Staying active and social in retirement are important ingredients for healthy aging. For seniors who no longer head out to an office every day, it’s more important than ever to find ways to stay active and to maintain social relationships. And doing so may help seniors ward off a number of health problems, including dementia.
The Importance of Physical Activity
According to the Centers for Disease Control, inactivity tends to increase as people get older. By the age of 75, approximately a third of men and half of women don’t engage in any physical activity. In fact, much of the deterioration of stamina and strength that most people blame on aging is due to the reduction in physical activity.
The CDC also touts a number of benefits of staying physically active, including:
- Reducing the risk of falling and bone fractures.
- Helping seniors remain independent.
- Reducing high blood pressure in some seniors.
- Reducing the risk of death from heart disease and the risk of developing medical conditions including diabetes and colon cancer.
- Improving mood and feelings of well-being, and decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Maintaining healthy muscles, joints and bones.
- Helping control swelling and pain from arthritis.
Both men and women can benefit from an increase in physical activity, and the CDC tells us that moderate exercise can provide significant health benefits for seniors. Strenuous exertion is not necessary!
The Benefits of Remaining Socially Engaged
As we get older, many of us don’t have as many opportunities to socialize as we once did. Research tells us, though, that staying socially engaged is important for staying healthy and mentally sharp, and it may even help reduce the chances of developing dementia. Like physical activity, social interaction provides plenty of benefits for seniors, including:
- Lowering the risk for heart problems, osteoporosis, some forms of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Reducing blood pressure.
- Lowering the risk of mental health problems, including depression.
- Possibly reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Seniors who continue to be engaged in close relationships and who find ways to socially interact with others tend to live longer. Close relationships, research tells us, can even further protect your health by giving your immune system a boost. And, social support from loved ones and friends also has a positive effect on staying physically active.
Senior Living Communities Support Staying Active, Social
Remaining active and social clearly provides significant benefits for seniors. If you’re looking for assisted living in Maryland for a loved one, consider a community like Gull Creek, which provides a wide range of activities and opportunities for staying physically and socially engaged. Among the comprehensive range of amenities Gull Creek offers, you’ll find many options for helping your loved one remain social and active:
- A library and computer center.
- Beautifully landscaped grounds with a gazebo.
- Numerous educational lectures and speakers.
- Stimulating day trips, including excursions and sightseeing.
- Visual, cultural and performing arts.
- Much more!
To learn more about the many ways to stay active and socially engaged at Gull Creek, please contact us.