At all life stages, regular exercise is not just beneficial but essential. This does not change as we age. What does change is the way we move, how often we do it and how easily. While change is inevitable, you can continue to have an active lifestyle as you grow older.
The fact is, the importance of exercise for seniors increases as we age and a well-considered exercise routine becomes essential for longevity, staying healthy, and aging well.
At Restart, one of our interest areas is Exercise Physiology for seniors because we’re well aware of the benefits of exercise in older adults. We believe that you can find a routine that suits your changing needs as an older adult – and if you need some guidance our Exercise Physiologists are here to support you with age-appropriate exercise options.
A regular exercise routine will ensure you maintain your independence as you age
Along with the importance of physical activity for elderly people, another key aspect to aging well is maintaining your independence. And the two are intertwined.
Consistent exercise will help with your strength and mobility as you get older. This strength will help you remain independent by staying mobile and avoiding falls (more on those later). You don’t need to be running marathons or lifting heavy weights; your exercise can look like a gentle walk each day or a game of golf with friends.
Remaining independent for as long as possible as we age also helps us continue to do the things we enjoy and maintain a sense of purpose – both very important aspects of aging well.
The importance of exercise for elderly in avoiding injury and disease
We can’t halt the aging process – we begin aging from the minute we are born – however there are plenty of things we can do to age well, like continuing with regular movement throughout our lives.
Another of the key benefits of exercise in older adults is that regular movement (versus a sedentary lifestyle) has shown to increase life expectancy and hold off the onset of disease. Regularly exercising also ensures that you maintain a healthy weight and helps to avoid debilitating diseases like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Arthritis is a common ailment in older people. One of the main physical benefits of exercise for elderly folks is to help avoid the symptoms of arthritis. By following a specifically designed age-appropriate exercise plan, studies have shown you can recover from or avoid arthritis symptoms completely.
As we age, we often lose our sense of balance and one of the main causes of this is a loss of muscle mass. Another key benefit of physical activity for seniors is exercising to ensure that your muscles remain strong so you can avoid falls. There are studies that show that just moderate exercise, even over a short period of time can improve balance.
Exercise physiology for seniors will help with rehabilitation after an injury or fall
Falls are not inevitable but they do become more common as we age.
A common outcome of a fall, particularly for older adults, is a hip fracture. In fact, 93 per cent of hip fractures recorded in 2016 were caused by a fall, a study showed. To recover from hip fracture surgery, strength and balance exercises are essential, as is mobility – it’s recommended that you start walking almost immediately after hip surgery.
Hip fractures are extremely debilitating – it can take over a year to get back to pre-injury movement levels, and in worst case scenarios a hip fracture may be fatal. While exercise physiology for seniors will help with rehabilitation after hip fracture, ideally we avoid falls completely.
One of the best ways to do this is to regularly do strengthening exercises. If you would like support in creating a strength based routine, or are injured from a fall, our Exercise Physiologists will support you. We’ll help you build your strength – in general or after a fall and importantly, ensure you have the confidence to continue with your everyday activities.
At Restart, our Exercise Physiologists provide a routine that suits your changing needs, no matter your life stage. We understand the importance of physical activity for elderly people and offer support for seniors; we can assist by managing a range of different conditions through a targeted exercise program that will demonstrate the importance of exercise for seniors.
The aim of Exercise Physiology for seniors is to empower you to establish and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Get in touch to learn more about how we can support you or a family member today.
All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Restart can consult with you to confirm what is right for you.