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Older People’s Day on October 1st!

Posted on 1st October 2019 by

Older People’s Day takes place on 1st October and this year celebrates the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and the economy.

With age comes wisdom and life experience that is invaluable when passed on to younger generations. From looking after the grandchildren to volunteering at a local church group or running a community art class, life rarely slows down after retirement nowadays!

People are living longer than ever before with average life expectancy in the UK rising to 79.4 years, but how can we make sure we stay active and continue to enjoy good quality of life into our golden years?

If you don’t use it you lose it!

By keeping active we maintain muscle strength and joint flexibility, as well as keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control to reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Exercise can also help with weight loss and improve mood and mental wellbeing too…bonus!

Am I too old to exercise?

No! Its never too late.. check out these inspiring examples…………..

Fauna Singh tao Lynch Yoga

Tao Porchon-Lynch, the world’s oldest yoga teacher has just turned 98 and Fauja Singh; the 104 year old marathon runner who only took up running in his 80’s!

Where do I start?

If you haven’t exercised for years, start slowly – older joints will have a tendency to be stiffer, particularly in the mornings and in cold weather.

A physiotherapist can help by assessing your muscle strength, flexibility and balance and create a tailored individual exercise programme to address these as well as treating any aches and pains you may have.

A gentle stretching routine every morning might be all that’s needed to keep you supple enough to chase after those grandchildren!

Ideas for staying active

  • Walking
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Table tennis
  • Falls prevention classes/Chair based exercise classes – why not try our specialist Positive Steps classes. Held twice a week they are specifically designed to help maintain and improve strength, balance, flexibility and fitness for those 60+, in a friendly, social and caring environment.
  • Dancing – did you know dancing has been shown to reverse signs of aging in the brain and improve mental and physical wellbeing in an older population, it’s even being used to help treat Parkinson’s disease!

How long do I need to keep it up for?

The key is to find something you enjoy, that makes you feel good so that it doesn’t feel like hard work to keep it up indefinitely. Whether that’s a Pilates class, dancing or gardening the most important thing is that you’re getting out there and getting moving!

It often doesn’t take any fancy equipment and there are no requirements for lycra or leotards but all you need is a healthy disregard for the stereotype of age and a little bit of motivation to stay youthful!

Here are some very simple exercises you can do to help maintain strength and balance.

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Preventing falls in older age – exercise is the key

Posted on 31st July 2019 by

As you get older, the risk of falling and fall-related injuries, such as fractures, increases. Falls are a common and serious health issue faced by older people in England. The impact of falling can be huge. Falls can cause distress, pain, injury, hospital stays, loss of confidence, isolation and loss of independence.

Around 24% of men and 30% of women aged 50 years old and over report having fallen in the previous 2 years, with 7% of men and 11% of women aged 50 years and over reporting having had a fall that required medical attention. In 2017/18 there were 220,160 falls-related emergency hospital admissions among patients aged 65 and older.

One of the most effects ways of preventing falls and fractures is regular strength and balance exercises.

Positive Steps Exercise Class

The World Health Organisation notes that physical activity is the key element to support healthy ageing. Physical activity and exercise is an essential requirement for maintaining mobility and independent living during later life. 

  • Muscle mass (the physical size of your muscle) reduces by 0.5% to 1% per year after 50 years of age and 2% to 4% after 75 years of age.
  • Loss of physical strength can be 2- to 5-times faster due to muscle quality.
  • Bone density (the amount of minerals in your bones which relates to their strength) decreases by around 0.5% per year from age 40.
  • Following menopause, women lose 2% to 3% bone density per year.
  • Older adults can experience problems with balance due to decline in the nervous system and changes in nerves throughout the body.

Guidelines recommend that older adults should undertake activities aimed at improving muscle strength and balance on at least 2 (preferably non-consecutive) days a week.

New guidance has just been published by Public Health England, which aims to improve the quality of strength and balance exercise programmes for people in the community. 

The guidelines state that effective muscle strengthening and balance improvement programmes aimed at preventing falls should consist of a programme of one-to-one or group balance and task training exercises, plus resistance exercises delivered by an appropriately qualified instructor.

The timing of this new guidance is perfect, given that we are just expanding our exercise classes for older people, Positive Steps.

These classes in Chandlers Ford incorporate balance and strength exercises in a supportive, friendly and caring environment, with the added bonus of being social and fun! (The laughter duding the classes can often be heard through the clinic!).

Falls are not an inevitable part of ageing. Older people can take positive steps to prevent them

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The Importance of Lean Muscle Mass

Fall Proof – Exercises for Older People

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