Everyone knows by now that exercise is important. It helps you to keep your weight at a healthier level, and many health issues are avoided as a result of this. What you might not know is that you don’t need to exercise a lot to begin to reap the benefits that are associated with exercise. The more that this subject is researched, the more people are discovering that even moderate amounts of physical exercise can help, and the effect upon those that are age 65 and older is very profound. In fact, one study states that moderate activity reduced the rate of cardiovascular related death by 50 percent, and the likelihood of any sort of cardiovascular event in general dropped by 30 percent. This is encouraging news simply because the minimum amount of exercise needed to obtain these results is so easily obtainable by most.
Researchers know that exercise is good for you, and there’s a lot that is known about its benefits when it comes to younger people. However, in senior populations, a good deal less is known about how exercise helps, especially over the short term. The particular study referenced above looked at 12 years of data, and watched those aged 65 to 74 in age. About 2,500 people were looked at. For the purposes of this study, moderate activity was defined as walking or light cycling, or leisure activities such as gardening, fishing, or hunting, for at least four hours per week.
There’s a lot of good news here. Many seniors already do these things, and many seniors that don’t are very capable of doing so. There are a lot of activities that meet the criteria that activities like those described above need. And many of them can be done even from the confines of a wheelchair. In the past, there have been many other studies that have helped to confirm this data. For example, one comprehensive study found that just 15 minutes of light activity each day helped reduce the risk of death by 22 percent in senior citizens. Even many seniors that have some sort of physical disability and are receiving in-home care or another type of senior care can fit in 15 minutes of activity per day, and being under the supervision of a trained caregiver makes this safer and more possible to do than ever before, simply because if something were to happen and someone was injured, there would be someone with emergency training on hand that would know what to do.
Having an elderly loved one can be tough on families. You are watching somebody that you love very much see their lifestyle change, and in many cases they might be unhappy with the changes. What is considered exercise will change over the years, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible anymore. If your elderly loved one is serious about maintaining or improving their health, then exercise is one of the most important and easiest changes that can be made. And, as we’ve seen in several recent studies, the impact of exercise can be felt very quickly, even in the senior population.