Benefits of exercise for seniors include helping them maintain a healthy weight, slowing the progression of chronic diseases, enhancing their sleep experience, improving mood and increasing their mobility, flexibility and balance. Engaging in regular exercise is beneficial to older adults in a social perspective as it helps them become more independent, thus boosting their self esteem.
Although it is sometimes difficult for older adults to engage in regular exercise, experts advise that exercise is beneficial as it increases muscle strength and facilitates metabolism. Exercise is also beneficial for the elderly as it helps reduce blood pressure for those living with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. It also improves mood and feelings of well-being, which is important in building self-confidence. Exercise also helps to minimize joint pain and swelling in older adults suffering from arthritis.
Seniors can benefit from longer sessions of moderate physical activity, such as walking, or shorter durations of vigorous exercises, such as stair-walking or jogging. For even greater health benefits, seniors can increase the intensity, duration or frequency of the exercises. Because exercise increases the risk of injury, experts at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that older adults should seek medical clearance prior to starting any exercise program. Social support from family and friends is also important as it motivates one to stick to the exercise program.