According to the National Institute of Aging, there are four types of exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Improving these areas not only helps your physical health but your mental well-being as well. Here are some benefits and examples of why you should stay active, even during the colder months around the corner.
Supports Mental Health
According to the Administration for Community Living, staying active can drastically improve your brain health. Exercising just a few times a week can significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels by releasing feel-good endorphins, allowing you to feel calmer and more relaxed. It also increases your energy level and allows your body to burn its energy more efficiently. The extra pep in your step provides the endurance needed to do activities you love all day. Exercise also induces better quality sleep at night. If you struggle to sleep through the night, try exercising routinely to see if your sleep schedule improves over time.
Prevents Future Falls
Building endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility is also crucial for your overall physical well-being. Specifically, working on balance and strength can prevent future falls and help you move freely around your home, making aging in place easier and long-lasting. Improved physical and brain health allow you to live more independently and enjoy your day-to-day life to the fullest.
Exercises You Can Start Today
Need help finding simple ways to stay active? Walking, dancing, and tennis are just a few easy ways to spend time outside before the colder months set in. If you prefer to stay indoors once the temperature drops, yoga and stretching are great ways to develop your balance and strength while keeping moving.
Looking for easy exercises to get started? Here are 11 balance exercises from Healthline that you can try at home today: 11 Balance Exercises for Seniors
Safety Tips When Exercising
Most importantly, remember to exercise safely to prevent strained muscles or injuries. Listening to your body is crucial – do what feels right for you and do not push yourself too much. It is best to start with light exercise, such as walking around a park or shopping mall, before building up to more rigorous activity. Always remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water every day, whether you are exercising or not.
Remember to always be aware of your surroundings while doing any physical activity. Watch for floor hazards or anything else that may cause you to trip, fall, or stumble. Be sure to use safety equipment when necessary, such as a helmet for biking, or a chair or other item nearby to help keep your balance when stretching. If you are utilizing exercise equipment, read the instructions beforehand or consider consulting a pro to ensure your form is correct.
Your physical and mental health is important. Remember to prioritize both by safely working on your endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Start today and start reaping the benefits!