Barrier:

 

I’m too old to exercise

Busting it:

 

As people age, exercise may become daunting, especially post joint replacement or after years of sedentary behaviour. A number of symptoms that we associate with getting older – such as loss of balance, or weakness — are in actually due to a sedentary lifestyle, not age.

Exercise is important at any age, but particularly for the older population as it helps with balance, coordination, slowing down cogitative decline and creates a better sense of well being.

 

On the topic of balance; BALANCE EXERCISES ARE PARAMOUNT FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS; BUT BECOME INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT TO REDUCE THE RISK OF FALLS IN THE ELDERLY.

 

People may not know the safest way to start with a routine, they may be weary of their balance deteriorating and they may be living with chronic pain. It’s extremely important to discuss starting a new exercise program with an exercise professional to exercise safely for your circumstances.

 

  • Every year 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 will have a fall
  • Falls are the most common cause of injury and hospitalisation among older people
  • Once a person has had one fall, they’re more likely to fall again (Stepping On, 2008).

 

Falls may include slips, trips and near misses. They can happen to anyone but if falls do occur injuries are more significant the older we get.

 

COMMON INJURIES INCLUDE:

  • Hip and wrist fractures
  • Hip and shoulder dislocations
  • Head injuries and abrasions
  • Bruising and sprains
  • Fear of falling that can result in loss of confidence and restriction of activities.

 

REMEMBER: FALLS ARE PREVENTABLE.

 

With all this in mind, surely each of us knows either a family member, neighbour or friend that may benefit from some balance and leg strengthening- please spare some time in your busy lives to perhaps practice these exercises together!

 

For exercises to practice at home, click here.

 

For more on exercise and ageing, click here.

Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Alex Hardy