Frequent Exercise, Daily Outdoor Trips Add Years to Seniors' Lives
등록일 2019년 01월 07일 수요일
수정일 2017년 11월 29일 수요일

Photo by: NinaMalyna via Shutterstock

A new research found that elderly peoplewho leave their houses more frequently will likely to live longer.The researchers from the Jerusalem Institute of Aging Research suggested that leaving the house on a daily basis lowers the mortality risk from all causes.

A total of 3,375 elderly with ages between 70 and 90 years were targeted as sample respondents in the Jerusalem Longitudinal Study with observation and data-gathering occurring from 1990 to 2015.The researchers grouped the participants into three – daily, often (respondents who leave their homes two to five times a week, and rarely (respondents who leave their homes once a week).They also adjusted hazard models such as the social aspects, functional aspects, and medical aspects of each participant.

The research findings revealed that the decrease in frequency to leave the house was connected to the negative social, functional, and medical aspects of the participants.Also, seniors who rarely went out had the lowest survival rate compared to those who did.

The adverse effects of being homebound have been reviewed by other studies.In a study published in 2015, more than 70 percent of homebound individuals reported feeling fair or having poor health.People who were completely homebound had more chronic conditions, felt more depressed, and even had the possibility of dementia.They were also hospitalized more often than non-homebound individuals.

Another study published in 2010, researchers found that homebound elderly suffer from an array of disorders, such as cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, metabolic, and musculoskeletal ailments.They were also at higher risk of developing cognitive impairment, dementia, and depression.

Physical Effects of Being Homebound

Being homebound because of the weather or a primary disability can lead to physical inactivity.Physical inactivity increases the likelihood of an individual to be afflicted by several health conditions.According to a study in 2012, there is strong evidence connecting physical inactivity to non-communicable diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers of the breast and colon, and shorter lifespan.

- Less physical activity leads to increased risk of developing high blood pressure.People with hypertension must have regular exercise to prevent complications.

- Less physical activity increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.When people exercise regularly or perform physical activities consistently, their blood sugar levels are easier to manage.Glucose is converted into energy from the physical activity instead of being turned into fat.

- Physical inactivity can induce anxiety and depression.Leaving your home by simply walking to a local store can improve your mood.Socializing can inspire a person's thoughts and uplift negative emotions.

- Being overweight or obesity has been associated with the lack of physical activity.In order to maintain a healthy weight, a person must be physically active through simple exercises, such as walking, jogging or running.If a person overcomes obesity, complications like heart disease and hypertension are most likely to go away.

- Lack of physical activity makes the person's body weaker than usual.Weaker bone, muscles, and joints can lead to falling accidents.

Psychological Effects of Physical Inactivity

Exercise and other related physical activity affect our brain and our mind, resulting in better moods and emotional control.

"There's good epidemiological data to suggest that active people are less depressed than inactive people.And people who were active and stopped tend to be more depressed than those who maintain or initiate an exercise program," said Dr.James Blumenthal, a clinical psychologist at Duke University.

When you exercise regularly, your body releases specific chemicals that give you positive feelings.These positive reinforcement produced by your body can help improve your outlook on life, eliminating the effects of anxiety and depression.

- Endorphins are produced by the body when working out or running, giving that euphoric feeling.It is a chemical that reduces pain.

- Serotonin is also released by the body with regular exercise.The chemical helps improve your mood, appetite, and even sleeping cycles.

- Adrenaline is a stress hormone with an important role in fight-or-flight scenarios.Regular physical activity helps balance hormones related to stress.

- Dopamine is a chemical responsible for the brain's reward and pleasure centers.By achieving simple exercises daily, your body releases dopamine to give the feeling of accomplishment.

- Norepinephrine is a stress hormone similar to adrenaline.It narrows the blood vessels and increases blood pressure and glucose levels.Regular exercise also puts this hormone in balance.

Photo by: Africa Studio via Shutterstock

There are several exercises that can be performed by the elderly.The simplest is taking a walk towards the park or recreational area of the neighborhood.For those who can still do more, power walking, hiking or jogging can be done.Elderly with hobbies back in their heyday may want to reconnect with biking, dancing, gardening, and swimming.Golf and tennis are also recommended physical exercise among the elderly.

In terms of muscle-strengthening, exercises with bands and hand-held weights are advised.Certain types of exercises in tai chi and yoga can also improve the strength of the muscles.If you are planning to start an exercise or workout regimen, do not hesitate to consult with your physician for safety and guidance.

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