Older People Exercise
Lots of adults aged 65 and over spend an average of 10 hours or more sitting or lying down on a daily basis. These levels of inactivity within this age group cause higher falls rate, obesity, heart disease and joint dysfunction compared to the general population. At Physiotherapy Matters we strongly recommend exercise for elderly patients as part of a daily routine.
The importance of staying as active as possible is even more important as we age to help maintain independence and quality of life. Taking preventative action and maintaining good activity levels can make sure simple pleasures such as playing with grandchildren, doing your garden or simply walking to the shops do not become too difficult to manage.
Older adults should aim to be active daily. Current guidelines suggest 2.5 hours of moderate activity each week. A good way to approach this is doing 30mins 5 days a week. In addition, older adults should aim to do muscle strengthening exercises twice per week. This is one of the best treatments for osteoarthritis and bone health in general.
Moderate intensity activity could be anything which causes you to get a bit warmer and slightly out of breath but still manage to hold a conversation. For example, brisk walking or dancing. Activities which strengthen muscles typically involve anything which makes you work against resistance, from stretchy bands to tins of beans.
The benefits of exercise for elderly people are:
- Helps to maintain cognitive function.
- Reduced the risk of heart disease.
- Helps to maintain the ability to carry out activities of daily living
- Improves mood and self-esteem.
- Reduces the risk of falls.
Incorporating a combination of moderate cardio, strength and balance exercises into a daily routine can help prevent falls for elderly people, improve walking, increase muscle strength and generally enhance quality of life.
Physiotherapy matters are launching exercise classes tailored specifically for older adults and ran by qualified physiotherapists. This means we understand the body and can help you to achieve your goals in a safe environment. We can give the best advice on what sort of exercise if helpful and even what is best to wear. The classes will be run in small groups and are a fantastic way to meet new people and build confidence.