We all know that the biological process of aging comes hand in hand with a decline in muscle strength, physical endurance, and gait ability and balance. All of this combined with a sedentary lifestyle may lead to functional disability.
That is why health care professionals are encouraging old people to stay active, whether performing regular physical activity or exercise. But did you know physical activity and exercise are different from one another?
Physical activity VS Exercise
World Health Organization defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. Some examples would be gardening, household cleaning, and walking at the mall.
On the other hand, exercise is defined as a physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive for conditioning the body. The difference lies in the purpose of the action, wherein you can tell that exercise has a goal of becoming fitter and healthier.
Benefits of Exercise
The life expectancy of human beings is now extended to a few more years. This means that if you are having chronic diseases as soon as you reach the senior citizen age (60 or 65), you may suffer from it for the remaining years of your life on Earth – probably 20 years or more.
Good thing is that some health problems are reversible with the help of a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise. We searched for published medical articles that inform us of some of the benefits seniors will get from doing exercises and here they are:
1. A study says that multicomponent training (an exercise plan that includes endurance training, muscle strengthening, balance exercises and/or stretching, and/or coordination training) has a positive effect on cardiorespiratory fitness and metabolic outcomes.
2. Aerobic exercises and weight training interventions provide improvement in physical functions of people with comorbidities (comorbidity is defined in the study as having osteoarthritis together with 2 or more clinical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, etc.)
3. A group of elderly underwent an active-assisted flexibility program on a range of motion (ROM) which consists of stretches including back scratch, standing thigh, side lunge, overhead back, overhead side, cross-chest, seated trunk twist, seated hamstring, and seated calf. The result showed after the 1-week experiment, the elderly have shown a huge increase in their flexibility in terms of the range of motion on the areas being worked out.
There are a lot of published journals citing that exercise will benefit the seniors in different aspects, more than what we have listed above. But what if you are afraid to do your exercises at home?
Maybe because of pain that might be triggered and can cause an immediate loss of interest in performing the exercise, or maybe you just need someone to motivate you and help you out step by step. Whatever the reason is, a supervised exercise works well with most of the seniors!
Exercises for Seniors Under Direct Supervision
In a study that used a prescribed multidimensional exercise program for the elderly, each session started with five minutes of warming up wherein stretching exercises for lower limbs and para-spinal muscles. For 4 months, the participants were required to perform exercises such as weight-bearing exercises (e.g. standing on heels and mini-squat standing against the wall). Strengthening exercises for certain muscles, walking and postural exercises were done, together with balance and coordination exercises. Weight shifting was performed as well.
Overall, supervised exercise improved the participants’ functional activities. Improved balance, one of the results from the study, is beneficial in terms of decrease the chances of falling. Falling rates are high in older adults and it may lead to complications like fractures, hence this is a proactive way to prevent such conditions.
Physiotherapist for supervised exercise
Who do you go to for supervision when doing your exercise? Our physiotherapists in MN Physiotherapy Clinic can stay beside you during your exercise program. In this way, you can leave your worry and focus on your goal of improving your strength, flexibility, balance, or anything that you and your physiotherapy has come up in your individualized plan.
This might take months, but we assure you that you will see results as what our previous clients have experienced. Our goal is to bring back or maintain your functional mobility and stay independent as long as you can.
We are also aware that adherence to regular exercise is sometimes difficult to achieve in seniors. We will try to motivate you as much as we can to help you comply with the exercise that you and our physiotherapist have agreed upon.
Our physiotherapists will guide you one-on-one for every exercise that you will need to perform. We will closely monitor your form in every action you make. We will modify the exercises to fit your body’s capability. We will prescribe progressions whenever we see improvement. Lastly, we will provide encouragement so that you will have reasons to go back and do the program regularly!
Start your journey with us by calling (905) 571-1921. Set up an appointment with one of our physiotherapists and see if supervised exercise will work out for you!