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06/01/2021 Blog: Physical Fitness Key to Maintaining Health as We Age

For seniors, staying physically active has many mental and physical health

benefits. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), exercise:

● improves and maintains strength

● increases energy

● improves balance

● prevents or delays heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions

● perks up your mood and reduces depression

Exercise has been shown to stimulate our brains’ connection-making ability, which allows us to make new neural connections and maintain old ones. This has important benefits for memory, learning, and cognitive health.

Cardiovascular exercise, the kind that gets your heart rate up, is particularly great for your mental health.

According to health.gov, adults should aim for two-and-a-half hours of physical activity each week. This works out to about 20 minutes each day. You can take a walk, or participate in classes at your local gym or senior center.

Start slowly, and be sure to follow instructions from fitness instructors so you can prevent injuries. Learn more about the cognitive health benefits of exercise by clicking here.

Helping seniors stay active is one of the goals we promote through our Catholic Charities Senior Volunteer Program. Senior Companions can help older adults by encouraging activities like taking a walk, doing some simple exercises, or other physical activity. Volunteering as a Senior Companion has health benefits both for you and for the senior you take care of. The senior receives a better quality of life, while you have the benefit of knowing you helped make a difference in someone’s life. Learn more about volunteering
and apply by clicking here.