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How to increase activity levels in older adults

No matter the age, lack of regular physical activity can lead to serious chronic diseases and the older you get, the more serious these problems can become. As the body gets older, not maintaining a constant physical activity can lead to stroke, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, weight control issues as well as hypertension or even cancer. It’s no wonder that regular workouts and an improved blood oxygenation are linked with a decrease in the risks of having all the above-mentioned illnesses. So, what are the steps you can follow as an older adult to make sure you keep your mobility? We’ve put together a list of the benefits you get from staying active. And in this article, you’ll find some activities that should help you stay healthy.

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Benefits of Being Active as an Older Adult

Keeping Your Mind Healthy

Adults that are still physically active show a lower risk of cognitive function decline or depression. Recent studies have found clear links between the level of physical activity and the probability of developing diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

It’s Not Just the Mind That Benefits from Physical Activity

You know how it goes, “Mens sana in corpore sano”, right? Well, the ancient Romans knew what they were talking about. Staying active will benefit your body as well as the mind. The life expectancy is greater for people that exercise at least once a week. Even though a clear link wasn’t proven scientifically, the risks of several types of cancer are also lower for those that have an active life.

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What Can You Do to Stay Active?

For most adults, after they reach retirement, it seems that maintaining physical activity is almost impossible. Actually, that’s not true at all and setting up an activity schedule is very simple, especially with all the spare time you get, not working 8 hours a day anymore. So, here are some ideas that should help you stay mobile even at an older age.

Go for Some Outside Fitness

Most elder people get scared when they hear about fitness, thinking it’s something very hard that requires a lot of effort and energy. However, going for a brisk walk can be considered as a fitness activity as well. It’s also good to do some exercises such as light lunges or push-ups, whatever you feel comfortable with. The important part is to keep your muscles working and, of course, your blood oxygenated.

Make a List of Chores

It’s true, retirement can be quite a boring part of your life and you might easily become a victim of sedentarism. However, there are a lot of simple ways to avoid such a situation and maintain a decent level of daily activity. Doing chores is a great example of staying active while doing something useful at the same time. No matter if it’s mowing the lawn, shopping for household products or building a bench or swing for your grandkids, these are all perfect examples of how to keep yourself active. And it’s not a lot of effort either, even if you’re suffering from a mobility impairing illness such as arthritis or high blood pressure, you can still do most of the chores.

Get a Dog

You know how they say that a dog is man’s best friend, right? Well, that saying doesn’t only refer to its loyalty towards its owner. Having a dog sets a daily routine that involves a lot more movement and activity. Either if it’s taking your dog out for a walk or simply playing with your beloved four-legged friend at home, it’s all physical activity.

And that’s not all! Besides being more active and getting a lot more movement than a person without a pet, having a dog has a whole set of other positive effects. It seems that dogs have their way of making us calmer and less anxious, leading to low stress levels and a decrease in toxins in the blood. So, start thinking about getting a dog right away.

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Babysit

It’s part of the grandparent job description anyway so being a babysitter shouldn’t be a new activity for an older adult at all. Taking care of children can be a very good option for maintaining mobility and involvement. Sure, it can be stressful too, however, love overcomes everything, right? Lifting the baby up, changing a diaper or simply holding them while they walk means a lot of activity that you wouldn’t get normally. Plus, it’s a sure way of getting along with your kids so it’s a win-win situation.

So, maintaining an active lifestyle even after retirement isn’t such a hard thing to achieve. You simply need to find the good tweaks that work for you and you’re all set. Sure, you might need some help from a baby or a dog every now and then but as long as you keep moving, it’s all good.

About the author: William Benetton is photographer and writer, loves to travel around our huge world and loves to share ideas about health and meet new people. He visited a lot of countries and wants to share his experience. William can’t live without football, traveling and morning coffee.

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