The Importance of Physical Activity for Seniors
We all know that physical activity is good for us, but we often underestimate how important it is. Physically inactive people are more likely to get very sick from COVID and other illnesses, and because our metabolisms slow down as we get older, being physically inactive may lead to weight gain. Being overweight significantly increases your risks for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, many types of cancer, and other illnesses.
Regular exercise can not only make our lives, especially our later years, easier and more enjoyable, but it can help us to live longer. One study found that physically active individuals lived, on average, 3-4 more years than people who are not physically active.
Benefits of Regular Physical Activity for Seniors
As we age, we’re often less active, which can result in loss of flexibility, strength and agility. This can lead to more falls and injuries. Staying active won’t stop the aging process, but it will absolutely slow down the effects.
Staying physically active can:
- Reduce falls and injuries
- Prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, and more
- Prevent mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and improve overall mental health
- Relieve stress
- Improve cognitive functions
- Reduce your body fat and weight, and increase lean body mass
- Improve physical performance
- Improve overall quality of life
- Add years to your life
How to Get Started with Exercise
Exercise doesn’t have to be a strict workout regimen in a gym – you can improvise at home or take your workout on the go by taking a walk, visiting a park, or even by shopping. The recommended amount of exercise for adults is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening activity per week – that breaks down into 30 minutes of moderate cardio a day, and two days of strength training every week.
But if you’ve decided to increase your physical activity and you weren’t active before, don’t rush in! You can start with doing more activity whenever you can. Many people find a brisk 30-minute walk each day to be both achievable and beneficial. Some activity is better than none!
If you’re in the Vernon, Texas area, or are planning to move to Vernon, and want to increase your physical activity or stay active, you’re in luck. Vernon and the surrounding Wilbarger County area offer several fun ways to stay in shape.
5 Ways Seniors in Vernon, TX and Wilbarger County Can Stay Active
1. Take a Yoga Class at Vernon College
The Century City Fitness Center at Vernon College offers a yoga class that is open to all community members. The yoga classes are appropriate for all fitness levels. If you’ve never done yoga before, now’s the perfect time to give it a try. Yoga can be very relaxing but, if you want more out of your workout, you can make it more challenging. Yoga can improve core strength, overall strength, flexibility, balance and focus. Not only that, but enrolling in a class at Century City Fitness Center allows you full access to the fitness center during regular operating hours.
2. Get Active Outdoors
Vernon has plenty of options for getting moving outdoors, including four parks. Each park has open space for activity, and most have walking trails and sports areas. If you’re looking for something fun and social that will get you moving, Orbison Park has a state-of-the-art disc golf course and even hosts tournaments. There are also soccer fields that are open to the public.
And if you’re a fan of golf, the Hillcrest Country Club has a beautiful golf course – why don’t you try skipping the golf cart and walking instead? The country club also has three tennis courts and a swimming pool. Members and their families can access the facilities and can golf as much as they want – non-members can golf for a fee. Call 940-552-5406 for more information.
3. Go Swimming at Orbison Aquatics Center
Swimming is a great form of exercise, especially for older adults who may have health problems. Swimming is ideal for people with osteoarthritis, since weight-bearing exercises can be very painful for them, and it has a range of health benefits. One study found that swimming can lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.
Just like any other form of aerobic activity, it’s good for your heart, adds years to your life, and improves mood, but the difference is that, for many people, swimming is more fun than other workouts. And if you’re having fun, you’re more likely to stick with your workout plan.
4. Go Shopping on Vernon’s Historic Main Street
Exercise doesn’t have to be intense to be effective! And who says you can’t combine something you love with getting in shape? If you like to shop, or just to sightsee, beautiful downtown Vernon is the place to be. Vernon’s historic Main Street area boasts plenty of shops, selling everything from antiques and home décor to custom-made cowboy boots.
There are also several Main Street events where you can combine cardio with fun and socialization – the Main Street Wine Walk in the Spring, the farmers market in the summer, and Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas events.
5. Eagle Flats Village’s Live WHOLE Resident Vitality Program
Are you a resident at Eagle Flats Village assisted living community, or are you thinking of becoming a resident? Our Live WHOLE program is a great way to get in shape, feel better, and live a better life. Live WHOLE empowers seniors to design their own highly personalized path to whole wellness, based on their goals and preferences.
To live WHOLE is to embrace a balanced mind and body and spirit, and the program promotes this through tools designed to increase the quality and longevity of life. We believe living well is living with a purpose, and we seek to provide every resident with the tools they need to achieve physical and mental balance and wellness.
Contact us to learn more about our Live WHOLE Resident Vitality Programming.
Live WHOLE at Eagle Flats Village
Living at Eagle Flats Village is all about living life to the fullest. We know that just because you’re getting older, that doesn’t mean that you’re ready to just sit on the sidelines and watch life go by. In our community, we facilitate and encourage optimal physical and emotional health, mental stimulation, socialization, and all the aspects of a full and rewarding life.
If you want to know more about Eagle Flats Village, we invite you to schedule a visit to come learn about our vibrant community and the beautiful, historic town we call home.