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Importance of Exercise for the Elderly

As people age, there are some physical changes taking place. Skin becomes thinner, less elastic and wrinkles appear in greater numbers. People may lose hair or it can change to shades of grey or white.

These are processes that everyone who lives a long life will go through naturally.

Barring cosmetic changes, we can't control the aging of our looks much. But we can control the aging of other body physical aspects such as posture and weight.

Other physical changes as people age include:

  • Body weight is usually less in late adulthood due to the lose of muscle tissue.

  • Muscle strength, along with mass, is reduced, causing loss of strength in the legs, arm, and other part of the body. In late adulthood the most apparent loss of strength is usually in the legs.

  • Bone loss, or loss of bone calcium, occurs. This will cause changes in the body that are visible. Bone loss is responsible for some weight loss and possibly a stooped posture. A decrease in bone density or osteoporosis may also result.

  • Other body functions slow down due to a loss of organ reserve.

The Importance of Exercise for the Elderly

Reducing the effects of physical changes due to aging is the major reason behind the importance of exercise for the elderly.

Exercise is an important tool for improving a large part of the process. Research indicates that many factors can be improved with regular exercise, such as:

  • Increased exercise and activities promote well-being and a sense of feeling younger. Feeling younger and more self-confident has been shown to promote good psychological health.

  • Exercise is often a social activity, which many experts believe contributes to a healthy state of mind and reduced depression. Exercising is a great way to spend time with friends either at the gym or on a walk at the park.

  • Exercising helps people in late adulthood avoid disabilities that may be caused by chronic disease and other illnesses.

  • Exercise during late adulthood will help decrease the risk of diabetes and increase body function abilities.

Based on an article from




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