Exercise Right Week is on from 20th to 26th May this year, and the theme is Active Ageing. All Australians are encouraged to move more and age better. But keeping active is especially important as we get older.
Regular exercise has many health benefits
Regular exercise helps you get more out of life and helps keep the body younger. Being active as you age can:
- Help prevent falls (see how our occupational therapists can help with fall prevention here).
- Reduce the risk of chronic disease like diabetes, and heart disease.
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death of Australians over 65. Women over 60 who cut the time spent being inactive by 1 hour every day, reduce their risk of heart disease by 26%.
- Enhance bone health (8 ways to minimise the risk of osteoarthritis)
- Maintain your independence.
- Improve mood and mental health.
- Improve brain function like memory, judgement and reasoning.
People aged over 65 are recommended to:
- Do 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most if not all days.
- Do a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
- Start at a level that they can easily manage and gradually build this up.
Strength training is beneficial for many older adults
Many people think seniors should do mostly low impact exercises such as walking or swimming. However, the Australian Physiotherapy Association advises that exercise programs should be based on individual ability and needs rather than age. Physiotherapist Meg Lowy, who is also chair of the Queensland Gerontology committee for APA advises, “It is important that we recognise we all have the potential to make inaccurate assumptions about what is and is not appropriate for a person’s age. But there is a strong body of evidence to suggest that heavy strength training, challenging balance exercises and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are in fact advantageous for many older adults.”
“Not everybody who walks in off the street is ready for squats with a heavy barbell on their shoulders. We don’t need to start with those exercises day one, but they should never be taken off the menu based on somebody’s age.”
Dr Christian Barton, a post-doctoral researcher at La Trobe University, currently leads a research program to provide physiotherapy led exercise, including strength training, for Australians with osteoarthritis advised, “Exercise is the most evidence based treatment for people with osteoarthritis, and in many cases can allow them to avoid surgery and reduce the need for pain killers. But, it must be progressed to ensure people get stronger.”
Find out more about the strength training available at Inspiro for older adults here.
Get expert advice on exercise that’s right for you
Inspiro’s physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can help assess your needs and teach you the exercises that are best suited to your body and goals.
To make an appointment or speak to somebody call 9028 0153.
Find out more about Inspiro's health services in Lilydale, Healesville and Belgrave by clicking on the links below:
- Affordable dental and free dental for children
- Affordable physio
- Counselling for youth, families and adults
- Speech therapy for children and adults and occupational therapy
- Free children and family support
- Dietetics and expert nutrition advice.
- Diabetes education
- Play, exercise, development and social groups for children, adults and the elderly
- Quit smoking and alcohol and drug support groups
- Free in school teeth checks for primary school students
- Interest free loans and university scholarships
- Exercise physiology