When Is it Too Late to Start Exercising?

Senior Care Spokane Valley, WA: Seniors and Exercising

Nicholas was 80 years old and not in the best of health. He was surprised when his doctor suggested that he might feel better if he got some exercise. Nicholas was sure it was too late for that, but he was a believer in following his doctor’s instruction, so he gave it a try. Over the next couple of weeks, Nicholas found himself feeling stronger and more energetic. He had to admit that his doctor was right.

Many seniors may think it’s too late for them to start exercising. They might believe that they have nothing to gain. However, research indicates that’s not the case. In fact, in a recent study, researchers found that older adults can continue to build muscle mass through exercise at a time in their lives when people typically lose muscle.

About the Age and Exercise Study

The European study was published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology. It involved two groups of participants. All the participants were men in their 70s or 80s. One group was classified as “master athletes.” They were men who had been working out throughout their lives and still participated in the upper levels of their chosen sports. The other group was comprised of men who had never exercised routinely.

The scientists began by taking a muscle biopsy from all of the participants within 48 hours before they completed a weight training session. Before the weight training began, the men received an isotope tracer so that the researchers could see how proteins developed in their muscles.

The researchers expected the results to show that the master athletes-built muscle tissue better than the rest of the participants. However, they were surprised to discover that both groups had the same capacity for building muscle. The scientists say their research suggests that people can benefit from exercise at any age even if they have never exercised in the past.

Tips for Exercising as a Senior

One thing to keep in mind as your aging relative starts to exercise is that they need to do so safely. Some tips for keeping older adults safe while exercising are:

  • Get the doctor’s clearance before beginning a new exercise regimen.
  • Consider how medical conditions may affect exercise. For example, diabetics may need to change their eating or medication schedules to account for the way exercise affects blood sugar.
  • Seniors should not exercise so hard that it causes pain or makes them feel ill.
  • Start with light exercise and build up to more as the older adult gets more fit.

Senior care can assist your aging relative as they increase their physical activity. A senior care provider can remind a diabetic older adult to check their blood sugar to determine how exercise has affected them. They can also watch over the older adult while they exercise to keep them safe and offer assistance if they start to feel ill. Senior care providers can also offer encouragement to keep the person on track with exercising regularly.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Spokane Valley, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509)474-0663



Andy Niska