Recent studies suggest that inactivity can be the next serious health condition that is quite comparable to smoking.
As an older Australian, would you say you lead an active or sedentary lifestyle? If you are active, good for you.
If you don’t, it’s not too late to start acting on a small scale. It will improve the quality of your life. Studies show that after the age of 55, people largely lose strength, endurance and flexibility. You can minimize or combat this loss with exercise.
It is fair to say that the years of punishment of our bodies take their toll, sometimes they deprive us of mobility if we do not keep moving.
Move and push your body as much as you are undoubtedly good. Studies show that exercise leads to a happier, healthier and longer life. When you lead an active lifestyle, you retain your independence and are less dependent on others in daily affairs and activities.
You may also want to consider the following benefits of exercise:
It improves your balance
Improving balance reduces the likelihood of falling. According to the U.S. National Council on Aging, an elderly citizen is taken to the emergency room because of a fall-related injury every 11 seconds. What’s worse, every 19 minutes an older person dies from a fall. Falls are a serious health problem in society: about 30% of adults over the age of 65 experience at least one fall per year.
Balance is important to reduce falls and ultimately serious injuries. Falls are common among the elderly and can lead to fractures, head injuries, other serious injuries and even death, ”said spokesman Professor James Harrison of the AIHW National Injury Monitoring Group, based at Flinders University.
In the 10 years to 2016-2017, the number of head injuries has almost doubled for both men and women, so the importance of balance for your mobility program should be considered.
Gives you more energy
Exercise leads to the release of endorphins, chemicals “pleasant well-being” that help the body cope with pain and stress. In this way, exercise promotes a sense of well-being, makes you feel more energetic and helps you sleep better.
An active lifestyle can prevent or reduce the severity of diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a sedentary lifestyle doubles the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. It also increases the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety.
Improves brain function
Regular exercise improves brain health. Exercise reduces the likelihood of acquiring dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by nearly 50 percent, according to the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Foundation.
As people get older, they lose their stamina, strength, and flexibility. The Framingham Disability Survey, conducted from September 1976 to November 1978 among older people who are not in institutions, confirmed this. Studies have shown that 66 percent of women between the ages of 75 and 85 could not lift more than 10 pounds, 62 percent found it difficult to kneel or bend, and 42 percent could not stand for more than 15 minutes.
According to a study by scientists from Harvard and Tufts in 1994, these losses can be reversed. The study involved 100 residents of nursing homes between the ages of 72 and 98 who performed resistance exercises three times a week. After 10 weeks, those who exercised were able to climb stairs, go faster and farther, and lift much more weight than those who did not.
Harvard has also found that regular exercise helps people age more slowly and live healthier and more energetic lives. And it also helps people live longer. Calculations based on a study by Harvard graduates show that men who exercise regularly can increase life expectancy by about two hours for every hour of exercise.
In addition, a 10-year study conducted by researchers from the MacArthur Study of Aging in America found that 70- and 80-year-olds can enjoy exercise even if they have never played sports before.
From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare we know that Australia’s population is aging and the proportion of older Australians is growing in the total population. In 2017, 15% of Australians (3.8 million) were aged 65 and over; this share is projected to grow steadily in the coming decades.
How do you get started?
As with any exercise program, start with an examination by your primary care physician. If you have osteoporosis, congenital heart failure, diabetes, arthritis, joint replacement, or anything else that restricts mobility, ask for directions on how to act.
After cleaning, think about hiring a personal trainer at a local gym or find an app that can make you responsible. You can also sign up for age training at your community center. It is advisable to make an exercise program based on four basics of fitness – strength training, cardiovascular status, flexibility and balance.
“Harvard has also found that regular exercise helps people age more slowly and live healthier and more energetic lives.”
If you are very weak, you better start with strength training (resistance exercises). It helps build muscle so you can comfortably perform daily tasks.
You can use weights for the ankle and arms to train with resistance. Start small and build up when you get stronger. Lift a weight that you can comfortably control, eight reps. When lifting a weight, count to three, hold it by counting to one, and then lower it to three. Rest for three seconds and then repeat. If you can do reps 15 times, add more weight. Train different muscle groups on different days.
Exercises for balance
Avoid falls by increasing your resilience through balance exercises. Exercises for balance include walking from heel to toe, standing on one foot and standing on one foot.
- Heel-toe: move as if on a slope, the heel of one foot touches the toes of the other. Extend your arms for balance if necessary.
- Stand on one leg: Stand on one leg, then on the other as you wait in line. At home, do this with your eyes closed, but make sure you are safe from falling.
- Stand on your feet: hold on to the chair for support and stand on tiptoe. Stay as long as comfortable, lower yourself, and then repeat.
A sedentary lifestyle weakens the heart, making its contractions weak. As a result, the heart pumps less blood with each heartbeat. However, regular exercise can undo some of this loss of function and strength. Good activities for the cardiovascular system – walking, swimming and cycling.
For people over 65, the WHO recommends at least 150 minutes of medium-intensity aerobic activity per week. It works up to about 30 minutes of exercise a day, five times a week or 15 minutes of exercise twice a day. You can also combine exercises of moderate and vigorous intensity for the same duration or perform 75 minutes of active activity.
Stretching to improve flexibility
Do stretching exercises only when your muscles are warmed up. You can add about 10 minutes of stretching exercises after weightlifting or aerobics. Make your stretch marks slow and controlled.
For best results, keep stretching to 30, even if you inhale and exhale deeply. Repeat three to five times. Increase the stretching range when you get flexibility. Remember that stretching should not be painful.
The essence of inaction
It is important, though not always easy, to stay active with age. If you have a disease that limits activity, seek medical advice as much as you can. Start small and gradually increase your activity level. When you gain strength, stability and balance, you will be happy to have started exercising.
note: Life Begins at Magazine provides the above information solely to demonstrate the benefits of increased mobility. We always recommend that you consult your doctor when starting an exercise plan.