Aging is inevitable. Aging poorly is not.
As we get older, our bodies may slow down a bit, especially if we develop illnesses that limit our mobility or make it necessary to move into a skilled nursing home. Adverse medical conditions often lead to a vicious cycle of pain and depression that keeps patients from engaging in physical activity, which in turn worsens health conditions, making it even harder to get around. Princeton Health Care Center offers many opportunities for residents to remain social and active and keep a positive outlook on life.
Reasons To Stay Active As We Get Older
Most people recognize that it is necessary to exercise and be active when they are younger, but as they age, it often seems less important. This could not be further from the truth! In many ways, physical activity is even more important for older adults than it is for their younger counterparts. Seniors who engage in even minimal amounts of exercise into and beyond their 70s enjoy the following benefits:
Lower risk of falls
One in four people over the age of 65 suffer from a fall each year, often resulting in serious injuries such as hip fractures or head injuries. Exercise and physical therapy work to strengthen bones and muscles and improve balance, reducing the risk of falls and their subsequent effects.
Chronic inflammation slows down the immune system. Regular exercise reduces inflammation so the immune system can work better, protecting your body from various illnesses. Improved blood flow from exercise gets the heart pumping, lowering the risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Physical activity also helps control weight, which is a factor for many illnesses that strike older people.
Anxiety and depression are not uncommon in older people and they often coexist with other medical conditions. In getting more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, people who exercise experience higher levels of energy. Even moderate exercise stimulates various brain chemicals that help you to feel happier and less stressed, making it easier to sleep at night. All of these factors help skilled nursing care residents to lead higher-quality lives.
Tips For Staying Active In a Skilled Nursing Home
Consult A Professional
You should always consult a physician before beginning any exercise regimen, especially if there are mobility limitations or medical concerns. Princeton Health Care Center employs a wide array of professionals and specialists to help residents stay active.
Choose Fun Activities
Lack of motivation is the number one reason that people stop exercising. Any physical activity helps, so it does not have to look like “working out.” Our staff members often take walks with our residents. The Activities Department offers group activities, fun exercise groups, and even does activities that help keep residents moving, like gardening and sporting competitions for those who want to participate.
Whether you are resuming physical activity or starting to exercise for the first time, it is important to listen to your body. Start slow and remember you are not in competition with anyone and your goal is to improve your own health outcomes.
Contact Princeton Health Care Center to learn more about how we strive to help our residents live fulfilling and active lives.