My mom was a Girl Scout and then a leader. She once took my troop camping when she was like eight months pregnant. Not surprisingly, she is a hiker. She still takes six to ten mile hikes several times a week. Of course, not all older adults are physically capable of that kind of strenuous exercise. However, that doesn’t mean they have to sit in their recliner all day.
Most seniors were active in their youth. They may have started off playing stickball or Hide and Seek and progressed to baseball, tennis or golf. Then so often, life gets in the way and it is hard to find the time for the leisure activities we love. Many of us look forward to retirement as the time to get back to an active lifestyle.
However, many older adults find they do not engage in sports and other social activities nearly as much as they had expected. As discussed in the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog, "A Lost Skill Among Elderly: How to Have Fun," studies show that many older adults spend the bulk of their day watching television. Research suggests that elderly people who are mentally and physically active see important health benefits. Even if mobility is limited, there are still ways to exercise. Consult your physician, a trainer or physical therapist to help design a program right for you.
Mental and social stimulation is just as important and can help ward off dementia and depression. Senior centers, libraries and community centers offer programming that can keep you engaged. Next time you do not feel like going out, just think about the health benefits and get out there and have fun.