Benefits of Exercise for the Elderly
A lot of the clientele we see at our Optimum studios are retired and suffer from a few health ailments, with mobility issues and maintaining their functional independence being one of them. One of our goals here is the enable people to live life to the fullest, such as being able to travel, play with grandkids or continue doing volunteer work.
how can exercise help you as an older individual
There are many benefits to exercise in older age and it’s never too late to start. Any person of any age can benefit from regular exercise, and as qualified exercise specialists, we are trained to find the right ‘dose’ and frequency of exercise for you (just like prescription medication). Some benefits of exercising in older age individuals include:
- Reduced risk of falls through improved balance
- Reduced risk of fractures
- Improved muscular strength and endurance
- Improved cognition and memory
- Improved mental health
- Social engagement, particularly for those who are isolated
- Management of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weight
- Reduced risk of cancer and stroke
I do sometimes see that some elderly people are hesitant to commence exercise because they are not aware of what options they have, or think that they can’t participate in any gym based exercise as it is too strenuous. Here at Optimum we have access to hydrotherapy pools which can be a great way to start an exercise program and build confidence in your physical capacity. You do not have to be a strong swimmer to partake in hydrotherapy as it is shallow enough for you to stand, and is low impact on joints. The next step from hydrotherapy is performing weight bearing exercise to improve overall strength, balance and conditioning. The program should be tailored to you to fit your individual needs and goals, and can also be completed at home as well as the gym. Other options of regular exercise include walking, swimming, cycling, yoga and pilates classes or even Tai Chi.
If you or someone you know would benefit from regular exercise inside or out of the gym please speak to your exercise physiologist about advice on where to start.