Exercise Your Way to Better Health


Exercise Your Way to Better Health

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Summer is off to a great start.  It is a perfect time to begin an exercise program along with enjoying the weather outside.  For the most part, exercise is a safe way to improve your mental and physical health at any age, but you must check with your doctor for any restrictions you may have.  People with chronic illnesses can usually still exercise safely.

We all know that exercise will benefit us in many ways.  Staying active physically helps to keep your heart healthy and your muscles strong.   Recent studies have shown that in older cancer patients, exercise has been shown to ward off relapse.  Exercise helps to maintain good health and may even prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as heart disease, osteoarthritis and dementia.  Keeping active also improves blood pressure, diabetes and helps to lower cholesterol levels.

As we grow older, bones become weak and brittle.  Both men and women lose bone mass as they age. Broken hips are one of the major side effects.  Bones respond to exercise much like muscles do.  They grow stronger when force is put upon them.  Additionally, with exercise, bone density improves and this will reduce the risk of osteoporosis.    Exercise is a prime example of preventative care, helping the older adults become better equipped to fight disease and infirmity while increasing strength and balance.

2000 years ago the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, understood the necessity of keeping the body active and in shape throughout one’s life.

He stated, “All parts of the body which have a function , if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which is accustomed, become thereby healthy and well developed, and age slowly; but if unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth,  and age quickly.  This is especially so with joints and ligaments, if one does not use them.”

In conclusion, it’s time for us to start moving and make our life the best it can be.   A 20 minute walk, 5 days a week, will do wonders to improve our mental and physical health.

 Submitted by Carol McKee, RN, Farrar Home Administrator

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