We know that exercise is a very important aspect to maintaining a healthy lifestyle alongside a balanced diet, however the older we get, the harder maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes. It is found that maintaining as much fitness as possible improves overall happiness and quality of life.
Here at The Beeches care home in Ixworth, we find that keeping the elderly active not only improves their physical fitness but also keeps their minds active. Therefore, we prioritise providing a healthy lifestyle when living in our residential care home. Staying active is so important to our residents. For more information on what a healthy lifestyle looks like for the elderly, you can visit the healthy ageing and caring section on the NHS website.
Below are the top four benefits of exercise for the elderly and why we prioritise exercise at Portland Nursing Home.
Assists cognitive function
Our cognitive abilities control how we think, learn, and remember information in our everyday lives, how we move, our emotions and our tactile functions. Aerobic exercise has been found to be very important for improving both vascular and brain function. With dementia becoming one of the most common health problems amongst the elderly in the UK, finding ways to reduce impairment in cognitive abilities has never been as important.
When we say physical exercise, we don’t mean training for the London Marathon! These can be as simple as a light stroll around the home, chair yoga, band exercises or specialist exercise classes. At The Beeches we like to host a range of activities for our residents to get involved in.
The elderly requires more and more strength as they grow older to maintain their balance and mobility. The risk of acute problems such as falls, injuries and degenerative illnesses rises because of reduced muscle mass. Therefore, exercise is so important at our home. Many studies have shown how physical exercise and building overall strength can counteract age related impairments. The more the elderly use certain muscles the stronger they will become. Therefore, at our home we set up a range of activities for our residents to get their bodies moving.
Maintains cardiovascular health
The more the elderly do to stay active, the lower their risk of complications like a heart attack or a stroke. As the heart changes with age, the more chances over 65s have of suffering from a heart attack. Some forms of exercise for the elderly, even if it’s just a brisk walk every day, has been linked to lower blood pressure, slower heart rate and improved oxygen efficiency. Exercise can also help a person loose excess weight which can be better for the heart.
There is a strong link between mental and physical health, and this is no different for the elderly. According to the NHS “5 steps to mental wellbeing” increased physical activity supports our overall wellbeing. At The Beeches care home, we want our residents to feel content in themselves, function well individually and in groups, feel connected to others around them, feel purposeful and valued.
Researchers have found that low-intensity exercise, for approximately 30–35 minutes, 3–5 days a week is best at increasing positive moods and reducing mental health concerns. Here, we value residents’ physical health as much as their mental health because we understand the strong link between them.
Benefits of staying at The Beeches
At The Beeches, our residents’ mental and physical wellbeing is of the utmost importance. Are you concerned about an elderly parent or relative that may be suffering due to lack of physical exercise? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, we are here to support you and offer you as much information as possible as to how we can support you and your relatives.