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The Underestimated Value of Physical Activity for Older Adults

Physical activity includes leisure activities, walking, gardening, housework and things you do every day. Exercise is a more structured form of physical activity and may include aerobic (raise the heart rate to a certain level) and strength exercise.

 

Evidence has shown the there are many benefits  for adults when  physical activity  is taken regularly  and these include:

  • heart health

  • better blood pressure and prevention of weight gain

  • general fitness of circulation systems and muscles

  • improved bone health

  • reduced depression

 

Additional less well known benefits for older adults include

  • improved quality of sleep

  • offset the decline in muscle mass associated with ageing  = better functional health

  • promote better connections in the brain ( Neuroplasticity) = better cognitive health

 

 It really is a case of use it or lose it for older adults - the less  you do, the less you are able to do.

Physical activity needs to be safe for you, so discuss this with your doctor, particularly if you have been inactive. Your doctor may refer you to an exercise professional (Physiotherpist or Exercise Physiologist) to plan an exercise program tailored to your individual needs and abilities.

 

Choose Health Be Active: A physical Activity Guide for Older Australians

WHO :  Physical Activity and Older Adults

 

Kathryn Anderson

Accredited Practising Dietitian (A.P.D.)

BSc ,Dip Ed, Dip Nut & Diet,

Master Nutrition & Dietetics

Associate Degree in Dementia Care

 

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