Taking care of our bodies through exercise is important at any age, but as we get older, being active becomes all the more critical. Aside from trimming down or adding muscle, working out has some serious health benefits for the parts of the body we can’t see. If you need more convincing to get moving, here are 10 reasons why hitting the gym, taking a yoga class or simply going for a walk is beneficial for anyone, especially as the years creep up.
- Regular exercise can prevent or delay illness or disability. But if you’ve already been diagnosed with a disease or disability, regular exercise can often improve health conditions/complications.
- Not exercising could kill you. A study showed that 10 percent of premature deaths were caused by inactivity.
- If you’re dealing with high blood pressure (as many older adults are) or diabetes, getting a move on can help with your symptoms. Exercise makes your heart muscle stronger and lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Win, win, win!
- You don’t need to run a marathon or take up kickboxing to reap health rewards. Low impact exercises, such as Pilates, are perfect for seniors, as they lead to increased strength, balance, flexibility, muscle tone, stamina, and sense of well-being. Plus, most moves can be modified depending on your needs and/or physical limitations.
- Physical activity can help reduce one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Even if you haven’t worked out in a while, a few trots around the block can help improve your memory, get the creative juices flowing and even hone your skills in the kitchen!
- While we can suffer from depression at any age, feelings of unhappiness that develop later in life can be assuaged with aerobic exercise.
- You’ll sleep better tonight. Exercising helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep, improving your overall health.
- Get moving to…get things moving. A quick bike ride or tai chi class can improve gastrointestinal function and alleviate bowel problems and other stomach issues.
- Avoid the shrinking effect of aging! Improve your posture by strengthening your core muscles with Pilates, which is a safe, low-impact workout.
- If you’re dealing with joint pain or arthritis, exercise is essential. Moderate movements will ease these symptoms and improve your quality of life.
We look forward to seeing you soon at Pilates in the Grove. And remember that Pilates is an excellent practice for ALL ages and abilities.
Marilyn Mardini, BS, PMA®-CPT