Exercise is so important. For older adults, being able to cover 365 metres in a standardised six-minute walk test have half the risk of dying the in subsequent decade compared to those who can’t cover 290 metres. However, two-thirds of Australian adults have sedentary lifestyles or low levels of exercise, which results in preventable inflammation in the body, hormone fluctuations, limited response to stress and increased risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and mental illness. It can even lead to premature death – around 3.2 million people globally die as a result of insufficient exercise according to the World Health Organisation.
Moreover, older adults who exercise regularly can perform everyday tasks more easily and gain independence. Additional benefits include healthier body mass, improved blood pressure control, better cognitive function and reduced falls risk, and generally a capacity for more independence in life and higher sense of self-worth.
Experts recommend over 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for older adults, as well as muscle strengthening exercises, such as squats with a chair, a couple of times each week. Simple tips from the National Physical Activity Guidelines:
- Think of movement as an opportunity, not an inconvenience.
- Be active every day in as many ways as you can.
- Put together at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days
- If you can, also enjoy some regular, vigorous activity for extra health and fitness.
Come along to your local Osana clinic to get an exercise assessment by one of our exercise physiologists or physios today, and develop an exercise plan that ensures you live healthier.