Keep It Moving: The Importance Of Staying Active
You’ve heard the saying, “Age is just a number.” And, in some cases, that’s true. As we age, it is normal to slow down a bit and take things just a bit easier. That doesn’t mean you have to give up being active however. You can be active at whatever level is healthy and comfortable for you. In fact, staying active just might be the key to a longer, healthier, and happier life.
What does being active mean?
Here’s a hint: it’s not just exercise! When you think of being active, you might think that means sweating in a gym or running everyday. Being active is so much more than that. Being active means engaging in activities that are healthy and enjoyable for you. Physical activity is actually any intentional movement that results in an expenditure of energy. It can include formal exercise or engaging in sports, as well as functional movement such as activities of daily living like self-care tasks, working, or leisure activities like gardening. Being active also has a social component. Engaging in satisfying social activities is also part of being active.
Research tells us that being active as we age yields powerful benefits for us physically and emotionally.
Remaining active and engaging in regular activity has been shown to be a protective factor in chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and stroke risk. Physical activity has also been linked with a delay in the onset of dementia. People who maintain their strength and mobility as also less likely to suffer falls and fractures. If you need another reason to be active, it’s even been linked to increased longevity!
Being active is good for your mental health too! Older adults are at increased risk for depression. Being active has a positive effect on mood and reduces stress. A 2015 survey found that people who were more active reported less depression. Activity lends a sense of purpose to your day and contributes to a sense of well-being and quality of life. Regular activity has also been linked with better memory, focus and cognition, something that is of concern to many older adults. Engaging in activity helps to exercise your brain as well as your body.
Being active can also strengthen and maintain your social connections. You might not immediately equate social activities with staying healthy but being connected socially has profound benefits for wellness and even longevity. Spending time with family and friends helps to reduce stress and provide some protection against depression. Socializing helps to improve memory and cognition too.
Socializing also helps to keep you connected to others. Isolation is a very real concern for older adults and can contribute to decline in health and well-being. Staying connected helps to keep you healthy and thriving.
If you have concerns with mobility, you might wonder if you can be active. The answer is yes! When it comes to remaining active, there is no one-size-fits-all. Being active also includes consideration of your personal ability. Some people are able to do more than others and that’s ok. When it comes to remaining active, the key is to do what you can with the abilities you have.
Keys to Remaining Active
For people with mobility or health issues, being active can present some challenges. Look for tools and accessories that can help you to do the things you want to do.
- Start where you are. Think about what you can do and what you’d like to do. Maybe it’s getting out and about. ClassyPal wheelchair blankets make getting outside more comfortable whether it’s enjoying the sunshine on the back porch or taking a trip to see loved ones. The large lap pocket keeps hands toasty and warm while you enjoy the day.
- Choose one thing. Each day beings opportunities to be active.
- Make a connection. Think about connecting with friends or family. Maybe it’s a lunch date with a friend or a crafting class. If mealtime is sometimes challenging, ClassyPal adult bibs and clothing protectors have you covered. Sophisticated and stylish, you’ll be fashionably dressed for whatever the activity and confident knowing spills are no problem.
- Choose something new. Maybe you want to try a yoga class or learn to draw. Let your spirit fly confidently.
If you’re increasing your activity, you might be feeling the need for some comfort at the end of the day. Don’t forget, Classy Pal has diabetic slippers, arthritis compression gloves, wheelchair blankets, and more to keep you comfy no matter how active you are.
When it comes to staying active, the most important thing is to choose things you want to do.
People often wonder what the best forms of exercise or activity are. The answer is a simple one: the best forms of activity are the ones you’ll do. Being active has so many benefits! Here’s to being active and living life to the fullest.