Active Living - Physical Activity - Health Benefits
Almost two-thirds of older Canadians are physically inactive. This means that we lose the benefits of physical activity precisely when we need it the most: after the age of 65. Physical activity can reduce the risk of many diseases, including adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart attacks and strokes, even colon and breast cancer. Health problems like obesity, depression, and back pain can all be moderated. Many active older people find that they have more energy, and feel better about themselves too.
Physical activity is also the best way for older people to avoid falls and their consequences. The number one reason for hospitalization among seniors is injuries caused by falls. Studies show that 40% of all nursing home admissions can be directly related to an elderly person having had a fall.
Canada's guide to Physical Activity for Older Adults lists these other benefits of physical activity or exercise:
Benefits when starting out:
  • meet new people
  • feel more relaxed
  • sleep better
  • have more fun
Benefits from regular physical activity:
  • continued independent living
  • better physical and mental health
  • improved quality of life
  • more energy
  • move with fewer aches and pains
  • better posture and balance
  • improved self-esteem
  • weight maintenance
  • stronger muscles and bones
  • relaxation and reduced stress
Being active reduces the risk of:
  • heart disease
  • falls and injuries
  • high blood pressure
  • adult-onset diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • stroke
  • depression
  • colon cancer
  • premature death
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