Did you know that regular physical inactivity can play a major role in many age-related declines in the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems? However, physical activity helps to maintain those systems and can often prevent injury and the need for medical treatment. When treatment is required, it can even help to improve recovery times.
Other systems – cardio-respiratory, vascular, metabolic, endocrine and immune – all benefit from regular physical activity, too. Exercise greatly reduces risk factors for coronary artery disease, the nation’s leading cause of death, and may also prevent the development of, or effectively treat, diseases such as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, colon cancer, peripheral vascular occlusive arterial disease, arthritis and hypertension. Regular exercise reduces body fat stores, increases muscle strength and endurance, strengthens bones, and improves mental health.
As we age, many of us experience decreased muscular strength and reduced functional capacity. This weakness and frailty are associated with accidental falls, a major cause of morbidity in the aged, often leading to institutionalization and even death.
Although the biochemical and physiological processes associated with aging aren’t fully understood, both research findings and extensive clinical experience strongly suggest that regular exercise may protect us from the hazards of aging. Clearly, regular exercise and other forms of physical training can help extend the time that older individuals can continue living independently.
Are you active? Or could you use a little jumpstart on your physical activity? Either way, take a moment stop by the Wellness Center, and see what we have to offer.
Even if you’ve visited the Wellness Center before, maybe it’s time to come back and check out what we have to offer. You don’t have to use a personal trainer if you don’t want to, but they are here to help. We can all try to increase our levels of physical activity to benefit our health. Just remember to start off at a range of physical activity that works for you. If you are unsure what a good range is, you can ask a personal trainer at the Wellness Center or your doctor to come up with a plan for you to get the most out of your physical activities.