As the body ages, it takes a little longer to repair itself, but moderate physical activity is good for people of all ages and of all ability levels. Truth be told, the benefits of your elderly parents exercise program highly outweighs the risks. Even elderly people with chronic illnesses can exercise safely. Many medical condition such as Alzheimer's and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure and obesity can be improved with an exercise program.
In fact, elders who regularly exercise can see an improvement in their health to include improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, lipid profile, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and neuro-cognitive function.
A regular exercise program can improve:
Immune Function – A body can fight off infection and sickness and recover more quickly less strenously when healthy instead of stealing energy from the body.
Cardio-Respiratory and Cardiovascular Function – The risk of heart disease and high blood pressure is lowered with regular physical activities. If the elderly person has hypertension, exercise will lower blood pressure.
Bone Density/Osteoporosis – Exercise protects against loss in bone mass and will reduce the risk of osteoporosis and lowers risk of falling and broken bones because of better bone density. Research shows that strength training can dramatically reduce the loss of bone mass, help restore bones, and contribute to better balance and less fractures.
Gastrointestinal Function – Regular exercise promotes the efficient elimination of waste and can improve digestive health.
Chronic Conditions and Cancer – Regular physical activity lowers risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, colon cancer and can help in the management of high cholesterol and arthritis pain.
Regular physical activity is also associated with decreased mortality and age-related morbidity in older adults. In addition, a study by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined exercise in the elderly and found that exercise training led to improvement in functional reach, balance and fear of falling.
Often, frail elderly people are unable to maintain an aerobic exercise routine on a regular basis due to lack of endurance. Age-related changes in the cardiovascular system have significant effects on cardiac performance, it has been estimated that 50% of endurance loss can be related to decreased muscle mass.
The best exercise program for the elderly consists of three components: aerobic exercise, strength training, and balance and flexibility. To learn more about how your parents can improve their health with a care manager contact Desert Care Management by visiting their website or calling at 480-804-7200.