Posted on Jan 28, 2015
Research shows time and time again that the benefits of physical activity are long-lasting and impactful. The disadvantages, of, not exercising, have become more evident in recently published studies. In fact, in a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the lack of exercise is strongly associated with a higher occurrence of hospitalizations, development of diseases and death. The association between the lack of physical activity and adverse health outcomes is even higher in individuals who exercise the least, according to a ScienceDaily article about the recent study. According to this article, scientists were able to analyze the outcomes of 14 cardiovascular and diabetes disease studies, along with 14 cancer studies and various all-cause mortality studies. The senior author of the study is Dr. David Alter, Associate Professor of Medicine, at the University of Toronto. Aviroop Biswas, a Ph.D. candidate, was the lead author and is a researcher at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network.
In addition to the University Health Network study, physical activity helps modify lifestyle risk factors for those at risk for Alzheimer’s. The study titled, ‘Two-Year Clinical Trial of Multifaceted Lifestyle-Based Intervention Provides Cognitive Benefits for Older Adults at Risk of Dementia’, suggests physical activity is an important intervention in helping modify risks factors for Alzheimer's. The outcome of this study infers that physical activity along with dietary changes, cognitive training, and other wellness activities helps improved cognitive performance.
Tips to help seniors improve in their daily physical activities and exercises
The National Institutes of Health provides a list of four different types of exercise that older adults should include in their daily wellness plans: aerobic exercises, muscle strength exercises, strength exercises and flexibility exercises.
Daily aerobic exercises: these types of exercises help improve breathing, stamina and provide heart-health benefits. Encourage loved ones to get up from their chair, couch or seat if they tend to sit for long periods of time. If a senior loved one does not want to go outside alone, incorporate the assistance of a caregiver and a companion who can encourage and assist them in their daily walks. Examples of some great activities are the following: moderate walking, brisk walking, swimming exercises, along dancing and biking.
Muscle strength exercises: there is nothing wrong about having strong muscles. Strength exercises are just as important and balance and flexibility exercises. Try to include some light weights and resistance bands in daily activity routines. Include a caregiver if your senior loved one is a fall risk. Also, make sure to encourage both your senior loved one and the caregiver to document daily exercise progress. If seniors and older adults are inspired to document the time spent on a walk, they may be more apt to become more engaged in their daily activities.
Incorporate balance and flexibility workouts to help reduce falls. Yoga and Tai-Chi exercises may benefit some seniors who want to improve their flexibility and balance.
A recent study suggests that physical activity and exercise may reduce falls and promotes self-confidence in patients who are in the early stages of Parkinson’s. This study was published in Neurology®, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology. In addition, an article about the study was also published in ScienceDaily.
Senior Helpers of Orlando encourages seniors and older adults to participate in daily physical activities. Social interaction, exercise, healthy diet and brain-healthy activities are all interventions and factors that help improve the quality of life of all seniors and older adults.
If you are concerned that a senior loved one may need home health care assistance, please give us a call at 407-628-4357. We will be glad to assist you in caring for your loved ones.
Ana P. DeLane
Senior Helpers of Orlando Team Member
University Health Network (UHN); Sitting for long periods increases risk of disease and early death, regardless of exercise; published Jan. 19, 2015, in ScienceDaily; retrieved Jan. 26, 2o15, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150119171701.htm
AAIC Press Release; Two-Year Clinical Trial of Multifaceted Lifestyle-Based Intervention Provides Cognitive Benefits for Older Adults at Risk of Dementia, retrieved Jan. 26, 2015, from http://www.alz.org/aaic/releases_2014/mon-730pm-finger.asp
Exercise for Seniors; MedlinePlus; National Institutes of Health; retrieved Jan. 26, 2015, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/exerciseforseniors.html
Can exercise help people with Parkinson's disease? Published Dec. 31, 2015; ScienceDaily; retrieved Jan. 26, 2015, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141231153925.htm