8 Benefits of Keeping Your Body Active as You Age

benefits of an active body

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 

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Keeping your body active is important at any age, but as you get older- it becomes essential to your health. However, over 37% of adults aged 65 and older are inactive, which is defined by the CDC as engaging in no leisure-time physical activity. Here are the benefits of keeping your body active as you age and how Vitality Living’s Vibrant Body program can make it easier.

Benefits of Keeping Your Body Active

It’s never too late to be physically active, and it’s certainly well worth the effort as you age with benefits that include:

  1. Increased life expectancy – Regular physical activity does so by, not only reducing the risk of things like heart disease but also slowing the aging process at a cellular level.
  2. Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes – If you already have the disease, keeping your body active can still help you better control it because the amount of glucose in your blood is reduced by exercise. Plus, it also helps slow more severe symptoms of the disease like nerve pain and kidney disease.
  3. Reduced risk of depression – When you exercise, your body releases endorphins and neurotrophic proteins that not only make you feel good temporarily but also result in the growth of new nerve cells and connections, as well.
  4. Improves bone and musculoskeletal health – Exercise that includes strength and conditioning helps keep your bone density at healthy levels, improves your balance, and gives you more stamina in daily life.
  5. Prevents unhealthy weight gain – There are many health risks linked to obesity- and one of the key ways to avoid unhealthy weight gain altogether is to keep your body active through regular physical activity and exercise.
  6. Better sleep – It’s common to struggle with sleep as you age, but exercise can help, not only by making you more physically tired, but also by providing stress/anxiety relief as well.
  7. Reduced risk of dementia – The Alzheimer’s Society reports a link between physical activity and cognitive performance that suggests keeping your body active, specifically through aerobic exercise, is an effective way to improve cognitive ability and reduce your risk of dementia.
  8. More social connections – Maintaining relationships can be harder as you age, and keeping your body active provides an opportunity to meet new people through classes and at the gym. Not to mention it can help you stay connected to neighbors and friends through walking or running groups.

How Vibrant Body Can Help

Even with all the benefits of keeping your body active, as you can see from the statistic above, many of us don’t do so regularly as we age. There are a number of legitimate reasons why from lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more. It’s tough- we get it!

That’s why we created Vibrant Body as part of the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. We’re focused on healthy aging, of which physical activity is a big part. Here, you’ll find amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga, and tai chi classes, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park. And it’s all right outside your door, along with your pick of exercise buddies!

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour.