It’s no secret that getting older makes people a little slower and doing everyday activities becomes more difficult. While older adults might not be as agile as they used to, it doesn’t mean they have to give up on physical exercise altogether. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise are two major ways to stave off chronic illnesses that are more prone in older adults.
Not only will physical exercise keep the body fit, but it keeps the mind alert. The issue that some seniors face is that they are worried that they will injure or harm themselves while doing physical activity, which is why a personal alarm watch is a great device for older adults who want to stay safe.
In this article I’m going to discuss:
– Reasons why exercise is important for seniors
– The dangers older adults face from doing physical activity
– How a personal alarm watch can benefit seniors who want to stay active
Reasons why exercise is important for seniors
As mentioned above, exercise improves mental and physical health, which allows seniors to maintain their independence as they age. Below are a few key reasons why exercise is necessary as we age.
Regular exercise reduces the chances of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It also improves immune function, which is important for seniors as their immune systems can deteriorate over time. Seniors don’t have to do vigorous exercise. Even light exercise, such as a 30-minute walk can reduce the risk of developing diseases.
Decreased risk of falls
According to the CDC in the US, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury for those aged 65 and older. Exercise can improve balance and coordination to reduce the risk of falls. It can also improve strength and flexibility to allow seniors to live a more independent lifestyle. Older adults take a lot longer to recover from falls as it can really shake their confidence, so exercising can lower the chances of falls occurring.
Exercise can be a social event and it’s important for seniors to maintain social ties. Connecting with other people can stave off loneliness or depression as it gives older adults a sense of purpose. Joining a walking group, gardening club or group fitness class are all good ways of engaging with other older adults.
The dangers older adults face from doing physical activity
For seniors who haven’t done exercise in a while, jumping back into it can be challenging due to their age. Below are a couple of dangers that older adults face doing physical activity and how they can overcome those challenges.
A major concern for older adults is that they are worried about injuring themselves, especially if they sustained injuries from playing sport when they were younger. This is understandable because as we age, we lose muscle and our ligaments become less flexible.
So how can older adults avoid injuries while playing sports or doing exercise? They should speak to a doctor to find out what they can and can’t do. Then they’ll be able to plan an exercise routine.
It’s also important to warm up and warm down after physical activity. When muscles are cold they are more prone to injury, which is why older adults should stick to light jogging or walking.
Exercise routines should also start off in short increments if the person hasn’t exercised in a long time. They could start with a quick 10 to 15-minute walk and gradually add on an extra 5 minutes a day when they start to build more confidence.
Another danger that older adults face is overexertion from exercise, which can cause pain, shortness of breath or high blood pressure. To avoid this, seniors should start off with some short exercises at home before going outside for more vigorous activity. There are plenty of aerobic videos online that they can watch to help them stay in shape without leaving the house.
Older adults should also avoid vigorous workouts outdoors during extreme weather conditions, such as hot or humid days. They should drink plenty of water and always warm up before exercising.
They should see a doctor if they feel disorientated, nauseous or dizzy after physical activity.
How a personal alarm watch can benefit seniors who want to stay active
A personal alarm watch is a great device for seniors who want to lead an independent and active life as it looks like a regular smartwatch. If an accident was to occur while a senior was exercising, they could push a button on the watch to get help quickly. Many of these medical type watches have in-built GPS, so the person can be easily located if they are unable to respond. The watch can send an alert to an emergency contact or emergency services, depending on how serious the situation is.
A personal alarm watch can give peace of mind to not only seniors but their families too.
By Karen Smith
Bio: Karen Smith has been working for MePACS as the Head of Sales and Marketing for the last four years and has over 20 years experience in health, technology, digital and finance industries.