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How Does Exercise Improve Whole-Body Wellbeing?

Ways to improve your health & longevity.

Physical activity is vital for the whole-body wellbeing of people of all ages, especially seniors. During the aging process, we’ll naturally begin to lose some of the stamina and agility we had in our younger years – but being active is more important than ever. It’s never too late to make a lifestyle change – even low-impact exercise can make a big difference!

Woman in green shirt stretching her arms out during yoga.

Wellness-based senior living at The Crossings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), all older adults can benefit from regular, moderate physical activity – even people with medical conditions including arthritis, heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure. Plus, being active in our older years not only positively impacts physical health but also mental and emotional wellbeing.

Here are five of the ways exercise can benefit the overall health of older adults:

  1. Protecting Against Chronic Disease: Exercise helps prevent many chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Even those who already have a chronic condition can counteract their symptoms through physical activity.
  2. Preventing Bone Loss: While post-menopausal women lose up to 2% of their bone density each year, both men and women lose bone density as they age, which can cause a greater risk for bone fractures. Strength training has been shown to not only counteract this loss and but also restore bone density, leading to fewer fractures and aiding in balance.
  3. Reducing Cognitive Decline: Physical activity could help those with early signs of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, with one study showing that participants over the age of 60 showed fewer Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers when they performed 30 minutes of exercise every day.
  4. Maintaining Function & Preventing Falls: Lack of muscle strength impacts mobility and other types of daily function, whether carrying a grocery bag or stepping onto a curb. According to the National Institute on Aging, even very small changes in muscle strength can make a big difference in function, especially lower body strength exercises, which can improve balance and prevent falling and resulting injuries.
  5. Improving Mood: Exercise produces endorphins which not only make us feel good but also can help with symptoms of anxiety and depression and encourage a sense of wellbeing. Studies have shown that older adults can realize the mood-boosting benefits of exercise well into old age.

If you’re looking to add more physical activity to your lifestyle, a community like The Crossings at Eastchase can provide the social connection and motivation you need to stick with it. The wide variety of classes and activities at our community give residents a chance to have fun, be social and stay fit – all of which promote whole-body wellbeing.