The importance of exercise as we age is often underestimated. There is plenty of research that explains the amazing benefits of exercise. The saying that “if exercise was a pill, it would be the most prescribed remedy in the world” is very true, and the benefits exercise offers becomes even more so as we age. The hard part is knowing what to do and how to do it, in order to get the greatest benefits for your own circumstances. This is where people such as your GP or an Exercise Physiologist here at The Body Refinery are well equipped to get you moving safely and effectively.
Whether you’ve been meaning to increase your exercise levels for a while and are ready to take the next step, or if you have older friends/family who you think could improve their quality of life through exercise, this is definitely worth a read!
Did you know that only 15% of adults (18-64) meet the recommended Physical Activity Guidelines? While 55% complete one of the recommendations of completing 150-300 minutes of physical activity per week, 40% of those adults don’t complete the recommended muscle-strengthening exercises twice a week, which is needed to fully meet the guidelines.
In older adults (64+) the guidelines state that at least 30 minutes of accumulated activity should be reached on most days. Only 26% of those over 64 years achieve this, even though health experts believe this to be one of the most important times for people to remain physically active!
Why Exercise is Important:
Exercise is critically important because of the range of benefits it provides to people of any age. Some of the greatest benefits of exercising regularly for older people are:
- Improves mood
- Improves independence
- Reduces risk of health issues
- Provides social opportunities
- Improves cognitive function
- Assists in the management of many health conditions
Conversely, a lack of exercise can cause or exacerbate a range of physical and other issues.
Getting Started & Available Exercise Options:
Though the guidelines broadly state the amounts of exercise you should aim for, the type of exercise is up to you. It’s important to find something that works for you, so it’s important to consider: the type of activities you enjoy and can commit to regularly; any existing medical conditions; what time of day you prefer to exercise; and whether you’d prefer to exercise alone or as part of a team or social group.
Common options include walking, running or gym-based exercise, but you may want to consider:
- Kicking a ball in the park with friends or grandchildren
- Social sport
Incidental exercise is also an important part of staying fit and healthy. Try:
- Walking to work/shops/cafes, instead of driving.
- Catching public transport, instead of a door-to-door Uber/Taxi.
- Taking the stairs rather than the escalator.
It’s important to start at an achievable level and work your way toward higher goals, and do something you enjoy!
Role of Exercise Physiology:
Exercise Physiologists are university-trained to prescribe exercise and provide advice to each person’s specific needs, which makes them an ideal first point of contact when you are starting to exercise, or if you would like to take your current level of exercise to the next level. Whether you are looking to manage health conditions such as a heart condition or diabetes or simply looking to stay mobile, strong and independent into the future, Exercise Physiologists have the knowledge and tools to help you achieve this safely and at a pace that suit you.
If you’d like any additional information, have questions, or just want to get started exercising again in a safe and fun way, call The Body Refinery on 07 3358 3915 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book an initial consultation with one of our Exercise Physiologists. They will take into account your health status, goals, level of fitness and work with you to reach your goals and keep you moving well into the future.