We've never been afraid to advocate the benefits of moderate exercise for keeping blood pressure down as well as for supporting a health lifestyle as you enter senior living. In stark contrast to the old stigma that once you stop working it's time to put your feet up and slow down, the older generation of today can rest assured that keeping active is one of the best possible things you can do for your health. 

However, in addition to the wonders it can do for your muscles and mobility, did you know that exercise could also play an important role in defending against mental disorders? 

Here's a look at recent findings from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM). 

Active body, active mind

A collaborative effort with the European University, the study found that adults who took part in even moderate exercise in their leisure time had noticeably better mental health than those who didn't exercise. 

The research looked at a wide group of ages from 15-74, and concluded that the level of exercise performed also had a correlation with being less vulnerable to developing a mental disorder of some description.  

Of the participants surveyed, the UPM found that almost one in five (19.8 per cent) were not meeting the recommended level of activity, and 15 per cent were living with a mental disorder. 

However, for those who partook in mild to higher intensity exercise, the risk of mental health issues dropped by an astonishing over 50 per cent. 

Bike riding is just one of the great ways you can enjoy exercise in senior living. Bike riding is just one of the great ways you can enjoy exercise in senior living.

Fighting fit for mental health 

It's important for seniors to do what they can to guard against mental disorders, which have the potential to make ageing in place a challenge. Fortunately, with regards to exercise, there is plenty you can do to get moving for even 30 minutes a day. 

Swimming and aqua aerobics can be a great way to keep active, especially if you're looking for something less load-bearing than jogging or walking. Water sports are also suitable for people with arthritis, who want to exercise without inflaming their joints. 

For the more adventurous, there is also boxing, a great form of cardiovascular fitness that anyone can join in. If you are a wheelchair user, there are plenty of ways you can help to support your fitness, some of which you can read about here.

Could exercise also help to keep our mental health in good shape?