Submitted by Lutheran Hillside Village
Staying active is important for anyone but it’s especially important as people age. While staying active isn’t always easy, it is important as regular activity helps combat health conditions and diseases, maintain weight, and improve mood.
Being active can be made easier when there is a group to join or someone to guide older adults through activities that would be the most helpful. Older adults who live in senior living communities, such as Lutheran Hillside Village, a Lutheran Senior Services Life Plan Community in Peoria, Illinois, have these things and more available to them. Studies have shown that older adults who live in senior living communities, especially Life Plan Communities, are more active than older adults who live on their own. Read on to learn a few reasons why staying active is important as people age.
Five Reasons Why Seniors Should Stay Active
The first thing Joy Grove, Director of Community Wellness at Lutheran Hillside Village, says about the importance of staying active is: A body in motion stays in motion.
“Staying active is important for mental health and social wellbeing because it keeps mind and body growing,” said Grove. “Older adults need to be as active as their body allows.”
Cardiovascular health, improved mobility, greater strength, increased bone density—these are all benefits seniors can see from being more active. Increasing activity is good, but it’s also important for older adults to do so safely and remind mindful of any modifications they may need to make for their own abilities.
Staying Active Improves Cardiovascular Health
Cardiovascular health is the health of the heart and blood vessels. So, keeping the cardiovascular system healthy is very important.
“Daily cardio is something older adults should be doing,” said Grove. “Cardio activities look different for different abilities but it’s just getting heart rate up whether that’s walking or getting arms moving a little quicker.”
Grove suggests aqua classes as a good way for older adults to get in cardio because being in the water is beneficial for joints.
Exercising Maintains Body Weight
Metabolism can slow down as people age. Meaning that physical activity is important in helping to maintain a healthy weight. Staying at a healthy weight for one’s age, build, and activity level plays a vital role in overall health and preventing problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and breathing problems.
While it’s important to find an activity to help keep moving, older adults should also have a conversation with their doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Working Out Encourages Strength and Bone Density
As people age, muscle loss is common. But keeping strong is key to living as independently as possible and being able to participate in everyday activities. Resistance exercises are an easy way to build up strength.
“Adding some resistance to your activities is good,” said Grove. “We use resistance bands or two to three pound hand weights during our strength exercises. If older adults are exercising at home and do not have hand weights, they can use water bottles or soup cans.”
Bone density can also lessen as people grow older. Exercise can help to increase bone density and protect older adults from fractures.
Coordination Exercises Prevent Falls
Because falls can be more serious for older adults, it’s especially important to prevent them. Balance exercises can help older adults increase their balance potentiality preventing falls in the future.
Exercises that focus on improving balance help older adults to be steadier on their feet and help with better coordination—two things that can prevent falls.
Social Activity Promotes Mental Health
“We also do tons of other activities that focus on social, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing,” said Grove. “Things like Bible study classes and trivia night.”
The focus on all areas of wellness is critical to one’s overall wellbeing. Social wellness activities promote mental health. Being part of a community and having positive interactions with other people make people feel good! As people age, it’s especially important for them to find opportunities to be part of a community and be socially active.
Not only does Lutheran Hillside Village offer activities to keep older adults active, but there’s a new space where many of these activities take place—the Wilson Wellness Center. The wellness center includes a saltwater pool, walking track, exercise and fitness rooms, beverage bar, and much more.
Embrace Active Aging
Lutheran Hillside Village encourages active living for older adults in alignment with the LSS mission of Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest. At Lutheran Hillside Village, residents of all levels of living from Independent Living to Assisted Living to Long Term Care find opportunities to be well in many ways.
Lutheran Hillside Village, a Lutheran Senior Services Life Plan Community located in Peoria, Illinois, offers a variety of services and amenities and a robust calendar full of activities and educational opportunities for all residents. Lutheran Senior Services is built on a 160-year tradition of service excellence. As part of the Lutheran Senior Services family, Lutheran Hillside Village has the support and stability to ensure they’ll be here to take care of residents’ needs long into the future. To visit Lutheran Hillside Village and see our Life Plan Community, which offers all levels of living, call 309.689.9605.
For additional informative and inspirational articles, visit 50 Plus News and Views Greater Peoria Area online edition today.