Improve Mobility and Balance with Regular Exercise
As we age, our mobility and balance often suffers. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in three elderly individuals falls each year. Falls are the leading cause of injury among adults 65 and older and often lead to the need for in home senior care services. So how can you increase your mobility and balance?
Regular exercise and physical activity are two of the easiest ways to increase your mobility and prevent falls. It is important to note that regular exercise differs from physical activity. Exercise is a planned, structured and repetitive form of physical activity like aerobics, weight training or yoga. Physical activity is the act of getting moving in your daily life. Physical activity includes simple things like taking a walk, gardening or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. For the best results, combine a regular exercise routine with plenty of physical activity.
The benefits of regular exercise and activity are numerous. Regular exercise helps your immune system to function more efficiently making it easier for you to recover from illness. Your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure diminish with regular exercise. If you’re worried about bone density and osteoporosis, exercise can help. Exercise protects against decreases in bone density and can prevent falls. Even chronic diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and colon cancer benefit from regular exercise. The benefits go on and on. The key is to get moving.
So what kind of exercise should you engage in?
A combination of cardio, strength training and stretching is ideal to improve mobility. Just 30 minutes a day of cardiovascular exercise can make a significant difference in your overall health and mobility. If you’re having trouble getting started, break that 30 minutes down into three 10 minute segments. Make it manageable and in a few weeks you will start to see your endurance increase.
Strength training increases muscle mass, can help to improve balance and prevent loss of bone mass. You don’t have to join a gym or get a trainer to engage in strength training. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home using the floor, walls or furniture for resistance.
Stretching improves flexibility and can help to prevent injury when exercising or in daily activities. Activities like yoga and Pilates provide the type of stretching that is beneficial to the body.
Before you being any exercise routine, it is important to consult your doctor. Be sure to discuss all your health concerns and the type of exercise program you would like to start. Start slow and get moving. In the long run, you will see many benefits and will be more active and independent.