You’re aging, whether you like it or not
Tamara Bernard, Grad.Cert ClinPT (Continence & Women's Health), MPhtySt, BScKIN(Hons). Tamara is an Australian trained physiotherapist who has recently returned to Canada.
Ageing . . . its something we all go through, something none of us can avoid. The stereotype of getting older gives us thoughts of walking aids, the slow walking shuffle and bits that gravity just can’t seem to hold up.
With ageing comes physical changes such as loss of muscle mass, significant changes in the bone density and joint mobility, increasing the risk of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and a reduction in function.
Although we’re always getting older, we’re also living longer. So, how do we avoid the shuffle and walking aids? How does one go about “ageing gracefully”?
Physical activity in the ageing population has been shown to improve physical and mental capacities and help prevent or reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Progressive resistance or strength training has shown to increase muscular strength, physical and functional capacity, reduces risk of falls, as well as benefits for the heart and lungs. But what kind of exercise is the right kind?
The World Health Organization recommendations for adults over the age of 65 are:
- At least two-and-a-half hours of moderately intense physical exercise throughout the week
- Muscle strengthening activities on two or more days of the week
- Perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevents falls on three or more days per week
- Perform aerobic activity in bouts of at least 10 minutes of duration.
So what does all of that mean?
Moderate physical activity means performing an activity, such as walking, gardening, housework etc. at an intensity where you can still hold a conversation but not sing. In fact, it was found that people who engaged in two-and-a-half hours per week of moderately intense physical activity showed increased rates of longevity. This effect was greatest in those over 60 year of age.
Muscle strengthening is using body weight, resistance bands or weights to progressively load the body’s major muscle groups, thus increasing strength, joint mobility and ability to perform activities of daily living. Improving your strength helps with being able to get up and down off the floor, climbing stairs, improves balance, and reduces falls risks and the dependence on walking aids.
How do I know which exercises are right for me?
That’s where we come in. Our Clinic has physiotherapists, chiropractors and kinesiologists who can help improve your joint mobility, provide you an individualized exercise program based on your goals and help keep you doing the things you enjoy in life….be it golfing, gardening or running around with the grandkids.
Call today or book an appointment online and show the world just how young you can be.