What Risks Are Associated with a Sedentary Lifestyle?

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When seniors cease being active due to retirement or other reasons, the temptation to sit around watching television or snacking can be overwhelming. No longer having work or responsibilities to keep them busy can mean a lot of time spent on the sofa. Being sedentary can lead to the following health issues seniors can avoid when they engage in daily physical activity.

Increases the Risk of Chronic Diseases

Diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis are all, to some degree, linked to sedentary lifestyles. Aging causes people to become more susceptible to these conditions, but exercise can lower the risk. Exercise can postpone complications in people who have developed chronic diseases such as diabetes. Being overweight puts seniors at risk for both diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise helps people manage their weight by burning calories. Not only do seniors burn calories while exercising, but they also build lean muscle mass, which burns calories while resting. Exercise can also help people with diabetes keep blood sugar under control. Being active uses excess sugar and helps people with diabetes maintain a healthy weight.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Richmond, VA, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

Leads to Injuries from Falls

Seniors have an increased risk of falling. Falling and breaking a hip or other bones can lead to complications. Physical activity strengthens bones and joints, and it can help with coordination and balance, which can reduce the risk of falling. Exercise builds muscles and stamina, which may enable seniors to continue performing tasks such as light housework, allowing them to maintain some independence. 

Many seniors are able to safely enjoy numerous types of physical activity, especially when they have the help of trained professional caregivers. Homecare service professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Affects Mental Health

Sedentary seniors miss out on the positive effects physical activity can have on mental health. Exercise causes the release of chemicals known as endorphins, which can increase the desire to get up and move. Endorphins also work in the brain to lessen the perception of pain. When released, endorphins provide a feeling of euphoria or exhilaration that remains after the physical activity is over. These feelings can boost self-confidence and prevent depression. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain, which studies show may play a role in reducing the risk of dementia.

Leads to Isolation

It’s not unusual for seniors to experience isolation when they become content to stay at home and watch television. However, everyone benefits from getting out and doing things that are fun, exciting, and safe. Some seniors might be better off going to places where there are professionals who can offer guidance on safe exercising. Joining walking groups or going to the gym not only provides seniors with the opportunity to get health-enhancing workouts but also promotes socialization. People who exercise together tend to develop friendships. Seniors who find organized exercise groups may meet new friends who enjoy traveling and other fun pursuits. 

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Richmond families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Richmond (804) 741-0009 or Williamsburg (757) 220-3151 today.