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Dangers of Leading a Sedentary Lifestyle in the Golden Years

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Many older adults don’t realize how unhealthy it is to spend most of their time sitting or lying down. According to the World Health Organization, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Here is a quick look at just a few of the health issues that can be caused or worsened by an inactive lifestyle.

Bone Loss

Osteoporosis is very common among the senior population. Some cases of osteoporosis are caused by genetic conditions, but older adults can strengthen their bones through exercise. Encourage your aging loved one to carry out muscle training exercises that increase the density of the bones. Dance classes are an excellent alternative to traditional weight training. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Santa Rosa, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Depression

Seniors are prone to depression, which makes regular exercise extremely important. While exercising, your loved one’s body will produce chemicals that boost happiness and balance his or her hormones. Going for walks through the park or hikes out in nature will provide some much-needed sunlight as well. You can also make these activities more exciting with bird-watching or hunting for mushrooms.

Obesity

Ongoing obesity could increase your loved one’s risk of many different diseases and disorders. Extra weight on the body puts an incredible amount of pressure on the joints, heart, and lungs. To lose weight, your loved one should try to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day. The exercise can be something as simple as tending to a garden or walking down the street for a cup of coffee. 

Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Santa Rosa senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. 

Type 2 Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association claims around 25 percent of all adults over the age of 65 have diabetes or prediabetes. Eating a healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to combat diabetes, but exercise plays a role as well. Older adults who haven’t exercised in a few years might enjoy low-impact activities such as swimming or riding a stationary bike. Some local senior centers even host community classes for those who haven’t exercised in ages.

Insomnia

Chronic insomnia is one of the biggest risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Seniors should try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night, and exercising is one of the best ways to enhance the circadian rhythm. Raising the heart rate and challenging the muscles at the same time every day helps the body stick to a strict sleep schedule. As a general rule, seniors shouldn’t exercise right before bed or after the sun goes down, as it could impact their sleep.

Certain Types of Cancer

Most experts agree regular exercise can reduce the risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancer. If your loved one doesn’t want to exercise alone, try to join him or her for a daily walk around the block or a few minutes of stretching at home. You may also need to start slowly to prevent injuries. Until your loved one is used to the exertion, he or she might only need to exercise for 5 or 10 minutes a day.

Encouraging older adults to remain physically active can be a challenging task. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Santa Rosa, 24-hour care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at (707) 843.4368 today.

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