5 Benefits of Being an Active Older Adult

Aug 10, 2020

We’ve heard it time and time again – it’s important to keep moving as we get older. But, does this old theory hold any truth?

The short answer, yes! 

Regular activity has many benefits that help older adults maintain healthy, independent, and happy lifestyles. If you are an older adult interested in being more active, or trying to convince a loved one to move more, here are some reasons why being active is so important as we age.

What does it mean to be an “active older adult”?

We’ve seen the viral videos and news clips about seniors doing extraordinary things, from biking across state lines to bench pressing hundreds of pounds. While these are great accomplishments, it doesn’t mean the average person has to set the bar this high.

Being an active older adult means engaging in activities that keep you moving and connected with others. This could be anything from gardening, to walking with friends, to volunteering at a local organization.

The key to staying active is to find the things you love to do and the people you love to do them with. Our later years are a great time to explore new hobbies and revisit old passions that we might have pushed to the wayside while working on a career or raising children.

Are you an older adult considering getting more involved in active lifestyle choices? Here are some reasons to get up, get moving, and stay active.

Benefits of being an active older adult

Here are five reasons why older adults should try to stay active.

1. You reduce your risk of depression

Staying active can help you reduce feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression. While depression is not a normal part of getting older, aging adults are more at risk. It’s important for seniors to find ways to combat depression by surrounding themselves with positive relationships and experiences.

2. Activity keeps your mind sharp

Cognitive health is crucial to pay attention to as we age. Studies have shown that an active social life and physical activities can improve cognitive function. The saying, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” holds a lot of truth. Stay engaged in activities so that you won’t skip a beat. 

3. It improves your physical health

Just as a nutritious diet is important for good health, so is staying active. Engaging in regular activities will help you improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. Whether you chose to walk around the block, play games with your grandchildren, or play fetch with your dog, any time you are moving you are helping to improve your physical health.

4. Activity can help reduce stress and low blood pressure

There is something calming about being around people who share your interests. Being with people you enjoy helps to lower stress, which can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of a cardiovascular issue. While it’s hard to be around friends during these uncertain times, you can still find ways to connect virtually and share experiences.

5. It decreases your risk of falls

Older adults are at a greater risk for falls, which can lead to some serious health complications. You might think that the more active you are, the greater risk you have of falling. But, the opposite is true. Activities help you build strength, balance, and coordination, which can reduce your risk of falling.

Check out the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program for safe, contact-free activities exclusively for adults age 55 and older.

You can also contact one of our Summit County Partners, VANTAGE Aging, for more information on staying independent at home and active in the community.