Physical Health for Seniors: Preventive Care and Key Strategies for Maintaining Lifelong

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Physical health is an important health aspect that people of any age should take care of. Not only does this helps the body function properly, but it also reduces the risk of getting various illnesses such as heart disease, diabetesarthritis, and osteoporosis.

However, as we age, most of our bodily functions decline including bone strength, flexibility, mobility, and metabolism which makes it harder for us to maintain good physical health. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your physical health at its peak even if you’re already in your senior years.

Importance of Good Physical Health

Physical health should be one of the priorities of people, especially the elderly. What makes it so important is that:

  1. It reduces your risk of getting chronic diseases
  2. It contributes to better cognitive function
  3. It enhances your social interaction
  4. It is believed to improve mental health
  5. It reduces your risk of falls and fractures
  6. It helps improve the quality of sleep
  7. It promotes healthy weight

Benefits of Exercise

Some may say that physical exercise and being physically active are no longer fit for seniors, but that is not the case. In fact, good physical health offers plenty of benefits to your:


Bone density loss is part of normal aging, and it usually begins as early as your 40s and accelerates as you reach your 50s. Unaddressed bone density loss might result in being prone to fractures and falls.

Fortunately, engaging in physical activities and exercises regularly will help reduce your risk of bone density loss and even keep them strong and dense.


Just like bones, our muscles also decrease as we age. This is due to the decline of the body’s testosterone production. Some studies suggest that one of the reasons why seniors easily lose muscle mass is because of a sedentary lifestyle or a lack of physical activity. This is where exercise becomes crucial in maintaining healthy muscle mass even when you reach your 50s or 60s.


Healthy joints mean better flexibility, however, age and lack of physical activity may result in poor joints and it can trigger illnesses that target bones and joints. Regular engagement in aerobic or non-aerobic exercises will keep the joints used and strengthened keeping them healthy even as you age.

Cardiorespiratory health

Cardio exercises like jogging, running, cycling, brisk walking, or jumping are the best exercises you can do to keep the health of your lungs and heart at its peak. Since seniors are more prone to cardiovascular diseases, practicing these exercises at least 3 times a week will help reduce your risk of these diseases.

Body fat levels

Our metabolism usually slows down as we age. This is why some seniors feel like it’s harder to lose weight than during their 20s. Keeping up with a specific workout routine along with a healthy diet will help keep body fat levels low and muscle density higher. Regular exercise will help maintain your normal weight as well.

How Age Affects?

Age naturally affects our physical health. This means that when we reach our senior years, physical aspects like bone density, muscle density, heart health, and metabolism decline. The more physically inactive we are, the earlier these changes will occur. Specifically, age triggers:

  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Reduced strength and endurance
  • Reduced mobility and flexibility
  • Reduced bone density and strength
  • A decline in respiratory and cardiovascular health
  • Increased risk of obesity and high body fat levels
  • Increased risk of hypertension or hypotension
  • Increased risk of falls and fractures
  • Increased risk of chronic loneliness, depression, and anxiety
Tips to Improve Even in Old Age

Now that you understand the importance and benefits of physical health as well as the effects of age on physical health, let us now take a closer look at the useful tips to improve your physical health even in old age.

Stay Active

Staying active means engaging in different physical activities or exercises. This is most beneficial for seniors who are trying to lose weight and maintain cardiovascular health. Not only that, but studies also revealed that regular exercise helps maintain focus, coordination, and mental well-being.

In planning out your exercise routine, it’s better to consult your doctor or physiotherapist on what exercises are best for your age and condition. Usually, seniors need at least 150 minutes a week of exercise.

Do muscle-building exercises

Aside from aerobic exercises, you should also engage in intensive exercises that focus on building muscle mass. This type of exercise will reduce your risk of muscle loss, which is fairly common among seniors. Bridges, squats, and wall pushups are just a few examples of muscle-building exercises you can try at home.

Note: If your current workout routine causes severe body pain and troubled breathing, it’s important to take a halt and report it to your doctor.

Keep hydrated

Water is an essential component needed by your body to do various processes. It’s also crucial to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily to give your body enough fluids. Seniors who are working out must not forget to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after workout sessions considering that seniors are more prone to dehydration.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is an essential part of maintaining good physical health because it's when we are asleep that our brain and the rest of the body do various processes. Not only that, but sleep also helps the body and the mind to recover from stressful events and situations encountered throughout the day.

Establish a healthy diet

To better achieve good physical health, it’s crucial to make eating healthy a habit. A healthy diet consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, an adequate amount of protein-rich foods, as well as healthy fats and oils found in olives, beans, potatoes, or avocados.

Cut off sugary foods

Too much sugar can cause many problems in your physical health including diabetes, obesity, and dental problems. The best way to address this is to reduce eating sugary foods. If you want to add sweetness to your foods, try honey as a sugar replacement instead.

Monitor your metabolism

When we get older, our metabolism gradually slows down, making it harder to lose or maintain weight. If you notice you’re more easily gaining weight than before, it’s time to cut off carbs and enhance exercise.

Get regular checkups

Attending regular checkups is very important as it helps you keep track of your health and get useful advice from experts on how to maintain good physical health. Additionally, attending checkups will help both you and your doctor in catching possible illnesses as early as possible to prevent them from worsening.

Personalized Exercise Plan

For seniors experiencing chronic illnesses such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or heart disease that might hinder mobility and engagement with physical activities, it’s important to check with your doctor first if you’re fit in doing rigorous exercises. Doctors may also devise a personalized exercise plan that suits your needs.

Consulting with your doctor is an important step to determine if certain workout plans will not cause further damage to your health.

Final Thoughts

Even if we’re already in our senior years, good physical health should still be a number one priority. You sure don’t want to endure physical weakness when you get older, right? So why not start practicing healthy lifestyles like exercising, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and getting regular checkups?

Not only that you’ll establish a healthier you, but it will also reduce your risk of chronic diseases that seniors usually endure. I hope this article helped you have a deeper understanding of physical health for seniors, its importance, benefits, and practices.

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