Dec 15, 2017 by Larry Morgan
Can doing laundry really sub in as a light workout? According to this study, for seniors, yes! Here’s the scoop:
When we think of the word “exercise,” our minds generally picture a hardcore, sweaty gym exercise involving weights and intense cardio. This, however, doesn’t have to be the case – especially for seniors.
Researchers from the San Diego School of Medicine looked at light physical activity in older women to see what benefits it would have compared to moderate or intense exercise, and what they found was quite interesting.
Over 6,300 women were recruited and followed over a span of almost 5 years. The women ranged between ages 63 and 99.
The participants wore accelerometers on their hip in order to continuously track their physical activity for 7 days at a time.
Interestingly, the researchers found there to be benefits in the participants, even if below the recommended activity levels for their age group. For every half hour of light physical activity every day, the risk of death fell by as much as 12 percent. Not only that, but half an hour of moderate activity showed a 39 percent decrease!
Additionally, the same benefits were found in all women, regardless of ethnicity, weight, or age. No need to go drip sweat at the gym – something as simple as cleaning or working on household projects everyday can greatly benefit you.
Not only are you getting exercise in, but you are also getting chores done around your house by yourself.
This is extremely important in living a high quality of life in your older years. Seniors who feel more independent tend to be happier, which leads to a more positive outlook on things and overall a higher quality (and potentially longer) life.
Though this study focused on senior women, this data on top of previous studies of light and moderate exercise show that doing chores or similar activities can benefit all seniors.
And, given the study focused on light exercise, doing your chores isn’t the only way to get these benefits, either. Essentially, every movement counts. Because older people use more energy to do the same activities they used to do while they were younger, they don’t need as brutal of a workout regimen to stay healthy.
If you’re looking to incorporate more exercise into your day-to-day routine, first talk to your doctor. They can give you advice on the best exercise for you depending on your conditions and physical ability.