Taking old age in your stride
To resist the frigidity of old age, one must combine the body, the mind and the heart. And to keep these in parallel vigour one must exercise, study and love.
- ALAN BLEASDALE
Getting old is daunting. It sneaks up on you very quietly while you’re getting on with life, and the next thing you know, you have aches and pains in places you never knew existed and it takes a week to recover from exercise. But as John Wagner says, “don’t let ageing get you down, it’s too hard to get back up!”. We spent some time with the experts at Riley Physiotherapists Inc. (Le Domaine Care’s physiotherapy service provider) to get some insight into just how important exercise is. They provide a comprehensive physiotherapy service at Le Domaine Care and have a passion for getting people moving, especially as they get older.
Falling is a major concern the older we get. It frequently causes injury and disability amongst older adults. Luckily, regular exercise routines improve balance, strength, co-ordination, motor control, flexibility and endurance, all of which reduce the risk of falling.
If you suffer from Arthritis, should you be resting to protect your joints? Absolutely not! Research shows that exercise has many beneficial effects with arthritis. It builds up the muscles around joints to protect them and it keeps joints mobile and functioning optimally. It also has a direct effect on the nerves, which can decrease pain.
Reverse Body Decline
Exercise not only slows down the functional decline of your body, it reverses it. According to studies, regular exercise can reduce your biological age by 10 years! The increased levels of functionality give you greater independance and a higher quality of life.
Prevent Heart Disease
In one study, a group of 85-year-olds had increased walking speed and oxygen uptake and decreased blood pressure after 8 months of regular exercise. This resulted in reduced heart health risk. In another, walking 10 000 steps a day was effective in lowering blood pressure and increasing exercise capacity in people with high blood pressure. Look after your heart by stepping up your daily physical activity.
Increase Brain Function
Regular exercise can slow or reverse the functional deterioration of the brain. Cardiovascular fitness increases brain volume and spares brain tissue. It reduces the risk and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps the management of anxiety and depression and has been shown to significantly reduce depressive symptoms in people over 60.
Exercise can play a major role in preventing and controlling diabetes. According to the World Health Organisation, you can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes with 30 minutes of regular, moderate intensity physical activity, along with a healthy diet. With the right exercise programs, you can reduce glucose intolerance, effectively control blood glucose and improve glycaemic control in older patients with type 2 diabetes.
If you or your elder loved ones are in any doubt over what exercise to do, please consult a physiotherapist. The one-on-one assessments offered by Riley Physiotherapists Inc. at Le Domaine Care develop individually tailored rehabilitation programs. They make the benefits of safe and effective exercise available to everyone. Contact Le Domaine Care or visit reception to set up a consultation.
The best way to deal with your body ageing is literally to take it in your stride and get active!