Only one in three Australians over the age of 65 are physically active enough to get the full health benefits of regular exercise.
If you suspect that you’re in the majority and need a little help, Damian Aylward from Birkdale’s Bounce Physio has some tips about the optimal level of physical activity for seniors and how to get started.
How active are you? We all have different reasons for participating and staying active throughout our busy lives, and there are a number of health benefits associated with being physically active regardless of age.
- Developing stronger bones
- Improving motor skills
- Building muscle strength and fitness
- Providing a good source of mental wellbeing
- Reducing the risk of falls
Unfortunately, only one in three individuals over the age of 65 is sufficiently active to gain these health benefits.
The Department of Health released an updated version of the Australian physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines two years ago. These guidelines take into account the latest scientific evidence while giving special consideration to the relationship between physical activity, sedentary behaviour (sitting time) and health outcomes.
The goal of these guidelines is to encourage all Australians to participate in physical activity while reducing their time spent performing sedentary behaviours.
Guidelines for over 65s:
- Perform some form of physical activity, regardless of your age, weight, health status and abilities
- Be active every day, performing a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility
- Accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most or all days
- Individuals who have not been recently active should begin at an easy manageable base level before gradually building up to the recommended guidelines
- Individuals who currently participate in vigorous physical activity should continue to do so provided they adhere to the recommended safety procedures and guidelines.
If you have any concerns regarding how to get started or what activities are appropriate to perform, please see your friendly neighbourhood physiotherapist.
Damian Aylward is a clinical physiotherapist at Bounce Physio in Birkdale, Queensland, and holds over 27 years of experience in sports injury and musculoskeletal management.
Contact Damian or a member of his dedicated team on (07) 3822 2122 or at email@example.com.