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Exercising Advice in Old Age

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  • Admin
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  • healthy habits, keep fit, over 50s
  • Posted date:
  • 13-05-2021
Exercising Advice in Old Age

Exercising in old age is essential to keep our bodies healthy as we grow older. We look at advice and methods available for keeping your body healthy through exercise.

Keeping in shape as you age


We need to care for our bodies all the more as we grow older. Nobody is immune from the process of ageing and all the issues, problems, aches and pains that come with it. 

The most noticeable way this occurs is in our appearance, but more important than attempting to look younger is ensuring that you can remain physically fit and healthy as you age.

There is an endless list of medical maladies that a lack of physical activity can cause in older people. From heart disease to dementia, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, the risk that too little activity has on our health are vast. Here we have compiled a few tips to avoid these issues as you age, helping you stay fitter for longer.

Keeping Fit For The Over 50s


Walk for heart health

We will all experience a loss of energy and stamina as a natural part of growing older. 

Walking can be an excellent way of combating this decline without overly exerting yourself. Walking is less taxing than running, so you will need to do it for longer and for greater distances to benefit from it fully. 

Walking for around half an hour per day five days a week is the perfect target to aim for.

Improve bone density

Osteoporosis is one of the leading health concerns facing older people, with around 22 million women and 5.5 million men in Europe suffering from it. 

This condition causes your bones to become fragile, and while medication can treat the condition, there is no cure. Thankfully there are exercises that you can perform to help develop better bone strength. 

These exercises include using cross-trainers, brisk walking, stair-climbs, resistance weightlifting, using resistance bands and even energetic gardening. Performing any of these forms of exercise can help mitigate the natural weakening of bones from 35 onwards.

Eating Smart

Healthy eating is advisable at all stages of life, but with dementia affecting over nine million people throughout Europe, looking after your brain health is becoming more of a necessity. 

These dietary changes do not have to be drastic, and simple good choices can vastly improve your health. 

Eating fish, olive oil, fruit, vegetables, and other sources of omega-3 can all help look after your cerebral health and keep you fit as you get older.

Embrace Laughter

Of course, while looking after your health can help ward off serious health problems, it is always important to keep things fun. 

The health benefits of laughter have been known for millennia, and it has been known to contribute to longevity and help people live longer. 

Laughter can help protect your heart, increase blood flow, decrease stress, and boost antibody production to help fight infection. A great way to twin this with exercise is to take part in dance classes to participate in essential aerobic exercise and have fun doing it.

Keeping fit in old age London

Avoid Alcohol and Cigarettes

There are 29 million people in Europe living with chronic liver problems, with alcohol being one of the biggest killers. You do not have to be an especially heavy drinker, just a couple of drinks every other day is enough to damage your liver. 

You do not have to abandon drinking altogether, but adhering to unit guidelines and having no more than 14 units of alcohol per week will help you to stay healthier for longer.

Smoking is another big killer, and it can even make you age quicker. It is incredibly harmful to your health, impacting it in many negative ways. 

Of all the changes you can make to improve your health, quitting smoking is one of the most significant.

Exercise Advice for Adults aged 65 and over

There are many benefits to be gained from a regular exercise program that those over 65 years of age can enjoy. As we age, our strength, stamina, balance and flexibility all deteriorate, leading to injuries, health problems and even death. While regular physical exercise is vital throughout our lives, it is especially crucial when we get older. 

By regularly exercising, older adults can prevent these serious consequences that a sedentary lifestyle can bring about. Undertaking various aerobic, strength and stretching exercises, older adults can improve their physical health dramatically.

Here are a few tips for those aged over 65 who want to improve and maintain their physical health:

Perform activities that can benefit your strength, balance and flexibility at least twice a week. 

Try to perform some physical activity every day. It is far better to be active than not, even if it is not intensive activity.

On a good week, you should attempt to do at least 2 hours and thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, or 1 1/4 hours of vigorous exercise if you are generally active anyway.

It would be best if you also attempted to limit the time you spend sitting and lying down. If you spend a lot of your time sitting down, you should counter this with plenty of physical exercises.

Exercise Advice for Adults aged 65 and over London

What is a light activity?

There are many types of light activities that older adults can participate in to improve their physical and mental health. If you are unused to regular physical exercise, it's never too late to start, and these can be a great place to start. As the name suggests, these are not particularly strenuous exercises and are essentially classified as anything other than sitting or lying down. 

While they may seem simple and easy things to do, staying active and performing these regularly throughout the day will help you to avoid the damaging effects that inactivity can bring.

Light activities can involve things such as:

 Getting up and moving around your home

 Getting up to make a cup of tea

 Cleaning your home and dusting

 Gently walking at a slow pace

 Making your bed and tidying up

 Vacuuming your home

 Standing up from your chair

What is moderate aerobic activity?

Moderate aerobic activities are more intensive than light exercise but can be done at gentle speeds for those not used to regular exercise. 

This type of exercise helps to raise your heart rate, make you breathe heavily, and warm you up. A good test to see whether the exercises you are doing are moderately active is that, whilst doing them, you can carry on participating in conversation, but you cannot sing.

moderate aerobic activity for people over 65 in London

Some moderate exercises you can do to improve your physical health include:

 Water aerobics

 Brisk walking

 Dancing

 Bike riding

 Pushing a lawnmower

 Hiking

 Doubles tennis

What is a vigorous-intensity activity?

One sign that you are performing a vigorous activity is that you are breathing hard and fast. When you are exercising at this level, you will not be able to carry on a conversation, as you should be pausing for breath after every few words. As a general rule, 1 1/4 hours of vigorously intense exercise will have similar health benefits to 2 1/12 hours of moderate exercise.

You can, of course, turn moderate physical exercises into vigorous ones by working harder whilst doing them. However, examples of vigorous exercises include:

 Aerobics

 Jogging

 Running

 Swimming (fast)

 Bike riding (fast or on hills)

 Football

 Singles tennis

 Hiking uphill

 Martial arts

 Energetic dancing

vigorous-intensity activity for older adults London

Activities to strengthen muscles

Alongside aerobic exercises, which are crucial to maintaining good cardiovascular health, strengthening your muscles is also a crucial step to combat the effects of old age. 

To fully reap all of the benefits that strength training has to offer, you should aim to perform them in such a way that you need to rest before repeating each one. No matter whether you want to stay in the comfort of your own home or are happy to visit your local gym; there are plenty of physical exercises or exercise groups you can do to improve your strength.


Activities to strengthen muscles for elderly adults London

Some examples of physical exercises you can do to improve your strength include:

 Yoga

 Thai Chi

 Pilates

 Lifting weights

 Using resistance bands

 Using your own body weight with exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, squats and pull-ups

 Energetic gardening, such as digging and shovelling

 Carrying heavy shopping bags


If you have questions about exercising advice in old age, we hope this information has been useful to you.

References for further reading:

nhs.uk

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