Why is Exercise and Physical Activity Important for Older Adults? May 05, 2017 10:40

If you are using our videos, you’ve probably heard that physical activity, including exercise, is quite beneficial to older adults. If you’re already active, stick with it. Maybe it's time to push yourself a little harder, try a new activity, or find new ways to add exercise to your daily life. Talk to your health care provider about this.

If you’ve never exercised, or if you stopped exercising for some reason, you need not resign yourself to a sedentary (unhealthy) life. Programs like Stronger Seniors are designed just for you- to help you start slowly, and build up to a routine you will enjoy and stick with. 

Regular exercise and physical activity are important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults. Being physically active can help you continue to do the things you enjoy and stay independent as you get older- something we call 'functional fitness'.  Consistent physical activity over long periods of time can produce significant long-term health benefits. That's why health experts say that older adults should be active every day to maintain their health.

In addition, regular exercise and physical activity can reduce the risk of developing some diseases and disabilities that develop as people grow older. In some cases, exercise is an effective treatment for many chronic conditions. For example, studies show that people with arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes benefit from regular exercise. Exercise also helps people with high blood pressure (hyper-tension), balance problems, or difficulty walking.

One of the wonderful things about physical activity is that there are so many ways to be active. For example, you can be active in short spurts throughout the day, or you can set aside specific times of the day on specific days of the week to exercise. Many physical activities—such as brisk walking, raking leaves, or taking the stairs whenever you can—don't cost a thing and do not require special equipment.