By 2010, 5.5 million adults in the United States lived to the age of 85+. By 2050, this group of 85+ will jump to 19 million Americans, equivalent to 5% of the total population, according to the Institute on Aging. The life expectancy in this country is only going up, and that’s great. It is important for aging adults to remain active as they get older, but it may seem difficult. Here are some physical activities that are great for seniors to remain fit and healthy.
4 Ways Aging Adults Can Remain Active and Healthy
Yoga is a great physical activity that offers amazing physical and psychological benefits to the body. Anyone who struggles with joint pain, stress, imbalance, osteoarthritis, or other physical limitations, can benefit from practicing yoga on a regular basis. It improves flexibility, joint health, balance, stability, mindfulness, and respiration. In fact, recent research has shown that a 12-week yoga program significantly improved respiratory function in elderly women. Yoga can also help reduce anxiety and high blood pressure.
Stress is linked to so many health problems we experience today. In fact, more than 80% of all diseases are due to stress and strain that originate in the mind and reflect on the body. This is why massages are so important. Roughly 19% of American adults received at least one massage between July 2015 and July 2016, according to a 2016 AMTA consumer survey. It’s safe to say that a lot of those people probably went to relieve some stress. Even if they didn’t, they probably left less stressed after their massage. For aging adults, massage increases blood flow to limbs, improves balance, softens hard muscles, stimulates the nervous system, increases flexibility, improves sleep, relieves arthritic pain, and can even ease stroke recovery.
Swimming is a great exercise for people of all ages. A short half hour session in the pool twice a week can do wonders for the body. It’s a great cardiovascular exercise because you are moving against the resistance of the water, which is 10 times that of the air. This means it can help make your heart larger, stronger, and healthier. It also increases flexibility, maintains muscle mass, improves balance, and lowers the risk of osteoarthritis. Because the body moves much more freely in the water, swimming greatly minimizes the risk of injury while exercising.
Gardening has many health and therapeutic benefits for aging adults. It helps increase the level of physical activity and mobility for seniors. It encourages the use of motor skills while simultaneously improving endurance and strength. Gardening can also reduce stress and promote relaxation because you are spending so much more time outside. The fresh air can do wonders for the body and the mind.
As we age, it is essential to remain active and healthy. It can be difficult as the body ages, but there are plenty of activities you can still participate in. The more active you are, the better shape your body will be in. This means you will age gracefully and hopefully avoid pain while you’re having fun at the same time.
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