Physical Activity Guidelines For The Elderly People
How much physical activity do older adults aged 60 and over should to do to keep them healthy? The amount of exercise you need to do each week depends on your level of health and age. In order to stay healthy or to your improve health, as an older adult, you need to do two types of physical activity every week. That is
- Muscle-strengthening activity
The Older adults aged 60 or older, who are fit generally and have no health issues that limit their mobility, they certainly should try to be active on an everyday basis.
It is recommended that adults aged 60 or older do at least half an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity on all days. Some activities, however light, will be better for your health than none at all. But, you should aim to do something, despite your age, health problems, weight, or abilities. You should aim to be active every day in possible ways, doing a range of physical activities that include strength, fitness, balance as well as flexibility.
Older Age And Physical Activity Decline
Half of the physical decline associated with aging is due to the lack of physical activity. People over the age of 50 years can experience a wide range of health problems without regular exercise including:
- Muscle mass, strength, and physical endurance
- Joint flexibility and mobility
- Bone strength
- Coordination and balance
- Cardiovascular and respiratory function
- Blood pressure
- Body fat levels
- The risk of various diseases including cardiovascular disease and stroke.
- Susceptibility to mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression
The Common Myths
Usually, older people believe that an exercise is no longer an appropriate option. Here are the common misconceptions which prompt older people to abandon physical activity.
- Older people are frail and physically weak.
- Exercising is hazardous for older people as they may injure themselves.
- The human body doesn’t need as much physical activity as it ages.
- Only vigorous and sustained exercise is of any use.
What Can The Older People Do?
Vigorous-Intensity Aerobic Activity
This is nothing but you are breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up a bit. If you are working at this level, then you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing to take a breath, and you ought to stop if you feel unwell.
If you have enjoyed a lifetime of vigorous physical activity, then you should carry on doing this in a way that suits you now. However, stick to recommended safety procedures as well as guidelines.
Moderate-intensity Aerobic Activity
It is nothing but you are working hard enough to raise your heart rate then break a sweat. If you want to find a way to know whether you are working at a moderate intensity then you can refer to the following examples
- Walking fast
- Riding a bike on level ground
- Doing water aerobics
- Playing doubles tennis
- Pushing a lawn mower
Don’t include the daily activities here like shopping, cooking or else housework. This is because the effort required is not hard enough to increase your heart rate.
However, it is important to minimize the amount of time you spend sitting and watching TV, listening to music or reading. Some activity, however light, is better for your health than nothing at all.
These exercises are counted in sets and repetitions. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like doing a sit-up or lifting a weight. A set is a group of repetitions.
For each and every activity, try to do 8 – 12 repetitions in each set. Do at least one set of each muscle-strengthening activity. You will get even more benefits if you do 2 or 3 sets.
In order to gain health benefits from the muscle-strengthening activities, you have done them to the point where you find it hard to complete the another repetition.
There are plenty of ways you can strengthen your muscles, no matter whether at home or in the gym. You can do activities like:
- Heavy gardening, such as digging or shoveling
- Carrying or moving heavy loads such as groceries
- Lifting weights
- Activities that involve stepping and jumping such as dancing
- Exercises that use your bodyweight for resistance, like sit-ups or push-ups
Some older people who have chronic illnesses like severe osteoporosis, arthritis, or advanced cardiovascular diseases which limit their choice of physical activities. It is best to consult closely with your doctor, in these situations, to devise an exercise program that’s safe and healthy.