Why Is Leading a Sedentary Lifestyle Dangerous in the Senior Years?

Dangers of Leading a Sedentary Lifestyle in the Golden Years

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Many older adults don’t realize how unhealthy it is to spend most of their time sitting or lying down. According to the World Health Organization, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Here’s a quick look at just a few of the health issues that can be caused or worsened by an inactive lifestyle.

Bone Loss

Osteoporosis is very common among seniors. Some cases of osteoporosis are caused by genetic conditions, but older adults can strengthen their bones through exercise. Encourage your aging loved one to do muscle training exercises that increase the density of the bones. Dance classes are an excellent alternative to traditional weight training.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional senior home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Depression

Seniors are prone to depression, which makes regular exercise extremely important. While exercising, the body produces chemicals that boost happiness and balance hormones. Going for walks through the park or hikes out in nature will provide some much-needed sunlight as well. 

Obesity

Ongoing obesity could increase the risk of many different diseases and disorders. Extra body weight puts an incredible amount of pressure on the joints, heart, and lungs. To lose weight, your loved one should try to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day. The exercise can be something as simple as tending a garden or walking down the street for a cup of coffee.

A professional in-home caregiver can assist your loved one with exercise. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Columbia families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Type 2 Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, around 25 percent of all adults over the age of 65 have diabetes or prediabetes. Eating a healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to combat diabetes, but exercise plays a role as well. Older adults who haven’t exercised in a few years might enjoy low-impact activities such as swimming or riding a stationary bike. Some local senior centers even host community classes for those who haven’t exercised in a long time.

Insomnia

Chronic insomnia is one of the biggest risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Seniors should try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night, and exercising is one of the best ways to boost their circadian rhythms. Raising the heart rate and challenging the muscles at the same time every day helps the body stick to a strict sleep schedule. As a general rule, seniors shouldn’t exercise right before bed or after the sun goes down, as it could impact their sleep.

Certain Types of Cancer

Most experts agree regular exercise can reduce the risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancer. If your loved one doesn’t want to exercise alone, try to join him or her for a daily walk around the block or a few minutes of stretching at home. Your parent may need to start slowly to prevent injuries. Until your loved one is used to the exertion, he or she might only need to exercise for 5 or 10 minutes a day.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional care. Columbia, MD, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If you need professional home care for your aging loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care today at 443-233-1245.