senior exercise

5 Myths about Aging & Exercise Debunked

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Even if you no longer believe in Santa Claus, you may still believe these 5 top myths about aging and exercise.

After all, there’s a ton of information out there, it can be conflicting, vague and overwhelming. So let’s debunk these 5 aging & exercise myths once and for all.

As we age, the importance of having an active lifestyle increases. Having a regular exercise routine is key for boosting energy levels, managing pain, treating illness and maintaining autonomy.

In addition to physiological advantages, exercise is essential for our psychological well-being, as it benefits the mind, memory, and mood.

The following five myths pertaining to exercise as we age may contribute to the tendency toward its decline over time.

I’m going to age whether I exercise or not, so what’s the point?

While it’s true that exercise cannot prevent aging altogether, it can most certainly slow it down, and even reverse some signs and symptoms. Participating in cardio and strength training helps us to feel and look younger, and even live longer.

There’s a saying, “use it or lose it,” which applies to our level of activity as we age.

This statement is supported by Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson in his health blog. He states that physical activity is directly correlated with longevity.

While genetics contribute to approximately 20-30% of our expected longevity, the other 70-80% is based upon our level of activity, as determined through twin studies.

Recent studies in The American Journal of Medicine and British Medical Journal have shown that those with larger amounts of muscle mass and physical aptitude live longer.

This is due to the fact that as we age, we typically lose one pound of muscle mass per year after age 20. The muscle is then replaced with fat cells. This is why it is important to actually increase our level of activity (rather than decrease it) over time as we age. In order to keep the muscle mass we have, we must regularly use our muscles; preventing this gradual loss over time

Older people should rest, save their energy, and not exercise.

This is a very unhealthy myth to own. In case the above paragraphs haven’t convinced you, HelpGuide.org states that those aged 50 and up face serious health risks due to inactivity, such as increased pharmaceutical use, more frequent doctor and hospital visits, and an inability to do things they once could.

Exercise can increase my risk of falling.

It is actually the opposite. Exercise prevents bone loss, and builds strength and balance -thus, reducing the risk.

I’m too old to start exercising.

It’s never too late to form healthy behavior patterns. The best way to start is through making small changes to daily habits, such as walking more, taking the stairs, doing things by hand a machine used to (like dishes) and keeping a routine for the next 3-4 weeks, so that it becomes habitual. A good model for improving physical health is to start with some cardio, then to gradually add weights and flexibility/balance exercises. Activities such as water aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are useful in helping seniors achieve and maintain better health.

I’m disabled, I can’t exercise.

While being disabled and/or wheelchair bound presents challenges, it’s still possible to get exercise. Things such as stretching, lifting weights and even chair yoga can help increase the heart rate. Resistance bands are often useful in wheelchair bound exercises. For those who do not own weights or resistance bands, cans of soup may be used instead.

 

The recipe for greater health and longevity is now yours. It is important to remember that exercise should not hurt, and it is best to consult your doctor before beginning a new regimen. Assistance while increasing your activity is always here for you. Give us a call to learn more about in-home care.

 


The Active Senior Lifestyle in Phoenix

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It’s a new year and as always, people think about what changes they can make to live the active senior lifestyle in Phoenix. Time for the famous New Years Resolution!

Whether you want to focus on better nutrition, losing weight, or quitting smoking, one of the best resolutions is to invest in your health. As a senior, it may be more difficult to incorporate activities and exercise into your lifestyle, but the more active you are, the better you will feel. Now that we are in perfect weather mode here in Phoenix, there is no better time to take up a new activity or re-visit an old hobby. We compiled a short list of activities in the Phoenix area so you can start the New Year with an active senior lifestyle.

Hiking Trails in Phoenix

Hiking is one of the most delightful ways to get some exercise and a fresh dose of nature.  The Phoenix area has many hiking trails, so here are some easy to moderate trails to get your hiking regimen started and kickstart your active senior lifestyle.

Lost Dog Wash Trail 

North Trail

Tortilla Creek Loop

Golf Paradise

Phoenix is full of golfing options, and there is no better time than the winter and spring seasons to take advantage of them and help maintain your active senior lifestyle. From world-renowned golf courses to automatic driving ranges to miniature golf, Phoenix has all types of golfing opportunities to suit your skill-level and mood.

Golf Courses

Troon North Golf Club

Stone Creek Golf Course 

Driving Range and Miniature Golf

Cracker Jax 

Jambo! 

The active senior lifestyle in Phoenix is encouraged by MD Home Health

 Ballroom Dancing

One of the best ways to stick with you active senior lifestyle and have fun is ballroom dancing. Learn some Dancing With the Stars moves and twirl around the dance floor while getting a great workout and meeting some new people. The Phoenix Chapter USA Dance is a great resource to find events, classes, and senior dancing groups in the Phoenix area.

Arizona Senior Olympics

If you are into competition and want to test your skills, consider signing up for the Arizona Senior Olympics. The annual event is held on February 16- March 10, and includes many diverse sports such as archery, bowling, road race, tai chi, swimming and dance.

For more information about the active senior lifestyle in Phoenix, MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, rate quotes, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us via: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.