The Importance of Exercise in Healthy Ageing
This may seam a bit far-fetched, but it depicts how important exercise is and should be taken when it comes to completing it throughout our lives.
With the continued growth in technology and medical research resulting in today’s generations living longer, the awareness and understanding of exercise, it’s ties to quality of life need to be recognised.
A recent reports indicates that 9.5 million adults within Australia are regarded as inactive or are performing low levels of physical activity.
This isn’t great news for a country that is
- Already in the midst of weight management crisis, with 63% of it’s population being classed as overweight or obese
- 1 in every 2 Australians have at least one prominent chronic disease
- 60% suffer 2 or more chronic diseases
A Failure to Exercise
It is believed that about half of the physical decline associated with ageing is due to a lack of physically activity.
Without regular exercise as we become susceptible to:
- Reduced muscle mass, strength and physical endurance
- Reduced coordination and balance
- Reduced joint flexibility and mobility
- Reduced cardiovascular and respiratory functions
- Reduced bone strength
- Increased body fat levels
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased prevalence of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression
- Increased risk of various diseases including cardiovascular disease and stroke.
In the elderly, low muscle mass causes a loss in strength and mobility and can pave the way for increases in risk of falls and fractures, loss of independence and early mortality.
- The human body doesn’t require as much physical activity when older.
- Exercise is dangerous for older people because they may injure themselves.
- Only vigorous and sustained exercise is of any use.
Other factors that will often result in a lack of exercise amongst those over the age 50.
- A greater preference for sedentary activities such as reading and socialising.
- Exercise is often associated with hard work and soreness.
- The presence of any chronic pain will deter those under the impression it will make it worse or hurt them.
- The relatively high cost of some sports or exercise facilities will turn people away.
- Many sports and activities tend to be targeted at younger people, which often makes older people feel unwelcome.
The Benefit of Exercise
Exercise has shown in recent times to hold medicine like effects for both our physical and mental health.
But it’s what we do in the lead up to our older years is what will ultimately determine our quality of life.
Getting Active and Getting Results
- Exercise doesn’t have to be seen as a chore, there are a number of great ways to be physically active we just have to find the one that suits you the best!
- Exercising with friends is a great way stay motivated and get results.
- The safest and easiest forms of exercise include walking, swimming and cycling.
- Weight training is great for building strength and muscle. Benefits can be achieved in as little as 6 weeks.
- Start slow at your own pace and build up over time. Changes will take time a nd a great way to stay motivated is to keep a track of your progress through a training log or diary.
- Ensure you are drinking water and staying hydrated, the Gold Coast can turn into an oven during the summer.
- If you are over 40 and suffer from chronic pain or illness, or haven’t exercised in a while. It would pay to see us at Fighting Fit first to get a comprehensive assessment and tailor the exercise to what is most appropriate for you.
“It is paramount that all generations are aware of the many consequences a lack of exercise can have, but also the many benefits!”
The information within this blog is to help raise awareness around the importance of exercise for healthy aging.
In a society where our lives are becoming more sedentary by the day through the use of technology, it’s important that we aim to develop good exercise habits from a young age and ensure we carry them into the golden years to give us the best possible chance of leading a long, happy and healthy life.
So start exercising today, even just becoming more physically active! If you don’t know where to start or something is holding you back ie pain, stiffness, injury or disease, PLEASE contact us as helping people like you are what we do best!
Chris Hunt is Fighting Fit’s Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Sport Scientist and Strength and Conditioning Coach. He has a special interest in enhancing physical performance in everyone from athletes to elderly.