— InnovAge Offers Tips for Seniors to Stay Active —
DENVER – With more hours of daylight and warmer temperatures on the horizon, the approaching spring and summer months can provide a number of opportunities to engage in outdoor recreation, making staying in shape fun and even social – at all ages.
The importance of making exercise a part of a healthy lifestyle is not limited to any particular age group or skill level. In fact, according to the experts at InnovAge – a nonprofit organization that serves as the comprehensive resource for Colorado’s aging population – physical activity provides unique benefits for seniors.
According to Jeff Lantz, physical therapist with InnovAge Greater Colorado PACE – an InnvoAge program that provides and coordinates health care, home care and support to help many aging individuals to continue to live in their communities with dignity and independence active – seniors are also more likely to experience mental benefits. A 2004 study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that long-term physical activity, including walking, is associated with significantly better cognitive function and less cognitive decline in women between the ages of 70 and 81. Additionally, a 2011 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that Tai Chi provided clear mental health benefits, helped prevent falls and increased balance and coordination in older adults.
Because engaging in physical activity can become increasingly difficult with age, many seniors move more slowly and even experience pain during exercise, which often makes them reluctant to establish or return to a regular routine. It is important to check with your physician and/or medical team before starting a new exercise regimen to ensure your health and safety.
“It’s a common misconception among seniors that if certain activities aren’t as easy as they used to be, they should be avoided altogether,” said Lantz. “The truth is that while not all activities are appropriate for everyone, there are still many forms of exercise that can benefit each person individually. We encourage older individuals to find what works for them.”
In order for anyone, regardless of age, to experience the benefits of physical activity, InnovAge suggests the follows tips.
InnovAge is here to help seniors and caregivers, alike. InnovAge provides a full spectrum of services to enable older adults to live independently in their homes and communities. InnovAge offers home care services, healthcare and day programs, care management and memory loss programs. For more information about InnovAge services in your area, please visit www.MyInnovAge.org or call toll free at 888-992-4464.