Motion is Lotion - Why Exercise on a Regular Basis Works
For many seniors day to day tasks become more difficult with age, especially if we are not moving. Joints need lubricant and the easiest way to lubricate these joints is to exercise.
Do you have any of these issues while doing day to day tasks?
- Stiff upper back and painful shoulders
- Poor posture
- Low energy
- Tight hips
- Trouble reaching, getting into and out of chairs and cars, putting on clothes, making your bed, combing your hair
- Not getting a full night’s sleep.
- Difficulty getting down on your knees
- Poor balance
How Exercise Helps
The Arthritis Foundation tells us that our joints are surrounded by soft tissue called the synovial membrane, which produces a fluid that acts like oil in an engine. This action allows your bones to move past one another smoothly. Physical activity encourages circulation of this Synovial fluid, which lubricates your joints.
Blood flow increases - Exercise gets the heart pumping, which increases blood circulation throughout the body including your joints, as a result the synovial membrane is exposed to a steady supply of nourishing oxygen and nutrients.
Low impact exercise has many benefits for seniors, including those seniors with diabetes.
- Exercise classes
- Stair master/elliptical
- Swimming/water aerobics
- Weight training - these exercises are great for reducing effects of brittle bones (osteoporosis), weight bearing exercises can also prevent back pain, lower the risk of diabetes, and of course improve balance.
- Tai Chi
Benefits of Physical Exercise for seniors
- Improves sleep, mood and anxiety problems
- Boosts the memory and slows cognitive decline
- Improves concentration
- Improves mental health
- Promotes physical fitness and weight loss
- Protection of the body against age-related decline
- Improved heart and lung
- Increases lean mass
- Improved cholesterol levels
- Prevention and management of diabetes
The biggest benefit of low-impact exercise with seniors with diabetes is in regulating blood sugar levels (diabetes.ca), while exercise and proper diet can help control or alleviate complications associated with high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Engaging in low-impact exercise when you have diabetes can also improve your mood, help you manage stress and help with a good night’s sleep.
Motion is the lotion we need to keep our bodies and minds young at heart.