Exercise offers multiple benefits to health and fitness. No doubt, it is particularly beneficial for maintaining a good physique, aerobic capacity and optimal body weight. For elders exercising is more important because it adds years to their lifespan by promoting an active lifestyle and evading the onset of several chronic ailments including diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer.
Apart from taking care of physical health, exercise offers an amazing benefit – it boosts the mental health in seniors! This is particularly interesting because of the alarmingly increasing rates of anxiety and depression in the older population thanks to a modern lifestyle with poor diets, social isolation, monetary focus and inactivity.
By exercising, the body stimulates the secretion of the natural hormones called endorphins and enkephalins. This makes the mind happy and relaxes it and aids it in tackling the prevailing problems of real-life better. Exercises also provide the much-needed break from thinking and focusing on challenges and concerns and damaging effects of self-talk. Additionally, there are also exercises that help in calming the mind, energizing the body and socializing with their peers.
Elders who cannot be completely independent or need some assistance can, therefore, choose to engage the option of Home Healthcare for Seniors to help them in doing exercises and physical activities. Particularly, Geriatric Physiotherapy Services offer innumerable advantages to elderly patients who are suffering from falls, fractures, disabilities, impairments, mobility constraints or are recuperating from surgery or hospitalization.
Advantages of Exercises on Mental Well-Being
- Doing exercises helps in improving the blood circulation in the body and increasing the brain volume in certain areas. In particular, it promotes the neuron growth and connections in the hippocampus which is the part of the brain that regulates emotions, raises memory power and enhances the learning capacity.
- The process of aging is slowed down by exercising. It also substantially reduces the risk of depression and provides a natural healing intervention to a range of mental conditions like cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, nervous breakdown and schizophrenia.
- Exercises also safeguard the mental health by raising the cognitive flexibility and prevent unwanted and embarrassing repetitive behaviours, build processing and acknowledging capabilities of the brain and foster an optimistic mindset and attitude.
- Elders who exercise regularly have a better sense of well-being and self-esteem as they feel more energetic during the day and sleep soundly at night.
- The positive impact of exercising is also evident in treating chronic mental depression which is a common complaint in many seniors. Actually, exercises are effective and natural anti-depressant medications for relieving the symptoms and avoiding the relapse of depression without any side-effects.
- The physical activity done during exercises induces better sleep in seniors as it increases the body temperature thereby calming the mind and also regulates the circadian rhythm that controls the sleep cycles.
- The body’s central and sympathetic nervous systems are catalyzed to better communicate with each other by doing exercises. This helps counteract the hazards of mental anxiety and stress. Besides this, exercises also increase the heart rates which in turn reverse the damaging effects of stress on the brain by producing neurohormones like norepinephrine. This hormone is responsible for elevating moods and cognition and rejuvenating the thinking capabilities.
- Swimming, aqua jogging, water aerobics and push-ups are some popular water exercises for seniors. They provide a safe way for reducing suffering joint pain and osteoporosis and are very helpful in improving muscle strength, blood circulation and the risk of falls. These exercises offer an enjoyable and fun-filled opportunity for seniors having various levels of abilities due to chronic conditions like arthritis, hypertension, hearing and vision problems, orthopaedic issues and heart or lung diseases.
Thus exercises offer a promising healing route for senior’s mental well-being by helping them to regain independence and be proactive to take responsibility for their health!