In the past I’ve written about ways to keep seniors active and tools to keep a senior mobile but I haven’t delved into why it is important to keep active as we get older. A lot of aging is unavoidable. As an elder law attorney I speak with many seniors who have been affected by the passage of time. Sadly many of my clients also don’t have much to do after they have retired and their children have grown and started families of their own. Research is showing us that maintaining a physician-approved active lifestyle in our golden years not only keeps us from being bored but can help increase our lifespan, reduce the risks for cognitive issues, increase our emotional states, and actually help us get more sleep.
Keeping Active Keeps Your Brain Healthy
According to a study published in the Archive of Neurology, physical activity in people over the age of 65 can provide protection from mental decline like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The study also mentions that as long as the senior is not overworking themselves, the activity they take part in does not matter. Almost any activity is good including golf, swimming, yoga, taking a walk or just doing stuff around the home. The study also mentions that taking part in less strenuous activities, like the hobbies that I wrote about a couple months ago, also seems to cause a reduction in mental decline.
Staying Active Keeps You Happier
Through our lives at work and raising a family we all maintain a network of relationships. As we get older we lose touch with friends and our kids grow up. Keeping our network of friends becomes harder. The good news is that if we take part in a social activity, it usually means that we are spending time with other people. A paper by the Rochester Institute of Technology points out that social support, when coupled with physical health, can improve the mental health of everyone, not just seniors. Basically a healthy level of activity can increase our social support network which also keeps us happier and mentally healthy.
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