A newly published study by Johns Hopkins University stated that there was a growing number of women who were not getting enough exercise to keep themselves healthy moving into their senior years. There are currently about 19 million women in the United States that suffer from cardiovascular disease, and more than half of them do not get enough exercise. This data came from the result of a compilation of national surveys that Johns Hopkins evaluated.
Everyone knows that exercise is important for maintaining healthy bodies and minds. This is especially true for people that have cardiovascular disease or are at risk of it in the future. Really, everyone can benefit from exercise. The observation that this study points to though, indicates that the people who need exercise the most are not getting it. Other studies indicate that some heart benefits can be obtained with as few as 15 to 20 minutes of moderate exercise six times a week.
For seniors, getting exercise can be difficult, but this is a population that is at an even higher risk of heart disease and the complications that can arise from it. This doesn’t mean that exercise is impossible, though. Even individuals that are confined to a wheelchair or have issues with mobility can find an exercise that will help them out. We tend to think of exercise as jogging, biking, or swimming, but there is a lot more that can be done. Even simple weight training has benefits–and these benefits can go far beyond improving heart health. Bone density, balance, and mental health can all be improved through exercise.
Exercise is an important part of senior health. Yes, it can be a lot harder for an older person to get the exercise that they need to stay healthy. But that doesn’t diminish the importance of fitting this into our lifestyles. If you have an exercise that you already know and enjoy, continuing in this is important. If you’re not sure where to start, there are a lot of options open to you. Start by speaking to a doctor that knows your health and your limits. They can point you toward a few activities that you might benefit from. They might even recommend physical therapy or working with a trainer to get you started so that your prolonged safety can be protected.
Exercise is supposed to be fun. Dr. George Sheehan concluded that in his classic book, Running & Being. People don’t stick with an exercise because it is work, but rather because it is fun, like play is for a child. Recreating this for adults can be hard, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible. Even for seniors, finding an activity that is fun and active is quite easy. It’s all a matter of knowing your limits and finding something active and fun that fits within them. Doing this with other people can make it even more enjoyable.
And the sooner you start, the sooner you can start to experience the benefits that go along with it.