Exercise For Aging Well

Did you know that ?

  • Exercise is the best way to age well and remain independent
  • Exercise can help prevent falls
  • Exercise improves the mental fitness
  • The group exercise help break the loneliness/isolation
  • Inactivity is the first step towards cognitive decline
  • Inactivity reduces our endurance, strength, flexibility and balance
  • Inactivity damages our health as much as smoking

Is that you?

  • Are you afraid of a fall?
  • Are you feeling weaker than before?
  • Do you feel depressed or anxious?
  • Are you trying to isolate yourself?
  • Are you more than 50 years of age?

If so, know that physical exercise is one of the best ways to counter the effects of aging, prevent falls, tone up your muscle mass, hunt black ideas, and meet good people waiting for you outside.

I want to exercise, but where to start?

Exercise For AgingYou must first establish with your doctor if your condition permits and determine whether you should avoid certain exercises or not. You can exercise at home, at the gym, alone, or in groups. To explore the possibilities available to you, you can contact the recreation department in your community or private sports centers at universities.

Choose physical activities that you enjoy, you’ll have a leisure time integrating into your routine. By choosing exercises in each of three categories (strength and balance, endurance, and flexibility), you will put all the odds on one side to improve your quality of life and maintain your independence.

Exercise regularly, regardless of your age.

Medical professionals once advised older people not to do rigorous exercises. But now we know that there is more harm not to exercise that doing this. The good news is that it’s never late. You can benefit from the positive effects of physical activity. It is even possible to develop our muscles at 80 years of age!

Exercise is a physical activity that is planned, structured and repeated regularly. It aims at improving or maintaining physical abilities: endurance exercise (weight training), flexibility exercises, aerobic exercises, stretching etc. Physical activity can also be of any type: cleaning, walking the dog, gardening etc.

The benefits of physical activity and exercise

According to the Canadian Institute for Research on Fitness and Lifestyle , exercise can:

  • Reduce anxiety and depression;
  • Improve balance and prevent falls;
  • Reduce joint pains;
  • Provide a sense of well-being;
  • Improve cognition and mood;
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis;
  • Help control the high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and obesity;
  • Help maintain autonomy;
  • Add years of independent and independent living;
  • Reduce morbidity and mortality.

Exercise helps prevent falls.

In addition to help prevent falls, exercise will allow you to have less fear of falling because you will have more strength and more balance.

Falls account for more than half of the injuries in people of 65 year sor more. They can permanently reduce your mobility and independence. They are a risk factor that can be reduced or even prevented. Make sure your environment is safe. Do you have enough places to support you in the bathroom? Are some items stored too high? Is the lighting adequate?  Health Canada publishes several guides to help you prevent falls.

 Do not let anyone tell you “It’s normal at your age.”

While we age, some changes are inevitable such as aging of the cardiovascular system and pulmonary system. The heart and the lungs lose their effectiveness. Other transformations can be slowed such as OsteopeniaSarcopenia , the decline of cognitive (memory) and physical (balance, gait) functions of the body. Exercise plays a key role in slowing and even preventing these changes.

Osteopenia and Sarcopenia

Gradually, as we age, bones lose minerals (osteopenia) and become vulnerable, hence increasing the risk of fractures (such as the hip, for example). Osteopenia can progress to osteoporosis which is a severe form of bone weakness.

As we age, the muscle mass decreases (sarcopenia).

There is no specific treatment for sarcopenia and osteopenia, but strength training can help you limit these changes and even stop this process up to a limit.

Strong muscles support the bones in a better way and help prevent the falls, the leading cause of fractures in the elderly.

At a more advanced stage, sarcopenia can even restrict physical autonomy of individuals and restrict them to a more sedentary lifestyle, which triggers a vicious cycle that makes matters worse:

Exercise For Aging 2Strength training and balance exercises can help postmenopausal women to increase their muscle mass.

This is not only limited to the males. Women, especially after menopause, can also attain a desirable level of fitness by doing physical exercise.

Doctorlisa Readers Bureau, Contributor

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