The idea of jumping into an intense workout program can seem incredibly daunting. Suffering injury during exercise is always a valid concern, but it is even more concerning as our bodies age. This risk often stops us dead in our tracks as we contemplate exercise.
Here’s some good news: as Time Magazine reported in 2016, several studies that suggest exercise doesn’t have to be extremely intense to be beneficial². There are many safe and simple exercises you can do that improve your overall health, such as brisk walking, swimming or even yard work.
According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), feelings of depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Aging adults with mobility issues have an even higher risk of developing feelings of depression and anxiety. Fortunately, there is a natural treatment that can help boost your mood.
You guessed it! Exercise.
Not only does physical activity naturally release our body’s feel-good chemicals (endorphins), it also improves brain function, even at the low-intensity level. Improved brain health combined with other benefits, like improved sleep and higher levels of energy, automatically increase our overall mood and happiness.
Not only can exercise reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, but it can also improve many other chronic conditions. The National Council on Aging reports that four out of five adults aged 50 and older suffer from at least one chronic condition. Some common conditions are chronic joint and back pain, diabetes, and arthritis. Medications often prescribed for these chronic conditions can add up quickly and become costly and inconvenient. These medications mostly focus on treating symptoms instead of root causes. They may even come with new symptoms of their own.
The incorporation of exercise can reduce and even eliminate the need for medication by naturally treating the causes of these conditions. Exercises that improve flexibility and strengthen muscle can aid in improving and eliminating joint and back pain, as well as arthritis. It can also improve cognition.
Including regular exercise into your lifestyle can significantly improve your quality of life and extend your lifespan. It is essential to consult with your doctor before adopting a new exercise regime. The benefits of adding consistent exercise to your daily life are well worth the effort. Thankfully, there are many physical activities to choose from that can not only fit into your routine but can also be very enjoyable.
(1) Harvard Health Publishing (June 2020) The secret to better health — exercise
(2) Heid, M (May 2017) You Asked: Is Intense Exercise Better For Your Health?