65 Reasons to Exercise if You’re Over 65

By Diana Larson, RN

As you age, your body undergoes certain changes, and you may find yourself making excuses for why you can’t exercise like you used to. Changes in mobility, flexibility, and joint stiffness may leave you feeling like exercise isn’t always possible. However, the benefits of exercise greatly outweigh the risks.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says adults should do 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Staying active and healthy should continue even as you move into the golden years. Below is a list of some facts about the benefits of exercise for older adults.

  1. It improves bone health, reduces depression, and helps maintain HDL “healthy” cholesterol. -Lisa Andrews
  2. It boosts memory and brain function, reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Exercise also keeps you feeling and looking young. -Beth Weinstein
  3. Exercise keeps you strong so you don’t lose the ability to do daily activities. -Jen Mueller
  4. Strength training can help preserve muscle mass and prevent a slowdown in metabolism. -Sarah Bright
  5. If you are physically fit, you will recover faster from illnesses. -Rachel Straub
  6. Weight-bearing exercises help strengthen bones and prevent pain from osteoporosis. -Sarah Ann Kelly
  7. Activity level usually drops after retirement. Staying active helps prevent heart disease and diabetes, diseases from a sedentary lifestyle. -Toby Amidor
  8. Do functional movements instead of isolation exercises, such as squats or bicep curls. -Cheryl Russo
  9. Prevent bone fractures and breaks by participating in exercise, such as weight training or jogging. -Mandy Enright
  10. We connect to our bodies and become more aware when we exercise. -Lisa Corsello
  11. Exercise improves joint mobility and flexibility. -Sarah Bright
  12. Exercising outdoors helps to increase Vitamin D levels, which strengthens bones. -JoAnn Yanez
  13. Exercise boosts mood and regulates sleep. -Lisa Corsello
  14. Look at daily activities that require assistance and target the body systems associated with it. -Cheryl Russo
  15. It decreases symptoms of depression.
  16. Exercise improves cognitive function and reduces the risk of developing dementia. -Rachel Straub
  17. Weakness and loss of balance are usually symptoms of inactivity, not old age. -Dr. Alicia Arbaje
  18. Improving balance helps prevent falls and accidents. -Sarah Ann Kelly
  19. Exercise can help speed up recovery after injury or surgery.
  20. Falls are the most common cause of injury for older adults, so do balance exercises to reduce your risk. -Sarah Bright
  21. Cardio exercises can prevent cognitive decline, lower blood pressure, and keep your weight balanced. -Treva Brandon Scharf
  22. Increasing your lean body mass can decrease your hospital stay. -Lisa Mikus
  23. Core conditioning improves balance. -Treva Brandon Scharf
  24. Keeping your legs and core strong help ease walking up and down stairs. -Cheryl Russo
  25. Exercise lowers systolic blood pressure. -JoAnn Yanez
  26. Building muscles counteracts metabolism slowdown.
  27. Weight-bearing exercise helps strengthen bone density. -Sarah Bright
  28. A regular exercise program has as much of an impact on your life as quitting smoking does.
  29. Any type of cardio and aerobic activity keeps the heart functioning. -Cheryl Russo
  30. Exercise helps keep you looking in good shape for date night. -Toby Amidor
  31. Exercise improves memory, strength, and balance. It helps people continue to be independent. -Angelique Millis
  32. It helps with digestive health.
  33. Muscle building exercise and balance exercise preserve bone loss and prevent falls. -Rachel Straub
  34. Exercising in groups or classes helps with promoting sociability and reduce depression. -Kat Haselkorn
  35. High fitness levels decrease causes of mortality, such as heart disease and cancer. -Rachel Straub
  36. It can limit the number of daily medications you need to take. -Maurice Williams
  37. All movement improves circulation. -Cheryl Russo
  38. Weight lifting improves muscle mass and helps the body burn fat. -Cheryl Russo
  39. Muscle mass deteriorates when we don’t regularly use our muscles. -Amira Lamb
  40. Resistance exercise and a protein-rich diet prevent muscle loss. -Laura Dilz
  41. Walking improves bone density and prevents osteoporosis. -Cheryl Russo
  42. Exercising sets an example for others in your life. -Lisa Corsello
  43. It strengthens our immunity and keeps the lymphatic system moving. -Amira Lamb
  44. After menopause, women lose bone mass and density, which is prevented by exercise. -Lisa Corsello
  45. Workout with partners and in classes to make it a social activity. -Treva Brandon Scharf
  46. Poor posture decreases lung capacity and can lead to respiratory illness. -Rachel Straub
  47. Exercise can reduce and control symptoms of chronic diseases. -Alex McBrairty
  48. Heart disease and diabetes can be prevented and reversed with exercise. -JoAnn Yanez
  49. A cardio and strengthening class that requires following an instructor helps the body and mind. -Cheryl Russo
  50. You feel happier and younger. -Treva Brandon Scharf
  51. Strength training helps prevent disability and further fosters independence. -Rachel Straub
  52. Exercise keeps you feeling independent and increasing your quality of life. -Alex McBrairty
  53. Exercise can decrease your chances of Alzheimer’s disease.
  54. Exercise allows you to keep up with your active grandkids. -Maurice Williams
  55. Walking and resistance training, and other weight-bearing exercises, keeps your bones and muscles strong. -Shane McLean
  56. Exercise mobilizes the joints and reduces pain and stiffness from arthritis. -JoAnn Yanez
  57. Finding classes with other older adults eases your transition into beginning exercise.
  58. Exercise prevents joint stiffness and increases mobility and fluidity to prevent injuries. -Sarah Ann Kelly
  59. Exercise builds stamina and physical capability. -JoAnn Yanez
  60. Balance exercises and focusing on core strength are important. -Cheryl Russo
  61. Joining a fitness class with friends keeps you motivated and you can meet new people. -Sarah Bright
  62. “You’re never too old to start building muscle.” -Franklin Antoian
  63. Flexibility staves off muscle deterioration and tears. -Cheryl Russo
  64. Exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system and lowers your cholesterol. This lowers your change of blood clots and heart attacks.
  65. “No matter what your age, you need to exercise.” -Cheryl Russo

Resources:

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=2163

Michel Gunn

Michel Gunn

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