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August 2, 2017

Physical health is important for people of all ages

Author: ERICA GOLLHARDT

General health for individuals is often categorized into age groups. Even when you search online for fitness tips and suggestions, articles focus mostly on specific generations (i.e. teens versus elderly). Besides age and medical conditions, the focus on health and maintaining an active lifestyle is truly similar between age groups.

The importance of physical activities provides similar benefits and results in both teen and senior populations. For instance, aerobic exercise in both teens and seniors helps strengthen the heart and imdiseases proves circulation. Physical activity boosts energy levels and increases flexibility. Activities like hiking, dancing, swimming, brisk walking, running and biking are not specific to one age group.

Physical activities are so important across generations because they can affect weight management, mental health and disease prevention. Weight management in teens and seniors helps them to avoid unnecessary weight gain and reduce the risk or exacerbation of such as Type II diabetes and high blood pressure. Metabolism also slows with age thus encouraging weight gain. Exercise helps increase metabolism and muscle mass to help burn calories.

Physical health helps to maintain mental health in a positive way for all generations as well. Exercise encourages restful sleep, builds selfconfidence, increases selfesteem and reduces the risk and/or regulates symptoms of depression. Working out can cultivate healthy brain functions such as multitasking and creativity. Prevention of memory loss, cognitive decline, dementia and slow progression of brain disorders also serve as a benefit of exercise.

As mentioned above, exercise reduces the risk and/or maintains the symptoms of Type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer in people of any age. Keeping fit helps to lower blood pressure and keeps cholesterol in check. Working out also improves immune and digestive functioning. Diseases like osteoporosis can be prevented and/or maintained by performing weight-bearing exercises like brisk walking and running to strengthen bones and muscles.

Mixing exercise up can also be an important aspect of consistently working out. Switching up different types of exercises keeps the activities interesting and you interested in them. Maintaining a balance between fitness focuses like balance, cardio, strength, power training and flexibility will keep the muscles guessing and keep workouts fun.

Changing your workout routine by mixing who you enjoy these activities with will also keep you interested and the task interesting. For a new experience, try enjoying working out with other people not your age and experience some heartfelt experiences!

Erica Gollhardt, the Admissions/ Marketing Director for Sheboygan Health Services, is a member of the Sheboygan County Activity and Nutrition Coalition.

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