Senior Health (cont.)
In this Article
- What are some common facts about health in seniors?
- What changes occur in the body as we age?
- What are the most common diseases and conditions seniors face as they age?
- How can social issues affect the life and health of seniors?
- What are lifestyle changes seniors can make to lead a healthy life as they age?
- What role does diet play in senior health?
- Is exercise important in health of the elderly?
- What are some of the routine medical tests for seniors?
- What are important safety measures for the elderly?
- What are some concerns regarding hospitalization of the elderly?
- What is a hospitalist, and where is my regular doctor?
Is exercise important in health of the elderly?
Regular physical activity and exercise can help manage or even prevent a variety of health problems in the elderly.
Heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, certain cancers, depression, and stroke are some the common medical conditions which routine physical activity and effective exercising may greatly benefit the patient.
Some of the numerous health benefits of exercise for seniors include:
- Weight maintenance and burning excess calories
- Improving the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol
- Building up physical endurance
- Optimizing health of the heart, lung, and vascular system
- Better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues
- Maintaining bone and muscle health
- Reducing fall risks and arthritis
- Mood enhancement
- Better sleep quality and duration
Regular exercise 3-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes is strongly advised for seniors. An effective exercise is one which would increase the heart rate adequately to about 75% of maximum heart rate. A person's maximum heart rate is roughly calculated by subtracting age from the number 220.
Walking, swimming, and exercise machines are generally safe and can help achieve these goals. Balance exercises, flexibility exercises, and resistance exercises (weight lifting) can also be beneficial.
As a general precaution, if symptoms such as chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, or fainting or dizziness occur during or after exercising, it is important for the individual to stop the exercise and notify their physician promptly.
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