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Dangers of Living a Sedentary Life in the Senior Years

By , 9:00 am on
Risks of Leading a Sedentary Life in the Golden Years in Portland, ME

People of all ages should strive to lead active lifestyles, as exercise is good for physical, mental, and emotional health. For seniors, staying active is especially important. A sedentary lifestyle can exacerbate existing health issues and lead to new ones. Here are a few risks of living a sedentary life. 

Arthritis 

Arthritis is a common health issue among aging adults. Seniors with arthritis may not be excited to exercise, but staying active keeps aching joints flexible and mobile. Seniors who lead sedentary lives are likely to experience a decrease in physical function as they age, which can impact a wide range of activities, from opening pill bottles to getting out of bed in the morning. To prevent serious issues related to arthritis, arthritic seniors need to adopt a regular exercise regimen that stretches their joints. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Portland, ME, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Bone Loss 

As seniors age, their bone mass naturally decreases. Bone loss is fairly common in aging women, as post-menopausal hormonal changes impact the body’s ability to maintain strong bones. While diet is a key component of continued bone health, exercise is also essential. Weight bearing exercises are ideal for bone health. Walking, weight training, and jogging force the body to counteract against gravity, which promotes healthy bone mass. 

Diminished Ability to Perform ADLs 

ADLs stands for activities of daily living, which range from grooming to cleaning the house. When aging adults become sedentary, it eventually affects their physical health and motor skills. Even if seniors don’t have preexisting conditions like arthritis, inactivity can lead to serious physical issues and the inability to perform standard activities. 

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Portland seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Type 2 Diabetes 

Inactive seniors are at risk for type 2 diabetes, which is due to the correlation between inactivity and being overweight as well as the body’s response to sugar. Physical exercise helps the body process sugar effectively. If seniors don’t use their muscles often enough, they can develop high blood glucose levels. Over time, increased blood sugar levels can lead to type 2 diabetes. To keep the physiological processes of the body running right, seniors should strive to get a few hours of gentle exercise every week. 

Depression and Anxiety 

Exercise boosts the body’s production of endorphins that enhance cognitive function, lower stress levels, promote restful sleep, and stave off depression. When seniors don’t exercise, they do not get the mental and emotional benefits of endorphins. Due to inactivity, seniors may feel sluggish, nervous, or fatigued. To give their emotional health a boost, older adults should try to engage in cardiovascular activities every week.

Older adults who need help maintaining a healthy lifestyle should consider professional in-home care. Portland senior home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (207) 835-4849 today.