Various international organizations agree that the elderly should engage in physical activity of any kind every day. Keep in mind that certain types of exercises are more recommended than others for older adults.
Regular exercise is essential for healthy aging. This offers many health benefits for older adults, including reducing the risk of all-cause mortality, controlling chronic diseases, and preventing premature death.
Why is it important for older adults to exercise?
Life expectancy in the population is increasing. This has caused an increasing interest in promoting a high quality of life related to old age, for which physical activity is a key element.
Exercise, as a planned, structured and repetitive physical activity, is vital for the maintenance of physical condition and function in older adults. This will help them in their independence, improving motor function and control.
With this in mind, according to a special issue of BioMed Research International from 2018, the main reasons why it is important for older adults to exercise are the following:
- For physical health: exercise is a protective factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, strokes, diabetes and some types of cancer.
- Mental health: physical activity is associated with better mental health, a delay in the onset of dementia, and a better quality of life and well-being. Exercise can also have benefits for the brain centers that support executive control.
- For independence: exercise can help maintain quality of life, reducing falls among the elderly in general and those with joint diseases.