Physical fitness has long been tied to overall health, but research keeps confirming new ways in which this application can be used. The latest pertains to senior citizens; research shows that the more physically active an elderly individual is, the less likely that they are to pass away in the near future. This relationship is so strong that researchers state that about nine percent of all deaths amongst the senior population are related to physical inactivity. Just exercising a little bit every day prolongs your life expectancy and can help you to be healthier as an older adult.
New research is aimed at trying to figure out what this means and how it can be applied to everyone’s lives. The physical activity of over 1,400 seniors was monitored, starting in 2014. Wrist monitors were worn by almost 1,000 of these seniors and background information was gathered. Things like smoking were noted, along with other health concerns. Ability to carry out the basic activities of daily living were also noted, such as being able to move around the house, dress one’s self, and more. Mental health was also noted during this observation period.
The information that was gathered went right along with how you might have expected it to go. Those that did not exercise were much more likely to pass away during the observation period. However, the information that was gathered shined a bit more light onto the issue than this. Exercise was helpful for improving long term health regardless of what the beginning status of the individual was. Even those that struggled with health issues or were at a higher risk of death than others saw lived longer lives just because of the exercise that they introduced into their daily routines. Both men and women reaped the benefits of this.
This particular study was done in Brazil, a country that saw a 40 percent rise in the number of people over the age of 65 between 2002 and 2012. Their findings were published recently in the medical periodical, the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. You can find a more detailed look at this information there.
Starting an exercise routine is difficult, but it is certainly helpful as this study shows us. Even small amounts of exercise can go a long way toward helping someone to live a healthier life. That exercise doesn’t need to be rigorous, either. For some, 15 minutes of walking per day is ideal, but that’s not realistic for everyone. Arm motions, something like playing the Nintendo Wii, or light weight lifting can help improve health. The choices are almost limitless; what really matters is finding something that is enjoyable and that you will stick with.
Although we are a senior care company, our goal is to help your family live a better overall life. If this means incorporating preventative measures like exercise into your daily routine so that senior care can be completely avoided, then that’s a step in the right direction! Get in touch with a doctor to learn more about how to safely and effectively use exercise to help your family stay healthy.