These are just a few of the ways exercise can help improve your health.
Warding off illness and disease
Keeping your body in good working order not only keeps your immunity high to fight off colds and other common illnesses, it can also help to lower your risks of developing serious and chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, and some forms of cancer.
Keeping weight at a healthy level
The extra pounds creep on more quickly as metabolism slows with age, particularly after menopause. A quick walk or other cardiovascular exercise every day goes a long way toward maintaining a healthy weight and BMI, making it easier for your whole body to function.
Maintaining strength and flexibility
A combination of cardio exercise and strength training is the winning formula to support muscles and bones as you age. Bonus: adding in a little yoga, tai chi or stretching to improve flexibility, balance, and coordination may also help to reduce your risks of falling.
Supporting mental health and cognitive function
Exercise isn’t just good for your body, it’s great for your mind and mood as well. Regular exercise has been shown to lessen the effects of depression, anxiety, and stress. Your brain health also benefits from the increased blood and oxygen flow that physical activity creates.
Getting better sleep
Research indicates that moderate physical activity promotes good sleep habits, helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Strengthening social connections
Many retirees experience depression due to isolation. Participating in an exercise group, attending a class, or meeting up with someone for a workout session increases your opportunities to see and interact with friendly faces on a regular basis.
So how much activity do you need to reap rewards? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults aged 65 and older aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week, along with strength training two days a week. Something as simple as a short brisk walk daily or on most days will get you covered.
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