In this blogpost, Physiotherapist Wenying from T&T Physiotherapy shares with us about the importance of staying active as we age, as well as some suggestions of exercises that seniors can do with simple things they can find around their house.
How important is it for seniors to remain active?
Just because you are in your golden years it does not mean that you cannot
participate in the things love doing when you were younger. As an older adult,
staying active is essential to keep at bay the many health problems that seem to
come with age. Staying active can help you keep your mind alert, preserve your
muscles, strengthen your bones, lubricate your joints, and maintain balance and flexibility to enable you to continue your daily activities without depending on others for help.
Benefits of exercising for seniors
Have you heard of ‘exercise as medicine’?
It is important to understand the difference between ‘physical activity’ and ‘exercise’. Physical activity is defined as any bodily movements produced by skeletal muscles which expends energy, which includes activities of daily living, work, leisure, and sports. On the other hand, exercise is a subcategory of physical activity and is defined as planned, structured and repetitive bodily movement to maintain and/or improve one or more components of physical fitness.
Physical activity protects you from chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke,
diabetes and even cancer. In addition, many studies demonstrate that improvements in mental health, emotional, psychological, and social well-being and cognitive function are associated with regular physical activity.
Exercise Guidelines for Seniors
To reap health benefits, exercise guidelines for older adults recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) and muscle strengthening exercises on at least 2 days a week that work on major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms). Your health benefits will increase with more active moments: doing some exercise is better than doing none.
How does a physiotherapist help?
Image source: @tnt_physiotherapy on Instagram
Older adults with pre-existing illnesses and chronic diseases should understand how their condition affect their ability to carry on physical activity safely. In Singapore, a physiotherapist is a regulated allied health professional with an expertise to help people maintain health for people of all ages and conditions, manage pain, prevent disease and improve overall quality of life. If your condition is stopping you from getting the most out of your life, a consultation with a physiotherapist can help you find ways to adapt your movements, understand safety limits while staying active as best as you can.
Simple exercises seniors can do at home
You don't have to go to a gym or somewhere fancy to get some exercise in. Some things you can easily find around your house, can be used as exercise equipments as well!
1. Towel Stretches
2. Water Bottle Raises