We seem to live in a world where the accepted norm is that we should do less as we grow older. Increasing age is matched with decreasing activity levels and a mindset that somehow doing less will be better for us!!!
The reality is that moving less as you grow older will not prevent or reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, dementias, osteoarthritis or other systemic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. In fact, moving less is probably going to increase your chances of having to live with one or more of these diseases. Maybe, it’s just me but I have come across quite a number of people who wear the medication they take like a badge of honor. I struggle with this mindset. This little piece of writing is intended to highlight the importance of shifting your mindset from a “rest is best” outlook to a “movement is medicine” belief and that it is never too late to start exercising!!! 70 is indeed the new 40!!!
“Don’t judge your doctor on what medication he prescribes you but on how hard he tries to get you off your medication”
The benefits of Exercise
Exercise has numerous benefits for the seniors of this world, including a healthier heart, improved balance as well as reducing the risk of chronic diseases, as well elevating one’s mood. Below are a few examples of how exercise can help us age more healthily.
The Importance of Building Muscle the Older we get!!
As we age, our muscle mass begins to decrease, maybe because we are simply just less active!!! From the age of forty onwards, we tend to lose between 3 to 5% of muscle mass with each subsequent decade of life. Maintaining muscle mass becomes more and more crucial the older we get to help us get around and to continue enjoying life. Nobody wants to lose their independence and one of the best ways of maintaining your independence is through remaining active and putting more of an emphasis on exercise rather than rest the older we get.
Exercise for the Mind
Exercise is also a key for maintaining a healthy brain. Science suggests that neurons in the brain improve after only a few weeks of regular exercise. This helps improve memory, mood and all round brain function.
Prevention of disease or chronic conditions
According to world experts in this field, exercise may delay or even prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart disease and osteoporosis, just to name a few.
Reducing the risk of Falls
Regular exercise aimed at improving balance can also help reduce the risk of falls which can lead to injuries of the hip, knee and shoulder. Single leg exercises such as sitting to standing with one leg from a chair or brushing your teeth while standing on one foot or even closing your eyes while standing on one foot are examples of exercises that can be used to improve one’s balance.
It’s all about Quality of Life
The science is clear: seniors who regularly exercise enjoy the benefits of increased physical and psychological fitness levels. Any exercise that raises your heart rate or improves your strength is excellent for your health. It could be gardening, or doing the housework. It could be walking the dog or playing with your grandchildren or taking part in a keep fit class. It really doesn’t matter what the exercise is, but what is key is that you take a consistent approach to it. In other words, to reap all the benefits of exercise, you have to do it regularly. As I often say to my patients “Exercise is a life sentence”
It’s Never Too Late
It is never too late to start exercising regularly. Find something you enjoy doing, start at a level that is easy and stick with it..
To help you begin your exercise journey, we have put together a number of Home exercise classes aimed at improving your strength, function and fitness levels to make sure you make the most out of every moment life has to offer.
Check out our programs on our Youtube channel: 108 Harley Street.
Here is a link to get you started: Seniors Home Exercise Class.
Hope you enjoy guys
108 Harley Street