Basic Facts about Basic Facts | Aging & Health A-Z | American Geriatrics Society |

No matter what your old age or abilities, it ’ s never excessively late to start being physically active—or to get back into being active. Being active is one of the best things you can do to maintain or improve your health. Activity helps you to feel full mentally and physically, stay firm physically, prevent falls, and maintain your independence for a long as possible. moderate amounts of aerobic physical activity ( the kind that makes you breathe faster ) can reduce your risk of functional decline by angstrom a lot as 30 %, allowing you to continue taking worry of yourself .

What’s the difference between physical activity and exercise?

  • Physical activity is any activity that involves moving your body. This includes housework, climbing the stairs, gardening, etc.
  • Exercise is a type of physical activity that is planned, structured, and focused on attaining physical fitness. Some examples are swimming, walking, or lifting weights.

What are the benefits of regular physical activity?

The health benefits of physical bodily process are independent of risk factors. For case, smokers who increase their physical action will experience health benefits, even if they continue to smoke .
similarly, overweight or corpulent adults benefit from physical activity, even if they do not lose weight. Getting regular physical activity on most days of the week improves health in the play along ways. All these benefits can increase your choice of life .

Promotes mental and cognitive health

physical natural process can help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. exercise triggers the release of “ feel-good ” genius chemicals, which can lift your spirits and comfort depression. You may besides find that being active optimizes your cognitive function, helping keep your mind sharp .

Increases forcible strength

Older adults who are physically active build and keep healthy bones, muscles, and joints. They may be more dependable on their feet and better able to move about without falling, which decreases the likelihood and austereness of falls. dim-witted forte and balance train exercises can reduce your risk of falls by 40 % .

Helps maintain a healthy system of weights

Increased weight can be a factor in a total of health problems. physical activeness can help keep your weight at a healthy level. If you lose weight by diet alone, you may lose not only adipose tissue multitude, but besides muscle mass and bone multitude. physical activity, particularly muscle-strengthening activity, can preserve bone and muscle mass .

Restores restful sleep

When you are physically active voice regularly, you ’ ll enjoy a better choice of sleep. Being active besides decreases your feelings of fatigue and tire. Aerobic use in the early evening can improve sleep quality, but be aware that exercise late in the flush can be besides stimulate and make it unmanageable to get restful sleep .

Reduces arthritic disability

Studies have shown that older adults with osteoarthritis had less trouble and more flexibility after 16 weeks of strengthening exercises .

Maintains or improves heart health

Simply put, physical activity helps your affection work more efficiently. Aerobic exercise ( the kind that makes you breathe faster ) can improve the seaworthiness of your center in adenine little as 6 weeks after beginning an use program .

Improves blood carbohydrate control

Better control of your sugar levels means you may need less medicine for your diabetes. Lower boodle can besides decrease your hazard of the long-run problems associated with diabetes .

Reduces the risk of many diseases

exercise helps reduce the hazard of respective chronic illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, heart fire, high rake pressure, breast cancer, colon cancer, and cholesterol disorders .

Keeps bones hard

After menopause, women can lose 1-2 % of their bone mass every year. The good news is that doing strength-training exercises can increase bone concentration and reduce an older womanhood ’ mho risk for bone fractures and osteoporosis. Starting an drill program tied late in life can help to preserve bone concentration .

Economic Benefit

Older adults who are regularly forcible action has been shown to have lower checkup costs compared to sedentary adults .

Physical activity during hospitalization

even if you are in the hospital, staying active—as much as possible—is authoritative. Try to get out of bed to sit in a chair or to walk arsenic much as you can—ask staff or visitors for help oneself if you feel unfirm walking on your own. Bathing and dressing yourself besides count american samoa physical activity. Staying active can shorten your hospital arrest, lower your chances of having to go to a nurse or rehabilitation facility after your exhaust, and improve your long-run recovery .
specially for older adults with arthritis and other muscle and joint conditions, participating in practice programs when you are in the hospital can lessen stiffness, improve poise, and ease fatigue .

Risks of being sedentary (inactive)

Given the numerous health benefits of physical action, the risks of being inactive are unclutter. physical inactiveness is a good trouble in the US for people of all ages. inactivity in honest-to-god age can lead to unnecessary illness and loss of your ability to handle casual tasks equally well as your independence. physical inactiveness is besides associated with higher mortality rates .

Recommended Types and Amounts of Physical Activity

People at all levels of fitness benefit from increased forcible activity. The benefit of physical bodily process is proportional to the intensity of exercise and to your horizontal surface of fitness when you began exercising. In fact, people who are the least match frequently gain the biggest rewards from the smallest increases in physical activity. For those who can do higher intensity bodily process, it takes less time to get the lapp profit from high gear saturation activities than light intensity .
physical bodily process can range from luminosity to high vigorous saturation. In general, as you increase your use intensity, you improve your physical seaworthiness and your will be able to sustain high volume action for longer periods ,

What is moderate intensity aerobic physical activity?  

A moderate level of physical activity—which is besides what we define as exercise—is walking 100 steps in a minute. other examples are listed below .
Examples of chasten saturation physical activeness include :

  • Gardening
  • Wheeling yourself in a wheelchair
  • Walking briskly
  • Bicycling
  • Dancing fast
  • Pushing a stroller
  • Raking leaves
  • Water aerobics
  • Swimming laps
  • Wheelchair basketball
  • Shoveling snow
  • Stair-walking

What is a high intensity aerobic physical activity? 

Examples of high volume physical activity include :

  • Speed walking
  • Jogging
  • Tennis, basketball, soccer 
  • Aerobic dancing (e.g Zumba)
  • Jumping rope
  • Walking uphill

How often should you exercise, and for how long?

ideally, older adults should do at least 30 minutes of moderate volume aerobic action at least 5 days each workweek ( 150 minutes per week ) or at least 75 minutes a workweek of high saturation aerobic natural process .
Adults should besides do muscle-strengthening at least 2 days a week for 20-30 minutes and balance training at least 3 times a workweek. Often these two activities can be combined in exercise, dance or tai qi classes, though it ’ sulfur constantly good to do some dedicate weight lifting since without that your muscles weaken with long time .
It may take months to reach your ultimate goal. You are more probable to succeed if you set smaller step-wise goals that can be achieved in 1-3 weeks. But the most important goal is to avoid inactivity. You should engage in whatever amount of physical activeness you can according to your ability and then work toward increasing that measure gradually.

Precautions for a healthy start

To avoid discomfort and wound, you should start out lento, stretch before using muscles for the first gear time in a long time, and gradually build up to the craved amount of exercise to give your torso time to adjust. Don ’ thymine bring discouraged—reaching your target flat of physical activeness can take months .

survive Updated August 2020

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