Exercise as preventative medicine
While it is well-known that exercise is necessary for a healthy body and aging, few seniors realize physical activity might have an even greater effect than prescription medicines. According to new studies, exercise is widely regarded as the best prevention against disease and illness.
Better than prescriptions
Recent studies have shown that regular exercise might be better at treating certain diseases than prescription drugs. Seniors with chronic illnesses like diabetes might find it hard to get moving at first. However, the payoff of senior fitness can be enormous, even eliminating some symptoms.
Other studies have shown that exercise is a way to relieve pain and reduce the risk of death after a stroke or heart attack. As a preventative method, exercise can work as well as medicine. In addition to working against illnesses and making a person healthier, those who exercise regularly can see other benefits like improved mood, better sleep and a greater ability to concentrate. Exercise is also beneficial for memory care among seniors.
According to a study by the Harvard Medical School, exercise proved to be more effective at preventing stroke than using preventative medicine and prescription drugs. However, that doesn't mean seniors should stop using their medications and replace treatment with exercise. Many of the participants in the study used medicine in combination with a regular fitness plan as the best way to combat disease.
Some of the best exercises include walking at a brisk pace at which the heart rate is elevated or jogging. Most Americans do not get the recommended amount of exercise every week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults get two hours and 30 minutes of exercise each week in addition to at least two days of strength training. Keeping up with a regular fitness regimen can have a great benefit for seniors and may even prevent disease.
Many seniors enjoy walking for physical activity, but it is recommended that the pace be set at a higher level in order to raise the heart rate and increase intensity. A higher-intensity workout will have a bigger impact on health. When starting out with any exercise program, it can be a good idea to begin with a walk and gradually increase the intensity, by going faster and walking for a longer distance.