Today’s seniors are living longer than ever. Why? Well, advances in medicines are making it easier for seniors to manage common chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension and more. Plus, more and more, seniors over 60 are dedicating themselves to staying socially and physically active as they age.
The Importance of Active Aging
Exploring new friendships, activities, hobbies and maintaining a regular exercise schedule is key to healthy aging. In fact, studies show that doing so can help seniors live longer, more independent lives. Here are some of the key benefits of staying active as you age.
- Protects from common illnesses. Studies show that seniors who are socially active also have healthier immune systems. As you age, maintaining a healthy immune system is key to fighting off common illnesses such as colds, as well as the flu, which in seniors can lead to serious complications such as the development of pneumonia.
- Keeps your heart healthy. Regular activity can help seniors maintain a healthy body weight and improve circulation, decreasing your risk for high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
- Gives your mood a boost. Maintaining active friendships as you age, as well as regular exercise, can help ward off feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. It can also ward off feelings of isolation, particularly in seniors who live alone.
- Provides a sense of purpose. Regularly engaging in social and physical activities give seniors something to look forward to. Something as simple as challenging yourself to join a new senior-friendly exercise class, or master a new hobby can provide a sense of purpose and boost self-esteem.
- Reduces risk of potentially dangerous falls. Moderate exercises such as walking, yoga, water aerobics and more can help seniors build muscle strength, improve flexibility, promote better balance and increase overall mobility.
- May help you live longer. Studies show that seniors who are regularly active may live up to 5 years longer than those who are sedentary. Additionally, staying social as you age may also increase overall lifespan according to researchers.
- Decreases risk of cognitive decline. Numerous studies have shown a link between staying active and the reduced risk of cognitive decline, as well as a decrease in the development of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
Easy Ways for Seniors to Stay Active as they Age
Episcopal SeniorLife Communities offers a variety of ways for seniors to stay active, no matter what their age. Neighborhood Programs offer exercise, fun and friendship to both ESLC residents and seniors living in the area. Each program is tailored to the desires of our members and helps seniors expand their social network through book clubs, nutrition classes, and more, while also providing senior-friendly exercise programs to build strength, endurance and balance.
Interested in learning more? Hear Eilleen Malloy-Desormeaux, Neighborhood Program Member, discuss how the Neighborhood Program has helped her to stay active and healthy. Then check out what each of our programs has to offer in your area.