Exercise is for All Ages and Abilities

Don’t Make Age an Excuse. Everybody Needs to Move and Can still Exercise

“Because of their low functional status and high incidence of chronic disease, there is no segment of the population that can benefit more from exercise training than the elderly.”

(Evans 1995)

With aging some signs begin to show such as:

  • Getting stiffer (joints and muscles)
  • Becoming weaker (muscles and bones)
  • Being less active and having less energy
  • Less able to react quickly and more prone to trips and slips
  • Postural changes as well as issues with mental capacity

So, what can we do to keep functioning and remaining active and healthy for as long as possible?

The body changes over the lifecycle which is demonstrated with a general stiffening and weakening occurring but also many conditions may develop that alter the ability to move easily and effectively. It is important to remain mobile, strong and have sufficient energy to be able to function well on a day to day basis throughout life. Generally, fitness and health decline with inactivity and age whereby it may eventually result in the inability to perform everyday tasks easily. Optimal functional ability is necessary to perform many daily tasks to achieve purposeful, good and safe results. The ability to remain active and fit is possible throughout life and all bodies from young to old are able to exercise in varying degrees. Exercise is an important element to include in an overall wellness initiative and it is most important as we mature. (it needs to be ongoing – once is not enough!)

It is known that there is a direct association between inactivity and ageing resulting in loss of reserve capacity of the body including reduction in strength and flexibility which correlates with loss of function, reduced ability to do daily activities and reduced fitness and health. There are many challenges and issues that need consideration.

There are many physiological and associated chronic conditions changes that people may encounter throughout the life cycle and not all older adults lose abilities at the same rate or to the same degree. In general muscle strength and elasticity diminish with age and joints stiffen resulting in the body becoming tighter which restricts easy effective daily movement. Flexibility and strengthening exercises are a particularly important component of an older adult program in relation to arthritis, osteoporosis, lower back pain, history of physical inactivity and history of falls

A person’s capacity to exercise decreases with age but evidence is growing that appropriate amounts of regular activity throughout life lessens this decline. Inactivity, chronic disease or obesity can be the reason and cause for many people to lose abilities and independence which is often seen as part of normal ageing.

“It is good to learn about your health and wellbeing to reduce and problems now and for future reference. Protect yourself by maintaining good fitness levels. Maintain good movement and strength to reduce your risk of stresses and strains to your body. The fitter you are, the less at risk you are of injury yourself and having muscle and joint strains. Invest in your body; your health and protect your body by maintaining good fitness levels”

Sally Castell

Exercise can improve (or at least help maintain) your functional abilities.
There’s still time. It’s Never Too Late.
Every Little Bit Counts. Don’t lose any more than can be helped.
Exercise can keep your mobility and energy levels as good as possible.