Exercise is important for everyone, at any age. For those that want to slow down the aging process, it can be even more beneficial. In addition to creating stronger muscles and greater endurance, exercise has a variety of benefits on other parts of the body and even mental well being. When you are a caregiver for a senior relative, it is important to understand the benefits of exercise and how you can encourage your relative to participate.
Benefits of Exercise
There are the obvious benefits of exercise, including gaining more lean muscle mass, but there are others that many people do not realize.
- Keep the mind at ease – Anytime someone is worrying about something, it can be more difficult to eat, sleep and function in their daily life. Exercise, even if it is just a short 20-minute walk, can help to reduce the amount of stress, depression or anxiety that a person feels on a daily basis.
- Increase levels of endorphins – Sitting around the house, not participating in many activities can cause a person to become slightly depressed. In order to combat those feelings, you or your loved one’s in-home care provider should encourage moderate exercise to increase the levels of endorphins, reducing the likelihood of depression.
- Feel better – Regular exercise can elicit a feeling of overall well being. This can help anyone, especially seniors, feel good about themselves and believe in their own self-worth.
- Have more energy – Exercise also helps to boost general energy levels. Even if your loved one is reluctant because he or she does not have a lot of energy, encourage a slow start with the exercise program, even if it is just a few minutes a day. Before long, the endurance will pick up and energy levels will peak, making exercise fun rather than a chore.