What are the Benefits of an Exercise Regime
Exercise is important, no matter what stage of your life. However, for older people, the need to maintain a keen exercise regime is more important than ever. Not only can an exercise regime help to keep you fit, but it also helps you to maintain your current level of fitness — something very important in terms of maintaining your current level of independence.
In truth, engaging in regular exercise can be a massive part of both personal care and social care, allowing you to engage in social activities while also helping to reinforce your existing independence. It’s because of that, Hands on Care believes that Exercise should be a key component of any care plan.
In a previous Knowledge Hub article, we discussed the importance of exercise for people dealing with dementia. In this article, we’ll be discussing the overall benefits of exercise for people in general.
The Four Big Benefits of Exercise
Generally speaking, exercise has four key benefits in regards to the older population: it builds strength, it improves coordination, it improves mental health, and it helps to build social connections.
The first reason why exercise is important is because it helps to build strength in all the muscles that you exercise. This is important because, as we get older, our muscles tend to atrophy noticeably — leading to weakness. With exercise, however, this atrophy can be held off — leading to a greater level of independence later in life. This greater level of personal independence can be key if you wish to avoid residential care and prefer to live independently — as all of our clients do.
Related to the level of strength which is built by continued exercise is the benefits of exercise in regards to coordination. Like strength, continued use of muscles and exercise will build up or maintain your current level of coordination. This higher level of coordination will allow you to maintain your current level of independence and avoid injuries.
Improves Mental Health
Next, it’s important to consider the overall benefits in regards to mental health. Any exercise causes the release of chemicals, such as serotonin, to be created and released into the brain, causing feelings of pleasure and accomplishment in the person exercising.
This positive feeling is one of the reasons why mental health experts often encourage people suffering with depression to try to bring in an exercise plan into their day to day life — and one of the reasons why we encourage our clients to undertake exercise as part of their social and personal care plans, too.
Builds Social Connections
Finally, it’s important to remember that regular exercise helps to build social connections. Whether this social connection is between exercise partners — for example, if you’re a part of a group of people who attend exercise classes together — or simply between a person who is exercising and their trainer, these social connections are key in terms of improving or maintaining your overall quality of life.
This is because better social connections can improve both your mental health and general level of fitness.
With a more active social life, you’re far less likely to bottle up issues and let them fester. Instead, your support system will help you deal with anything that can come up. Issues that may be ignored due to difficulty or pain are focussed on and worked through — leading to an overall healthier lifestyle.
Likewise, with an active social life you’re far more likely to do passive exercise — going on walks with friends, taking trips etc. Admittedly, this doesn’t sound as though it has a particularly big effect by itself. Indeed, while the individual benefit of each individual passive exercise session on your mental health, social connections and strength is minimal, many such instances can have a profound effect on your overall health.
It’s for this reason why social care is so important. Individually, one session may not have a massive effect on your overall quality of life. But, in coordination with a well-thought out personal care plan, it can have a massive positive impact on your health and overall quality of life.
Contact Hands on Care Today
These reasons are why Hands on Care recommends exercise to all our clients, as part of both our social and personal care plans. For more information on exercise as part of your overall care and support plan, please get in contact with Hands on Care today. Our dedicated staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.