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The Surprising Benefits of Exercise

Friday May 22, 2020

Walking Shoes - The Benefits of Exercise for Those with Dementia and Seniors

In these uncertain times when we are all confined to our homes, we try to fill our days with engaging activities that will pass the time and minimize stress, anxiety, and worry. Although board and word games are a great way to pass the time, we must not forget good ol exercise! Daily physical activity is important for strengthening our bodies and minds. Studies show that exercise plays a central role in our overall physical and mental health.

Did you know?

  • Exercise reduces the risk of heart-related illnesses, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Exercise increases strength, which in turn promotes safe mobility and decreases the risk for falls.
  • Exercise promotes healthy bones and joints.
  • Exercise decreases the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It fosters a better mood and sense of wellbeing.
  • Exercise reduces joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.
  • Exercise increases bowl motility and decreases instances of constipation.

Exercise does NOT have to be weightlifting 50 pounds or a 100 yard dash. For seniors and/or those with many health concerns and limitations, exercise may include activities like walking to the mailbox, walking around the block, or simple chair yoga. Remember to consult your doctor before beginning a new physical activity program.

Even the most simple activities can increase movement and encourage positive engagement between you and your loved one. Also, exercise can be fun! We all need some fun in the midst of a crazy, changing world.

Where should you start? We suggest pushing away any tripping hazards and putting on a favorite song. (We suggest “These Boots Were Made for Walking.” It’s been stuck in my head the whole time I’ve been writing this post!) Then, dance like nobody’s watching. Seriously… we’re in quarantine, so nobody is watching. It’s dancing time! So please, make time to put on those boots and get to walking, dancing, and moving.