• The Benefits of Exercise

    Posted on January 18, 2010 by in Featured

    No doubt, many of us have made resolutions and goals to get healthier this year.  For most of us, this probably means trying to exercise more and for some of us, it means doing some form at exercise at all.  Regardless of your age, exercise is beneficial.  The benefits of exercise for those  who want to age in place include becoming healthier, stronger, increasing endurance and reducing the likelihood of falling.  Study after study states the benefits of exercise and warns about the lack of inactivity.  Lack of exercise can contribute to

    • Obesity
    • Diabetes
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Hypertension
    • Osteoporosis
    • Depression

    Well, the good thing is it’s never too late to start exercising.  Research indicates that exercise can improve:

    • Strength
    • Mobility
    • Endurance
    • Balance
      • Reduction of falls
      • Autonomic tone
      • Coronary blood flow

    Exercising can take several forms including aerobic exercises and strength or resistance training.  For someone trying to age in place, resistance training can make activities such as doing laundry, carrying groceries, unloading the dishwasher, and rearranging furniture easier.

    Strength or resistance training has been shown to develop and maintain

    • Muscle strength
    • Endurance
    • Muscle mass

    Additionally, resistance training has been shown to be beneficial in the prevention and management of

    • Osteoporosis
    • Lower back pain
    • Obesity
    • Diabetes
    • Sarcopenia
    • Falls

    Aerobic exercise improves endurance, and strengthens the heart and lungs.  Aerobic activities for the aging in place adult can make activities such as vacuuming, gardening, washing the car, and walking the dog easier.  Aerobic activity has been shown to:

    • Benefit cognitive function in older adults
    • Activate your immune system
    • Strengthen your heart which results in your heart pumping more efficiently
    • Reduce the risk of obesity
    • Increase your good cholesterol and lowers your bad cholesterol
    • Reduce the risk of heart disease,
    • Reduce the high blood pressure,
    • Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and stroke
    • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
    • Helps lower high blood pressure and control blood sugar

    Stretching is also an important part of exercise and should be done with aerobic and/or resistance training 2-3 days/week.  (Stretching exercises should exercise the major muscles and tendons).  Stretching can make everyday activities like cleaning mirrors, putting on your shoes, and cleaning your bathtub easier.  The benefits of stretching include:

    • Increased tendon flexibility
    • Increased joint range of motion
    • Better muscle performance

    Remember, it’s never too late to start exercising.  It can improve the quality of your life and help you in your goal to age in place.  Join us next week as we discuss the benefits of Tai Chi.

    Sources:  Health benefits of physical activity: The evidence, Mayo Clinic ,

    Resistance Exercise in Individuals With and Without Cardiovascular Disease
    Benefits, Rationale, Safety, and Prescription An Advisory From the Committee on Exercise, Rehabilitation, and Prevention, Council on Clinical Cardiology, American Heart Association

    Share
  • Monte Martin

    I observed a precipitous decline in my late mother's health when she began using a power chair in place of her walker and began scoffing physical therapy sessions at the assisted living center where she was living. Obviously, she didn't have to use the chair, but a well-meaning sibling thought it would be something that would increase her mobility. I reluctantly went along. An acquaintance said he saw the same phenomena with his mother, whose muscle atrophy also made her too weak a candidate for heart surgery in her waning years. My question is: Should power chairs possibly come with a consumer warning label? I don't doubt that they are a valuable piece of equipment for many people who truly need them, but the easy availability certainly doesn't seem to do any favors for those elderly who would be better served by a treadmill. Is there anyone else who has observed these types of declines and are there any studies about the deleterious effects of chairs? I know the power chair industry isn't going away and it's not my intention to wreck it, but I would hope there are some physicians and physical therapists who are concerned about what I would think is a growing health issue.

  • agingsuite

    Hi,
    Thanks so much for your question. Because I don’t know your mom’s diagnosis, I can’t give you specifics about her case. However, it’s a good idea to consult with an occupational or physical therapist before getting a power wheelchair and you may want to speak with one in person now to state your specific concerns. There are a lot of things to consider when considering getting a power chair including where the person will be using the chair, their diagnosis, muscle strength, range of motion, and posture. Other things to consider include the type of seat that works best for the individual, the type of leg rests and arm rest that best serves them, as well as if the person has visual deficits. Here’s a great link to find out more information: http://www.alsironhorse.org/images/selectionofa

  • agingsuite

    Hi,
    Thanks so much for your question. Because I don’t know your mom’s diagnosis, I can’t give you specifics about her case. However, it’s a good idea to consult with an occupational or physical therapist before getting a power wheelchair and you may want to speak with one in person now to state your specific concerns. There are a lot of things to consider when considering getting a power chair including where the person will be using the chair, their diagnosis, muscle strength, range of motion, and posture. Other things to consider include the type of seat that works best for the individual, the type of leg rests and arm rest that best serves them, as well as if the person has visual deficits. Here’s a great link to find out more information: http://www.alsironhorse.org/images/selectionofa

  • Exercise is one of the most recommended thing from many experts to keep healthy and fit for years comes. All the above information about exercise benefit is just outstanding and I think many people now start doing exercise now. There is not only physical benefit from exercise, it’s also beneficial for your mind and make you relax. So consider to make exercise a habit.

  • Regular exercise can protect you from heart disease and also from many major disease. You can reduce obesity from regular exercise, it can also reduce back pain also. You can make your muscles faster. Most of fitness experts recommended to doing regular exercise to be healthy and fit all the time.