Why Older Adults Shouldn’t Lead Sedentary Lives

Many seniors avoid exercising because they simply don’t have the time or inclination to hit the gym or go for a morning jog. However, some seniors are just sedentary by nature, which means they only move to accomplish the basic functions of everyday life. The professional home care experts at Coast Care San Diego discuss a few reasons older adults should avoid being sedentary.

Prevent Muscle Atrophy 

For some seniors, muscle atrophy occurs at an accelerated rate. When older adults spend too much time sitting down, it can cause atrophy in the leg muscles. These muscles are crucial for many types of movement, ranging from walking up the stairs to bending down to tie shoelaces. Muscle atrophy can have a major impact on a senior’s mobility. 

Boost Cardiovascular Health 

Seniors who lead inactive lifestyles are at risk for cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks. To keep the cardiovascular system healthy and functional, it’s essential to exercise every week. Seniors should find an exercise regimen that suits their needs and preferences. Those with mobility issues can still benefit from chair yoga or chair aerobics. In the event older adults have joint pain, they should try water-based exercises that place less pressure on the joints. Seniors should strive for 75 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. 

Stave Off Future Disability 

When seniors lead sedentary lifestyles, they’re more likely to become physically disabled later in life. Physical disabilities occur due to several factors, including muscle atrophy, weakened bones, and an increased risk of injury. The longer seniors stay inactive, the more damage it does to their bodies. To counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, seniors don’t have to make big changes all at once. While older adults should aim to exercise for an hour or more every week, they can start by just moving more around the house. Gardening, walking in the backyard, and simply doing a few vigorous chores are some options for seniors. If older adults have been sitting in one place for more than 30 minutes, they should stand up, stretch, and walk around the house. These small changes can make a big difference to a senior’s health. 

Enhance Emotional Wellbeing

Too much sitting is bad for the body, and it can also affect emotional wellbeing. When seniors lead sedentary lifestyles, they’re less likely to leave the house or engage in activities that boost their emotional wellbeing. Even if seniors aren’t in the mood to go to the gym, heading out of the house to visit a friend can be a healthy physical activity. If seniors notice their inactivity is leading to isolation, they should try to augment their social calendar as well as their exercise regimen.

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to help your senior loved one remain physically active and socially engaged. For high-quality respite, live-in, Alzheimer’s, and dementia home care, San Diego families can rely on Coast Care Partners. We have a team of compassionate and professionally trained caregivers committed to helping your senior loved one enjoy a high quality of life in the comfort of home. Whether your elderly parent needs minor help with daily tasks or extensive 24-hour home care, we are here to help. Call us at 619-354-2544 to schedule an appointment with one of our in-home care experts.