that will decrease joint pain as well, so consider shopping around for footwear that is both practical and safe for physical activity.