Exercise is an important part of nearly everyone’s everyday health. This is true for older adults too. There are many benefits of regular exercise, including a healthier heart, stronger bones, and improved flexibility. For seniors, there are additional benefits, such as reducing the risk of chronic disease, lowering your chance of injury, and even improving your mood.
So why do we need regular exercise as we age?
Healthy older individuals lose strength at 1-2% per year, and power even faster at 3-4% per year. Physical activity for older adults has long term physiological, psychological, and social benefits and has vital importance for maintaining mobility and independence, particularly for certain conditions associated with old age.
Simple exercises can be hugely beneficial for everyday tasks we may struggle with as we get older. For example:
- Strength exercises such as squats can maintain independence getting in and out of a chair.
- Improved flexibility can help us to wash our hair or tie shoelaces.
- Better balance and agility can assist us climb stairs.
- Endurance can help us walk to the shops.
- Improved coordination can help us open a door with keys.
Exercise for the older adult should be focused on function, fitness, and fun! The World Health Organisation recommends that all adults undertake 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on five occasions a week. Did you know that at Leixlip Amenities you can use the gym free of charge on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays until 5pm if you are over 65? We also have an active retired membership option if you would like unlimited access to the gym, sauna, and steam room. We run “Be Active, Be Alive” classes, an exercise class for the older adult, every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am.
So, whether it’s the gym, a class, a game of badminton or even a walk followed by a coffee, aim to get your 150 minutes of physical activity every week regardless of age!