4 Benefits of Exercising Over 50
People over the age of 50 often feel crunched for time due to work, children, aging parents and a host of life situations. Finding time to exercise is often last on the list of priorities for this group, but there are many good reasons to move exercise to the top of that list.
At this age we begin to accelerate the loss of bone mass; women's estrogen levels decline, increasing the risk of cardiac disease and osteoporosis; and our metabolism slows, making weight management more difficult. Exercise has many benefits which can combat those changes and, putting the icing on the cake, reduce stress. Michael Cooper, MD, a cardiologist at Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare, explains it clearly:
"Regular exercise prevents many of the medical problems associated with aging including developing type II diabetes and developing insulin resistance. It can facilitate weight loss which can help prevent and treat high blood pressure, type II diabetes and high cholesterol. All of these problems contribute to cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes. Exercise needs to be part of your normal routine and needs to be done 5-6 days per week."
When asked about combining exercise and diet to reduce the risk of developing medical problems, Dr. Cooper said, “If you combine regular exercise with a prudent diet, it's one of the best ways to minimize the number of medications you need to take as you grow older. Changing your lifestyle can sometimes prevent needing insulin in those with type 2 diabetes.”
There are many benefits to exercise and those benefits become even more important as we age, so get out there and exercise, everyone! It will keep you:
- Moving longer
- Reduce your risk of disease
- Reduce the number of medications you need
- Keep you happy and healthy.
And who would say no to those perks?
About the Author
Marti Smith, PT, Physical Therapist at Cone Outpatient Cancer Rehab