It’s common these days to meet elderly persons who remain incredibly active, often way more so than people many decades younger! When I join in my local Free Parkrun in Marlay Park, I regularly see men and women in their 80s running very fast times! Aside from the personal pleasure this brings, there are significant meaningful health benefits that come with exercising in the later years of your life.
Reduced Risk of Falling
The fear of sustaining a fall is one of the biggest concern of elderly people, especially those who live alone. Falls often result in broken bones (commonly wrist, arms and hips), from which you may never fully recover. Regular weight-bearing exercise (on your two feet) like walking, jogging and hiking vastly improve your balance & coordination which in turn reduce your likelihood of falling, and improves your confidence as well.
Simply put, exercise is the key to happiness! Due to the release of adrenaline and endorphins, you’ll never be at your most happy than after a heart-pumping, sweat-inducing workout. Depression (caused by loneliness and/or bereavement) is an issues that affects older people way more than any other age group. Exercise is a great way to fight mental illness and present your best face to the world!
- Weight-bearing exercise (on your two feet) helps to improve your bone density by slowing down the rate at which your bones thin with age.
- Aerobic exercise (rhythmic, sustained exercises like jogging, swimming or cycling) improve your heart health and lung function, which will improve your lifespan.
- Resistance training (with weights or resistance bands) give you stronger arms and legs, which makes all your day-to-day tasks easier, like gardening and grocery shopping.
Independence & Mobility
All of these aforementioned benefits contribute to making you more independent, which means you’ll be able to remain living in your own home for the longest possible time. Retaining mobility also means you can engage in more of the group activities that your community has to offer. You’ll have more energy for family and your grandchildren too! So if you’re not active, then it’s time to turn over a new leaf – there’s plenty of reasons why you should!
Get Started – Consult Your Physiotherapist
Physiotherapists, including myself, work with elderly people everyday to help retain mobility and promote independence. If you’d like to get an exercise programme that is safe and tailored to your abilities, then look no further than a Chartered Physiotherapist.
Flynn Medical Exercise are running a 6-week Age-Fit Exercise Group, on Thursdays at 11:30am, starting on April 13th 2017. Call, text or email for more information.