Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Aging

Exercises for Seniors and the Elderly

by Vani

A study by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University showed that following a healthy lifestyle allows for a longer life, even for individuals who are already in their 70s.Senior-Citizen-exercise1

Published in the British Medical Journal, this study emphasizes that regular exercise, interacting with friends and family and abstinence from smoking are all habits associated with a longer life.

The importance of physical fitness as well as a healthy lifestyle for the elderly is thus self-evident. Following are some suggestions that shall help elderly people achieve the same.

Exercise Regularly

The President of the International Longevity Center, Dr. Robert N. Butler, has observed through various researches and studies that “if exercise could be put in a pill it would be the number one anti-aging medicine and the number one anti-depression medicine”. The question however is, what kind of exercise is suitable for aged individuals?

It goes without saying that the elderly people must consult a physician before adopting any fitness regime. If one is in good health though, here are some exercises that may be suitable for the aged.

  1. Begin with some simple stretches such as neck rotations, neck-stretches and the classic sideways bend.
  2. To correct and enhance body balance, practice side walking, heal-to-toe walking and the one-leg stand.
  3. For building muscle strength, try out some simple, low-intensity strength exercises; these would include sideways leg-lifts, mini-squats and bicep curls with light dumbbells, perhaps 1-1.5kgs.

Whenever performing any of these exercises, ensure there is someone around to help out, and make sure you never exercise in an empty house.

Improve Your Lifestyle

1. Alter Your Diet

An ageing body calls for a change in an otherwise casual, unmonitored diet. Keep some facts in mind. According to the National Institute of Aging, America, an adult over 50 has the following dietary needs:

Females: physically inactive – 1600 calories, somewhat physically active – 1800, very active – 2000 calories.

Males: physically inactive – 2000 calories, somewhat physically active – 2200-2400, very active – 2400-2800 calories.

More important than the amount of calories, however, is where you’re getting these calories from. Increase the intake of fruits, vegetables, calcium, grains and proteins (in that order). Drink plenty of water and add Vitamin B and D to your diet. Avoid sodium, sugar and oil-rich foods.

  1.  Quit Bad Habits Such As Smoking

A study featured in JAMA’s Archive of Internal Medicine found that elderly patients have a higher mortality rate due to smoking and quitting is associated with lower mortality risk in the aged.

In layman’s terms, smoking is bad – it kills, and shortens one’s lifespan considerably. So, if you’ve not quit yet, and have lived through middle-age, now may be a good time to stop.

Here are your options:

  1. You may go in for a suitable form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NPT).
  2. If you have been a heavy smoker, E-cigarettes may perhaps be the most suitable technique, for they re-create the experience of smoking without release of toxic fumes.
  3. Other than NPT, you can go in for counseling or medication to wean yourself off of harmful cigarettes.

Links to Studies Used:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20120830/healthy-living-old-age-can-add-up-to_6-years
  2. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Depression/story?id=117946&page=1#.Ubg0wueSCE9
  3. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0201/p419.html
  4. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246556.php

About the Author

Vani is a professional blogger with a passion for writing about the health niche. She currently blogs for one of the most trusted online review sites for e-cigarettes—E-cigarettereviewed.com.

 

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Recovering The Self is a forum for people to tell their stories. Individual contributors accept complete responsibility for the veracity, accuracy, and non-infringement of their reporting.
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