Written by Jac Harris, R.Kin
Exercise is an important cog in your lifestyle and can improve your longevity.
I’m sure you know that regular exercise provides numerous health benefits for all people in general, but do you know the positive impacts it can have for older adults in particular?
Here are some evidence-based reasons supporting the positive effects of exercise on disease prevention in older adults:
1. Cardiovascular Disease
Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing various cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Introducing regular light cardio exercise:
→ Helps improve cardiovascular fitness
→ Reduces LCL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol)
→ Increases HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol)
These effects contribute to better heart health and a significantly decreased risk of cardiovascular events.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise plays a crucial role in the prevention and management of Type 2 Diabetes, which is more common in older adults. Regular physical activity can:
→ Enhance insulin sensitivity → Improve glucose metabolism → Reduce risk of developing diabetes → Help individuals with diabetes maintain healthy blood sugars and manage the condition effectively
Older adults are at a higher risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone density and increased susceptibility to fractures. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking and dancing, along with resistance training are proven to:
→ Stimulate bone growth → Increase bone density → Reduce the risk of fractures in older adults
Regular exercise has been associated with a decreased risk of certain types of cancers, including colon, breast, and lung cancer. Physical activity helps mitigate cancer risk by:
→ Maintaining a healthy body weight
→ Reducing inflammation in the body
→ Improving immune function
→ Enhancing the body’s ability to repair DNA damage
All of the above effects contribute to a lower cancer risk.
5. Cognitive Decline and Dementia
An active lifestyle has been linked to decreased cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Physical activity can help reduce risk of developing dementia by:
→ Promoting better blood flow to the brain → Supporting the growth of new neurons → Enhancing cognitive function and memory → Reducing risk factors associated with dementia, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases Stay tuned for a more in depth look at the effects of regular exercise on cognitive decline and dementia risk.
Do you have concerns or have a loved one you would like to help? Kinplus can make implementing strategies to prevent these five risk factors.