It’s no secret that physical activity is a key to healthy aging. But it also will help you maintain your balance as you age.
Good balance is an essential part of your health in your senior years. For people aged 65 or older, falls are the leading cause of accidental death. One out of every three adults, 65 and older falls every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These falls can be dangerous.
Seniors suffer moderate or serious injuries in 20-30% of those falls. These injuries can include fractures, head injuries, and other wounds that may be life altering.
The Key to Helping Maintain Balance
For older adults, physical activity is essential to maintaining muscle strength and your balance. Muscle strength is directly connected to agility and avoiding falling.
People begin losing muscle mass in their 30s and it can accelerate in later years if people are less active. The reasons range from a reduction in nerve cells that send signals from the brain to the muscles to start movement, to decreasing hormones, and not getting enough protein to sustain muscle mass.
The CDC recommends these guidelines for adults who are age 65 and older:
- Exercise at least 150 minutes per week. This can be 30 minutes of exercise for 5 days of the week, for example. The exercise should be of moderate intensity such as brisk walking. Another option is 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity such as hiking, jogging, or running.
- At least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.
- Activities to improve a person’s balance. This can include standing on one foot for about 3 days a week.
If you have chronic health conditions that can hinder your ability to meet the CDC recommendations, you may have to improvise. For example, swimming or other similar exercises can be substitutes or walking, hiking, or jogging.
One real simple way to get at least some physical activity is simply to move. Get up, in other words. The CDC says that older adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity gain some health benefits. Any additional physical activity increases those health benefits.
A CARING-FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Senior living communities like Regency at Augusta Assisted Living & Memory Care are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life.
At Regency at Augusta, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!
If you believe a senior living community would benefit your loved one, get in touch with us. Schedule a visit or download a brochure today!