Exercise. For some it’s a word that doesn’t invoke much joy. This can be especially true for older adults with chronic illnesses that make physical activity difficult. However, exercise is an important part of staying in good health. If the thought of exercise makes your aging relative cringe, there’s good news! A new study shows that even a little exercise can make a difference in lowering the risk of death from multiple causes.
About the Study
The study was a collaborative effort between researchers in the United States and China. There were 88,140 people aged 40 and older involved. The participants had responded to yearly surveys called the National Health Interview Surveys. The data was from 1997-2008. In addition to information gathered using the surveys, they also obtained data from national death registers through the year 2011. By comparing the data from these two sources, researchers determined:
- When compared to inactive people, those who did just 10-59 minutes of leisurely activity (gardening, dancing, walking, etc.) per week lowered their risk of death by 18 percent.
- Engaging in 150-299 minutes of moderate activity resulted in a 31 percent decrease in risk.
- 1,500 minutes or more of leisurely activity yielded a 46 percent reduced risk of death.
- More than 1,500 minutes of activity did not provide much more of a benefit.
The results of the study are significant because they show the importance of even small amounts of exercise to overall health. The support helping your aging relative to be even a little more active than they currently are.
Small Spurts Count Toward the Big Goal
The minimum recommended amount of exercise per week for older adults is a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes. According to current national guidelines regarding exercise, even 10 minutes of activity at a time counts toward that goal. That’s good news for seniors because it means they don’t have to overexert themselves to complete an hour workout to get the benefits. Instead, they can exercise for 10 minutes three times a day with periods of rest in between.
- Senior care can help your aging relative to exercise in 10-minute spurts. Some ideas for short exercise activities a senior care provider can do with older adults are:
- Going for a walk around the block.
- Dancing around the living room.
- Playing an active video game.
- Throwing a ball for the dog.
Senior care providers can also help older adults to exercise in longer segments. If your older family member is interested in taking a fitness class or swimming at the local pool, a senior care provider can drive them to the facility. Senior care providers can also monitor older adults while they exercise at home to make sure they stay safe.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Laurel, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare Billings today at 406-839-2390.