EXERCISES FOR THE 50+ AGE GROUP

Dis­cussing the ben­e­fits of stay­ing fit & ac­tive as we age

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Mar­garita Gure­vich

Time and time again, it has been shown that ex­er­cise is very im­por­tant for us re­gard­less of our age and health sta­tus. How­ever, as phys­io­ther­a­pists we of­ten see that as peo­ple get older their ex­er­cise lev­els drop. This can be due to a num­ber of fac­tors in­clud­ing de­vel­op­ment of aches and pains, de­creas­ing mo­bil­ity and a gen­eral lack of de­sire to spend time ex­er­cis­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, this cre­ates a vi­cious cy­cle where re­duced time do­ing ex­er­cise leads to wors­en­ing health and more pain which then makes it even harder to ex­er­cise… and so the cy­cle con­tin­ues. To pre­vent this, it’s there­fore extremely im­por­tant to stay ac­tive and fit as we age. Even for those in­di­vid­u­als who have never been very ac­tive in their younger years, it’s im­por­tant to start do­ing ap­pro­pri­ate types of ex­er­cise.

IT’S EXTREMELY IM­POR­TANT TO STAY AC­TIVE & FIT AS WE AGE.

So, what type of ex­er­cise is safe and ef­fec­tive? There are many types of exercises which are ben­e­fi­cial, how­ever please re­mem­ber be­fore com­menc­ing any new phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity to con­sult your doc­tor or phys­io­ther­a­pist to make sure that you have no con­traindi­ca­tions. Once you have their guid­ance the next step is to de­ter­mine which type of ex­er­cise is best. This will de­pend on a num­ber of fac­tors, in­clud­ing the fol­low­ing:

• the health of the in­di­vid­ual, par­tic­u­larly the con­di­tions of the car­diores­pi­ra­tory sys­tem

• their ex­er­cise his­tory

• their health and fit­ness goals

• cur­rent state of their mus­cu­loskele­tal sys­tem, in­clud­ing mus­cle strength and flex­i­bil­ity

• their bal­ance. Ex­er­cise is equally im­por­tant for both men and women as both are prone to the de­vel­op­ment of var­i­ous ail­ments with age, in­clud­ing arthri­tis, os­teo­poro­sis, uri­nary in­con­ti­nence and falls due to wors­en­ing bal­ance, just to name a few. Women in par­tic­u­lar, es­pe­cially after menopause, face the added is­sue of their bones los­ing es­sen­tial min­er­als such as cal­cium, mak­ing them more brit­tle and more likely to frac­ture. One of the best types of preven­tion and man­age­ment of os­teo­poro­sis is ex­er­cise. In fact, a study pub­lished in the Os­teo­poro­sis

In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal (2016) con­cluded that ‘pro­gres­sive high-im­pact ex­er­cise is a fea­si­ble

method in seek­ing to pre­vent hip frac­tures in post­menopausal women’. It has been proven that the most ben­e­fi­cial type of ex­er­cise to pre­vent and man­age os­teo­poro­sis is weight-bear­ing ex­er­cise, i.e. ex­er­cise which is per­formed on land rather than in the wa­ter. Exercises are very ben­e­fi­cial when con­ducted out­doors, un­der the sun at safe day times. One good op­tion is walk­ing, which can be made harder by hold­ing weights. Ex­er­cise classes and clin­i­cal pi­lates ses­sions con­ducted by trained health pro­fes­sion­als are also very ef­fec­tive op­tions. Be­sides this, it’s also im­por­tant to do reg­u­lar home exercises.

HYDROTHERAPY IS VERY HELP­FUL FOR PEO­PLE WITH LIM­ITED ABIL­ITY TO CARRY OUT EXERCISES ON LAND DUE TO PAIN.

EX­ER­CISE ONE IS OF BEST THE TYPES OF PREVEN­TION & MAN­AGE­MENT OF OS­TEO­PORO­SIS.

For other con­di­tions, in­clud­ing those men­tioned above, the same types of ex­er­cise are rec­om­mended. Hydrotherapy (wa­ter­based ex­er­cise) can also be very help­ful, par­tic­u­larly for those in­di­vid­u­als who have lim­ited abil­ity to carry out exercises on land due to pain, e.g. caused by arthri­tis. In the wa­ter due to buoy­ancy, the spine and joints are un­loaded which makes it eas­ier to ex­er­cise. Warm wa­ter is an­other ther­a­peu­tic fac­tor help­ing to im­prove pe­riph­eral blood cir­cu­la­tion, pro­mot­ing re­lease of en­dor­phins, re­liev­ing stress and im­prov­ing re­lax­ation and pro­vid­ing other ben­e­fits.

Your phys­io­ther­a­pist is one of the best points of con­tact in pro­vid­ing you with the op­ti­mal ex­er­cise pro­gram. Dur­ing the ini­tial phys­io­ther­apy con­sul­ta­tion, the phys­io­ther­a­pist will conduct a thor­ough full body di­ag­nos­tic as­sess­ment which will help to di­ag­nose the cause of any symp­toms as well as iden­tify ar­eas of strength and weak­ness. Fol­low­ing that the phys­io­ther­a­pist will be able to rec­om­mend the best type of ex­er­cise, tak­ing into ac­count the gen­eral health, fit­ness level and fit­ness goals.

Mar­garita Gure­vich is Se­nior Phys­io­ther­a­pist and uses Clin­i­cal Pi­lates, SCENAR Ther­apy & other ev­i­dence-based tech­niques, in­clud­ing Real Time Ul­tra­sound and McKen­zie Treat­ment. Mar­garita spe­cialises in sports injuries, women’s health (in­clud­ing in­con­ti­nence) and gas­troin­testi­nal is­sues. Mar­garita may be con­tacted via her web­site.

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