Age is but a Number: Fitness Tips For Older Australians
By E-Lynn Tan
Physiotherapist at Life Ready Physio + Pilates Baldivis
Exercise and physical activity is important for everyone’s health and wellbeing. Exercise, when done with advice and supervision by a health practitioner, is completely safe for older individuals!
Here are five main areas for exercise:
Improving strength will help you perform your day-to-day activities with ease. This in-turn can help with maintaining independence. Strength training includes exercises with weights, resistance bands or even your own body weight. You’ll get the best results performing muscle strengthening exercises involving major muscle groups two or more days per week.
The other group of muscles that we tend to forget to strengthen are our pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscles can get weaker with age (just like any other muscle!). Our women’s and men’s health physiotherapists are able to perform a pelvic floor assessment and prescribe you with an exercise program to improve your pelvic floor function.
How long can you stand on one foot without falling? We step off curbs, step over puddles, go up and down stairs and escalators in our daily life. All this involves balance. When you have good balance, this will significantly reduces your risk of falls and injuries.
Our cardiovascular and respiratory health improves when we work on our endurance. This can be achieved by being more active throughout the day.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults over the age of 65 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in sessions of at least 10 minutes.
Our joints tend to stiffen up as we get older, but this shouldn’t prevent you from living your best life! Stretches and mobility exercises, which can be performed at home, will help to keep you moving and prevent musculoskeletal issues.
Exercising induces endorphins, which are sometimes called your “happy hormones”! This improves your mood and reduces stress. What more could we ask for?
Did you know Life Ready Physio + Pilates has collaborated with COTA to run Living Longer Living Stronger classes? These sessions are run by our physiotherapists and focus on ALL the aspects we discussed above.
We also run supervised exercise sessions where we use Pilates equipment to improve strength, tone and flexibility. This is also great when you have difficulties performing weight bearing exercises or exercises on the floor.
For more information or to book in for an initial assessment, call your local Life Ready Physio + Pilates clinic. We look forward to helping you achieve your health and fitness goals!