The importance of exercise in older people
As people age, it is even more important to remain physically active.
For many, ‘retirement’ at 65 can mean retiring from a former active lifestyle into a sedentary existence.
Being sedentary and not participating in exercise has a number of significant and adverse health effects.
Adverse health effects due to lack of exercise
Decline in cardiac fitness = decrease in capacities like doing simple things such as showering and dressing.
- muscle atrophy and weakening are exacerbated if the person also happens to be obese.
- poor muscle mass and strength are both critical issues in late life and promote disability.
Being inactive increases
- the risk of a range of diseases including arthritis,
- heart disease
- some cancers and probably dementia and depression.
Becoming sedentary can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once diseases develop that are related to this lifestyle, such as arthritis, physical activity may become more challenging making the whole problem worse.