2 Reasons Why Seniors Should Get Moving
Some of you regularly exercised prior to the pandemic. We recognize that running or becoming mentally active is healthy for our bodies to lose weight, to get your ideal body or to improve your attitude. Working out is also good for a sharper brain.
1. Increases Brain Health
Exercising regularly means your brain is supplied with enough blood to maintain its physiological function. Regular activity and increased physical health was correlated with greater brain volume.
An established link exists between exercise and improved brain health through enhancing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) secretion. BDNF is a chemical found within our brains in various areas including the hippocampus, which is a special area for memorizing things.
2. Feel Good Hormones
It’s normal that we’re more susceptible to mood swings and anxiety during this pandemic.
Physical exercise of sufficient intensity and duration can boost your mood by increasing the level of circulation of a feel-good chemical called beta-endorphine. Exercise and physical activity which activates a brain structure called the pituitary gland of beta-endorphin release. It relieves discomfort and gives a feeling of euphoria – beta-endorphin often has positive impact on stress and anxiety symptoms.
Regular physical activity is healthy for our brain because it has impressive results in the region called the limbic lobe’s parahippocampal gyrus, which is connected to the reward mechanism of the brain.
At-Home Seniors Workout Ideas
There is a variety of of physical activities seniors can do at home; yoga, aerobics, using the treadmill, resistance training, and riding an exercise bike.
Seated Resistance Training Workout
When beginning a resistance training program, Bell says it’s a good idea to start with exercises in a seated position, then progress to performing the exercises while standing. To add resistance, she recommends using small hand weights or resistance bands.
Perform each exercise for the recommended repetitions. Move to the next exercise until you reach the end. Take a two-minute break and repeat once.
Move 1: Bicep Curl
- Grab 2- to 10-pound hand weights.
- Start with your arms by your sides, palms facing out.
- Curl the weights up to about chest height and hold for two seconds before releasing.
- Do 10 repetitions.
Stretching Sequence for Seniors
This stretching sequence from Austin Martinez, director of education for StretchLab, is a great add-on after a cardio workout. If you plan on doing it as a stand-alone activity, warm up (say, with some brisk walking) before moving into the stretches.
Move 1: Spine Rotation Stretch
- Sit upright with your shoulders back and gently rotate your shoulders to the left.
- Come back to center before gently rotating to the right.
The Victorian Assisted Living and Retirement Community
The Victorian is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact The Victorian today to learn more about our services or tour our community.