SOC 304: Social Gerontology
December 19, 2011
Exercise has been proven to be an important aspect of healthy living and specifically of healthy aging. The following is a discussion on the specific factors related to healthy aging, along with the benefits of exercising for the elderly including the heart disease risk factors which can be modified by an effective exercise program.
Elderly people in particular could find the advantages of a fitness program to relate to the concept of healthy aging. Successful aging refers to the acquisition of optimal mental and physical health in the process of growing old (Quadagno, 2011, p. 4). The healthy aging process encompasses both individual and societal factors, while promotion of wellbeing in older people relates to specific lifestyle ...view middle of the document...
1). Any elderly person can benefit greatly from a fitness program, especially those with specific risk factors which could manifest in the process of growing older.
While genetic risk factors such as a predisposition for heart issues can increase the likelihood of heart disease, lifestyle and behavioral choices are conducive for developing the disease (Quadagno, 2011, p. 144). Promoting healthy aging includes awareness of specific risk factors and proper management of such. Systolic hypertensions, smoking, and obesity related to physical inactivity have been shown to be three major risk factors relating to heart disease (Keller, Fleury, & Mujezinovic-Womack, 2003, p. 18). Regular physical activity such as exercise is affiliated with reduced blood pressure and increased cardiovascular function capacity (p. 20). Understanding that succumbing to heart disease can be preventable is essential to the promotion of lifestyle changes conducive to improved health, especially in the elderly.
Healthy aging directly relates to disease prevention and recognition of risk factors. The benefits of an exercise program translate to optimal physical health, while heart disease risk factors are particularly challenged by the inclusion of fitness in the process of growing older.
Keller, C., Fleury, J. & Mujezinovic-Womack, M. (2003). Managing cardiovascular risk reduction in elderly adults. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 29(6), 18-23. Retrieved December 18, 2011, from ProQuest Health and Medical Complete.
Quadagno, J. (2011). Aging and the life course: An introduction to social gerontology (5th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Shields, M. & Martel, L. (2006). Healthy living among seniors. Health Reports: How healthy are Canadians? ANNUAL REPORT, 16, 7-20. Retrieved December 17, 2011, from CBCA Complete.
Sollitto, M. (2011). Exercise for the elderly. Retrieved from http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Exercise-benefits-for-the-Elderly-95383.htm