Physical activity for seniors

Swimming is a great way for seniors to improve their fitness routines.

As we age, many people limit the amount of physical activity they partake in. This may be due to joint pain and other issues, but it can be dangerous to our health. HealthDay reported that those who have poor fitness routines in middle age may have a greater risk of developing dementia as they enter their senior years.

What the research says
Scientists from the University of Jyvaskyla found that participants in their study with an average age of 50 who self-rated their fitness routines as poor were four times more likely to develop dementia within the coming 30 years.

"Chronic conditions independently increase the dementia risk," Jenni Kulmala, author of the study, told HealthDay.1 "Furthermore, if a person feels that his or her physical fitness is poor, the risk is even higher. In terms of dementia prevention, maintaining good physical fitness seems to be especially important for people with chronic disease."

However, perception isn't all of it. Actually implementing a workout routine is necessary for middle-aged individuals to decrease their risk of dementia. Other preventative measures include maintaining a healthy diet, stopping smoking and making generally healthy lifestyle choices.

Exercises for seniors
There are a number of health and mental benefits for seniors who exercise. For instance, someone older than the age of 50 who works out regularly will likely increase their mobility and flexibility, which can reduce the chance of injury due to falling. When it comes to mental health, middle-aged individuals will likely get better rest at night when they engage in physical activity. This can improve both their mood and brain health.2

Simple exercises for seniors to participate in can include anything from vigorous walking on a daily basis to water aerobics and other aqua sports. Yoga, tai chi and qi gong classes have become popular as well – these types of workouts also possess meditative benefits for practitioners.

Since many people in retirement may be living on fixed incomes, it's important to note that exercise does not have to cost a penny! While joining a gym can be nice, especially in the bad weather when walking outdoors is out of the question, it can also get pricey. However, there are plenty of workouts that can be completed in the comfort of your own home.

Seniors who are in need of medical supplies can order online from Medex Supply. Available products include:

1 HealthDay, "Poor fitness in middle age tied to higher risk of dementia" March 5, 2014
2 HelpGuide.Org, "Exercise and fitness over 50" February 2014

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