Growing older is one of the greatest challenges most people face in their lifetime. Anyone visiting an assisted living facility is likely to hear at least one of the residents comment that getting old is for the birds. Nobody wants to feel the aches and pains, loss of balance and forgetfulness that senior citizens experience, but almost everyone will get there eventually. While this may all sound a bit depressing, there is evidence that the negative effects of old age can be delayed by living a more active lifestyle.

People who maintain a regular exercise routine tend to be healthier whatever their age. Staying active and eating a healthy diet helps people to stay fit and avoid disease such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Individuals who live a sedentary lifestyle are prone to obesity, aching joints and poor circulation. As individuals advance to their senior years, the lifetime habits they have developed will affect how well they are able to function.

Seniors who want to enjoy their golden years to the fullest extent should make a strong effort to be as physically active as possible. Even retirees who have been relatively sedentary due to their previous job can begin at whatever level they are capable of and gradually increase their activity. Fitness experts state that walking is a good way to begin building an exercise regime that can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Even this relatively low level of exercise will result in better muscle tone, improved balance and an increased energy level.

Before beginning any new exercise program, seniors should discuss their plans with their physician. Benefits of regular exercise for seniors include improved bone density, better balance, reduced risk of dementia and longer life expectancy due to prevention or delay of common old-age health problems.

Loss of independence is likely the problem most seniors fear most. Needing other people to take care of their needs is scary, but elderly people will find themselves in that position as mobility and cognitive decline. Research has shown that physical and mental decline can be delayed considerably when seniors exercise their body and mind daily. Retirees should consider joining a program such as Senior Life where they will be able to access longevity focused activities and interact with other members who have similar interests.