| DoctorHelps | Geriatric Medicine
The impact of inactivity and lack of exercise for everyone is detrimental to our health and well-being - but for seniors it could have an impact that they may never recover from. Most health conditions may suffer from a sedentary from a lifestyle, such as diabetes and obesity.
Below are some of the more drastic impacts to seniors who are physically inactive:
Osteoporosis - Bones may deteriorate in seniors who lack activity in their lives and because of the deterioration falls may incur which cause fractures. Exercise or any type of activity can strengthen the bones and prevent osteoporosis.
High blood pressure - Serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension) may result because of inactivity causing risk of strokes, kidney disease and heart problems. Regular exercise helps the heart to remain strong and the risk of high cholesterol (which increases the risk of cardio disease) is reduced.
Cancer - The risks of certain types of cancer, such as colon and breast, are increased by physical inactivity. The more time waste remains in the colon, the more chances of cancer developing. Physical exercise keeps the waste moving through the colon. Also, it's a fact that breast cancer occurs more often in women who are inactive.
Obesity - Maintaining a healthy weight is necessary for continuing good health in seniors. If you're physically inactive, your risk of obesity doubles - and with it, your chances of diabetes and other weight-related diseases.
Digestive and gall bladder problems - It takes a while for your digestive system to work, and if you're inactive, it takes even longer for it to do its job. That means that hard formations of bile may be formed in the gall bladder, causing pain, nausea and possible fever. High triglyceride levels may also occur.
Depression and anxiety - Besides the obvious physical problems which may develop from lack of activity in seniors, mental and emotional problems may occur. During exercise, the brain releases chemicals which are designed to improve mood and reduce tension.
The World Health Organization (WHO) found in studies that over two million people die each year from medical issues related to inactivity. Seniors may have other risk factors which have an impact on their overall health and well-being, but unlike those factors, inactivity can be rectified and some diseases and conditions prevented.
Lifestyle changes for the elderly which incorporate physical activity (no matter how small) can improve and even reverse the negative effect that inactivity has produced. Strength building, practiced for a couple of days a week and some cardiovascular exercises are highly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.