By: ProHealth WWH Fitness Staff
Today is National Senior Health & Fitness Day®. The purpose of this day is to promote the importance of regular physical activity and to show what local organizations are doing to improve the health of older adults in their communities. Many communities host local events that may include walking events, low-impact exercises, health screenings, and health information workshops.
Why is fitness important for seniors?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity “can prevent or delay many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.”
Benefits of Fitness for Seniors from the National Council on Aging
Prevents Bone Loss: Strength training has been shown to counteract bone loss and restore bone density. Stronger bones lead to fewer fractures and support balance.
Relieves Osteoarthritis Pain: Moving more can help lessen the pain and stiffness of arthritis. Exercise takes the pressure off aching joints by strengthening the surrounding muscles and may also help ease joint inflammation.
Helps Prevent Chronic Disease: Exercise provides a protective effect against a host of chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. If you already have a chronic condition, physical activity can minimize symptoms.
Improves Mood: Exercise can help ease anxiety and depression symptoms, increase relaxation, and increase overall well-being.
CDC recommendations for adults aged 65 and older:
• At least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking. Or they need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running.
• At least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.
• Activities to improve balance, such as standing on one foot.
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