Getting older is inevitable, but aging can be an enjoyable experience leading to some of the most rewarding years of your life. It starts with a balanced lifestyle incorporating nutrition, socializing, mental care, and of course, physical activity. Now, we’re not saying it’s time to hit the gym and lift weights like you used to, but there are significant benefits to maintaining a physically active lifestyle as you age.

5 Reasons to Stay Active

  1. Better Brain Health—Exercise improves brain function & memory through multitasking and creativity which prevents memory loss and cognitive decline.
  2. Improve Mental Health—Better mood, better sleep, less stress, and lower anxiety levels have all been linked to a consistent exercise regimen.
  3. Lower Health Risks—Exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
  4. Injury Prevention—Consistent physical activity improves balance, muscle mass, and bone strength, which lessens the risk of falls or other musculoskeletal injuries.
  5. Reduce Depression Effects—Increased physical activity is said to lower depression rates in older adults by releasing dopamine into the bloodstream when exercising.

5 Tips to Get You Started

  1. Start Small—Don’t try to get in a full hour or two right at the start. Even 5 minutes of brisk walking per day will be beneficial.
  2. Don’t Compare—As we age, our strength and mobility may not be what it once was when we were younger! If you’re someone who used to be quite fit, resist comparing yourself to your old abilities or to others.
  3. Find a Friend—Exercise is so much more fun with someone else! Find a family member or friend who is also wanting more physical activity to exercise with you.
  4. Exercise Smart—Incorporate balance activities every day and strength training two times a week. It’s not about doing the most, but doing what’s best for your body.
  5. Be Mindful—If you’re anxious about exercise, focus on your breathing or the sound of your feet hitting the ground. Being present will help you feel more connected to your body and its unique needs.

Exercise and physical activity provide many benefits that can improve mental health and reduce the effects of depression, anxiety, and other cognitive disorders. When further assistance is needed, we’re here to help. Sana Behavioral Hospital is a welcoming facility for those who are struggling with mental health disorders and need a safe space. Get in touch by calling 928-227-3424 for more information.