Exercise for the Elderly

The benefits of exercise throughout life are often publicized. But is it really safe for the elderly to exercise? Of course! I've been teaching seniors for over 20 years, and I know first-hand the health improvements in the lives of hundreds of the 65+ population.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, almost all older people can benefit from additional physical activity. Regular exercise prevents chronic disease, improves mood and lowers chances of injury.

With age, the body does take a little longer to repair itself, but moderate physical activity is good for people of all ages and ability levels. In fact, the benefits of your elderly parents exercising regularly far outweigh the risks.

Even elderly people with chronic illnesses can exercise in a safe manor. Many medical conditions are improved with exercise, including Alzheimer's and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure and obesity. Regular exercise provides a myriad of health benefits, including improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, lipid profile, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and brain function.

Regular exercise improves the following:

  • Immune Function. A healthy, strong body fights off infection and sickness more easily and more quickly. 
  • Cardio-Respiratory and Cardiovascular Function. Frequent physical activity lowers the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. If the elderly person has hypertension, exercise will help lower their blood pressure.
  • Bone Density and Risk of Osteoporosis. Exercise protects against loss in bone mass. Better bone density will reduce the risk of osteoporosis, lower the risk of falling and prevent broken bones.   
  • Gastrointestinal Function. Regular exercise helps boost your metabolism and promotes the efficient elimination of waste and encourages digestive health.
  • Chronic Conditions and Cancer. Physical activity lowers risk of serious conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and colon cancer, to name a few. It also helps in the management of high cholesterol and arthritis pain.
  • A consistent exercise schedule is also associated with decreased mortality and age-related morbidity in older adults. In addition, a study by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined exercise in the elderly and found that training led to improvements in functional reach and balance and reduced the participants' fear of falling. 

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVD Videos