Exercise has long been touted for its numerous health benefits. Exercise can help one enjoy a strong immune system, large reserves of energy, and the advantage of feeling and looking good. Exercise has been said to prevent aging and delay the damage it does to our body. But would exercise still have the same beneficial effects for those who are already aged? What could be the benefits of exercise for the 60-plus man?
There are many misconceptions that prevent the elderly from enjoying the benefits of exercise in their twilight years. They may avoid exercise because they perceive that it is futile, that exercise would be meaningless for them who are already old. They may perceive that engaging in exercise activities would only put them into greater risk of injury. That they are too old and tired to try exercising, and that they would just get worn down more and accelerate their demise. They may have physical disabilities that prevent them from experiencing a wide range of motion, thus they see no benefit in even attempting to exercise.
Those who believe these misconceptions should see the truth; that exercise at whatever age can accrue numerous health benefits. Exercise, whether for the young, the middle aged or the elderly is sure to improve one’s life. Let us take a look at some of the many health benefits of exercise for the 60-plus man.
As a person ages, his metabolism gradually slows down. This leads to accumulation of fat, leading to obesity and other health disorders. A feeling of bloating, constant fatigue and lack of vigor characterize obese elderly men. Exercise helps burn those excess calories off that would eventually lead to weight loss which can help prevent the occurrence of many health concerns.
Aside from burning fat, exercise can also fine-tune the machinery of the body, making it more capable of performing daily tasks. Exercise in 60-plus men can lower incidences of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure and reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise can help strengthen their muscles and bones, preventing osteoporosis and muscle atrophy. Muscle and bone strength will also be beneficial in improving their mobility, flexibility and coordination to reduce their risk of incurring grave injury.
Aside from these great physical benefits, exercising can benefit the mental welfare of seniors. Exercise helps in prolonging their sleep as well as improving sleep quality. Engaging in exercise can also improve an elderly person’s mental well-being. It promotes a positive outlook in life, enhancing one’s self confidence, self-esteem and thinking. It also makes the brain active, increasing oxygen blood flow and enabling the elderly to avoid debilitating mental disorders.
Cardio exercises for seniors are sure to improve daily energy; rejuvenating them and making them feel young again. Strength training would enhance their ability to withstand and prevent injuries, making them more nimble, less clumsy, and more balanced and coordinated.
Exercises need not be tiring activities for seniors. Daily activities like walking, gardening and doing chores are already forms of exercise. Swimming, dancing and yoga are just some of the more low impact exercises the elderly may want to try to improve their health.
Exercise for the elderly induces many benefits. All that is needed is the willpower to start and try exercises that allow them to gradually improve their health. Growing old need not be and unhealthy prospect, and with the many benefits of exercise for the 60-plus man, it may lead not to a feeling of life slipping away, but of new life starting.
- Sarah Kovatch, M.F.A, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., (2010) Senior Exercise and Fitness Tips How to gain energy and feel stronger retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/life/senior_fitness_sports.htm