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Kittle: Sixty reasons why exercise is important for seniors
We all know that exercise is good for us, but in particular for seniors it is one of the best things you can do yourself to enhance your quality of life.
About 60 per cent of people over age 64 are considered sedentary.
An inactive lifestyle causes older adults to lose ground in areas that are important for staying healthy, happy and independent.
Don’t worry about exercise being too strenuous—it is actually a greater risk not to exercise.
Even moderate physical activity can improve the health of those who are frail or who have diseases that accompany aging.
Exercising regularly produces long-term benefits, and improves health for some who already have diseases and disabilities.
While surfing the Internet this past week, I came across this list of 60 good reasons to exercise and thought I would share with my readers.
60 reasons to exercise:
Enhances quality of sleep
Prevents or delays many diseases and disabilities
Improves body shape
Tones and firms muscles
Provides more muscular definition
Enables weight loss and keeps it off
Makes you limber
Burns extra calories
Improves circulation and helps reduce blood pressure
Increases lean muscle tissue in the body
Improves appetite for healthy foods
Alleviates menstrual cramps
Alters and improves muscle chemistry
Increases metabolic rate
Enhances coordination and balance
Eases and possibly eliminates back problems and pain
Makes the body use calories more efficiently
Lowers resting heart rate
Increases muscle size through an increase in muscle fibres
Improves body composition
Increases body density
Decreases fat tissue more easily
Makes body more agile
Is the greatest body tune-up
Reduces joint discomfort
Improves athletic performance
Adds years to your life
Increases your range of motion
Enhances immune system
Improves glycogen storage
Enables the body to utilize energy more efficiently
Increases enzymes in the body which burn fat
Increases the number and size of mitochondria in muscle cells
Increases concentration of myoglobin (carries oxygen in muscles) in skeletal muscles
Enhances oxygen transport throughout the body
Improves liver functioning
Increases speed of muscle contraction and reaction time
Enhances feedback through the nervous system
Strengthens the heart
Improves blood flow
Helps to alleviate varicose veins.
Increases maximum cardiac output
Increases contractility of the heart’s ventricles
Increases the weight and size of the heart
Improves contractile function of the whole heart
Makes calcium transport in the heart and body more efficient
Increases self esteem
Decreases risk of heart attack
Increases mental focus
Decreases stress level
Reduces risk of breast cancer by 60 per cent
Increases stamina and strength
Decreases risk of osteoporosis.
For greatest overall health the recommendation is 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times a week, and muscle strengthening and stretching two or more times a week.
However, if you are unable to do this level of activity, you can gain substantial health benefits by accumulating 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, at least five times a week.
You’re never too old to exercise—it is your key to staying strong, energetic and independent.