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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Start moving: Explore the physical and emotional benefits of exercise

There was a time when people viewed retirement as the cue to not only settle down but to slow down as well. Today, this mistaken belief may be practiced by a few, but those who are living their best life know that one of the keys is to keep moving.

Exercise is one of the most efficient activities you can participate in as it has a positive impact on both your body and your mind.

If you haven’t been as active as you’d like, take a look at all the advantages that are waiting to be discovered, including a few tips to help get you started.

The benefits of exercise

Slowing down when we grow older is the opposite of what we need to lead a longer and more independent life. Check with your doctor first if you have a medical or health reason that you’re concerned about. But for most people, regardless of their condition, exercise still offers excellent advantages that are too good to pass on.

Why exercise?

1. It may add years to your life

Studies have found that participating in physical activity can make a positive contribution to longevity. An added bonus is that it can improve those years by keeping you more mobile, healthier and less prone to injury.

2. You’ll feel better
Most report feeling more energetic when they’re active. With the right exercise and diet, weight loss may occur and you’ll be improving your heart health and lessening any joint pain. Longer term benefits may also include better digestive functioning, lower blood pressure and increased bone density.

3. It can improve your balance and mobility
Loss of balance can occur as we grow older but the more you exercise that can be improved, along with an increase in flexibility. You may find you’ll be able to decrease your risk of falling and also improve your mobility, which are both leading contributions for maintaining your independence.

4. It can help you get a good night’s sleep
Exercising regularly can improve your ability to have a restful night’s sleep. In fact, keeping physically active may help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. It’s nearly impossible to wake up feeling energetic and ready to face the day without having had a good night’s sleep.

5. It relieves stress
Another benefit of exercise is that it can relieve and minimize stress. Activity and motion can help produce endorphins that may positively impact our feelings of anxiety or depression. It can also provide another psychological effect by increasing our sense of strength and control.

6. Exercise is great for our brains
Research continues to find encouraging results for our cognitive health when we exercise. A regular program may help prevent or slow down memory loss or cognitive decline and may even play a role in decreasing the progression of Alzheimer’s.

What stops us from exercising?

Most of us know that exercising is good for us, so then why is it so hard to stick to a regular routine? Beyond any physical limitations, here are a few reasons that can contribute to our lack of physical activity and suggestions to overcome the obstacles:

1. Belief that you’re too old or that it’s too late
Guess what? It’s possible to exercise at any age and it’s never too late to get started. Many symptoms of frailty or imbalance are attributed to age when it is actually caused by inactivity, according to WebMD. For those who want to stay independent as long as possible, one of the best steps you can take is to exercise.

2. Unsure of where to begin
If you haven’t exercised in a while and could use a little guidance, check out your senior center or local gym for classes or instructions or talk to the staff if you live in an Independent Living community. There are also several on-line sources that include visual demonstrations. To avoid injury and to gain maximum effectiveness, it’s important to perform exercises correctly.

3. Struggle to stay motivated
Many older, and younger, adults find it hard to voluntarily participate in an activity they consider boring or no fun. The key is to find ways to make exercising more enjoyable. Look for different options, including working out with friends, joining a group activity or a regular class and listening to music to motivate you. Remind yourself of all the benefits you’re receiving.

4. Fear of injury
Another mistaken belief that often surfaces when the topic of age and exercise comes up is that people are worried it will only lead to injury. But exercise has the opposite effect as it builds up your strength and improves balance. You’ll be taking positive steps to decrease your risk of falling when you strengthen your core.

5. Belief that physical challenges eliminate the ability to exercise
For most people, there is really no excuse for not exercising. There are movements that concentrate on different parts of your body. For example, if you aren’t able to use your lower body, you can still build strength and use your arms and upper body to get in an aerobic workout. There are so many different options that there is sure to be a program that can be modified for you.

How an Independent Living community promotes healthy routines

For those who live in an Independent Living community, there typically will be a well-equipped fitness center, aerobic, stretch and balance classes, guidance to safely and correctly perform all the moves and a group of fun-loving and motivated friends to help keep you on track. And getting there is as simple as walking out your front door.

Those that have chosen Independent Living have challenged any wrong assumptions about what staying active can do and recognize the benefits of an active lifestyle every day. They have no intention of settling or slowing down and can be great role models.

Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge Independent Living community

We understand the health benefits of exercise and staying active and provide opportunities in our community to support your efforts.

Whether your choice is to hike along our wooded paths, swim in the heated indoor pool or visit our fitness center which is fully equipped with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining your physical and emotional health. And this is all available steps from your beautiful home in one of our cottages or apartments.

Call (703)794-4631 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.

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