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The Importance of Movement for Seniors: How Staying Active Can Improve Physical and Mental Health

Aged Care Parnell

14th Jun 2024

Throughout our lives, we are told that exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle. While the emphasis on exercise often targets youth, maintaining physical activity remains crucial for both mental and physical well-being throughout life.

The same is true even for seniors, where increased movement is often disregarded as difficult or overwhelming. Although the exercises may have to be modified, there are still some major benefits to both physical and mental health, like reducing the likelihood of diseases and physical traumas such as falls.

Physical Health Benefits

Exercise has some pretty obvious physical health benefits in younger people, and the same benefits extend to seniors. These include increasing muscle density and mass, and stretching tendons and ligaments to maintain mobility for longer, and increasing the ability to withstand physical trauma, like falling from a bed or chair by accident.

Another physical health benefit to exercise is an increased resistance to chronic diseases. These are diseases that build up over a lifetime like cardiac diseases, dementia, and diabetes. Exercise has been shown to help reduce the frequency of these diseases when regularly practised.

Overall, your health is just better when you exercise often as a senior. It helps to prevent your health from suffering from things like the common cold.

Mental Health Benefits

An often overlooked part of holistic wellbeing is mental health, and this is a really important part of your overall health. Regular exercise significantly improves mental health by alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other chronic conditions.

Having a group to exercise with can also help with mental health, as it offers another avenue of support and an opportunity to form connections. Classes such as yoga or aqua aerobics are some examples of often senior-focused groups where you can find community alongside exercise to help boost mood. 

Exercise has also been shown to improve cognitive function in senior patients. This is often an endpoint of studies looking to improve the wellbeing of patients’ lives. Usually, this looks like having an improvement in memory, recognition, or other cognitive tasks.

Barriers to Movement

It’s not a secret that exercise is good for health, and yet many people struggle to maintain a healthy exercise routine. This is true especially for seniors, because there are additional barriers to movement. 

For seniors this includes complications from existing health conditions, like being frail or unable to walk unassisted. Some ways to overcome this may include modifying exercises with seated or assisted movements, and using your own bodyweight. 

Other barriers might include time, especially if you are unable to exercise on your own. In this case, going to a specific class might be an option, where there are instructors who will be able to help you. Alternatively, coming up with a short but effective routine, or one which you can do by yourself might be an option.

The Foundation’s Support

The Foundation has a variety of current support options for seniors who are looking to get in some additional exercise. Future plans include further amenities, such as a specific cardio studio and even a hydrotherapy pool. These amenities give an excellent set of options for both beginner and advanced exercises.

The Foundation encourages residents to move their bodies more with group exercise classes, including a walking club where residents can chat as they walk around the beautiful Parnell area.


Moving your body often and engaging in exercise is a great choice for seniors. It has a myriad of both physical and mental health benefits, and can help to reduce the likelihood of both chronic and acute diseases. 

Choosing to spend your retirement at the Foundation will offer you access to a range of amenities aimed at helping you to live a more active lifestyle. If you’d like to learn more about staying active as a senior, get in touch with our friendly team today.


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