Should the elderly exercise?

by Angie on

Have you ever noticed that the older you are, the more aches and pains you get? Things that used to be easy to do aren’t so now? More so for your elderly folks, for some even walking to the front porch is a task on its own. Do they really need exercise in their daily routine?

The answer is a resounding YES! Just because you have reached the golden age, that does not mean that exercise takes a back seat in your life. All the more why it should be priority #1 in your daily life. After all, age is ONLY a number, you are never too old to start exercising. The only hurdle is your mind. We are so conditioned to think that when you reach the 70s and 80s, all you should be doing is spending the days sitting in a rocking chair and reading the papers. Let me tell you that this is a MYTH! It is time for a paradigm shift.

Movement improves quality of life

Longevity is now the new normal in geriatric care. A number of research shows the benefits of exercise in those who are in their 80s and 90s coupled with astonishing physical results.

It has proven that no matter what’s your age, you stand to gain significant improvements in strength, range of motion, balance, bone density and mental clarity through exercise. This simply means that with doing some exercise consistently, you will be able to improve your quality of life and longevity. It is a key to strengthening your balance and keeping you on your feet as you age, and even restoring what’s already been lost apart from its known benefits of reducing the risk of various health conditions such as dementia, stroke, depression and type 2 diabetes.

Reduction in slips and preventing falls is critical in the management of the elderly as their muscle, bone mass and senses, such as vision, touch, that aids in balancing will start to deteriorate. This will make them susceptible to falls which can lead to more detrimental injuries which would limit their quality of life. A study, published in 2010, proved that in just 8 weeks of balance training, improved the likelihood of recovery from slips and reduced its incidence among the elderly.

The Golden Mentors

Heard of Jack LaLanne, the Godfather of Fitness?  I remember watching him on TV, well into his 90s together with his wife, talking about the importance of exercise and good nutrition (which a whole topic altogether). His stunning physique and health were astonishing and he was and is a prime example of what exercise can do for your overall health and for your longevity.

Mentor

He is not the only one. There are others who are proof to this as well such as :

SENSEI KEIKO FUKUDA
  • SenseiShe became the first woman to earn Judo’s highest degree black belt at the age of 98! The best part was she teaches it 3 times a week. She proved that age is only a number.
  •  Tao Porchon-Lynch
  • You don’t have to be exactly like these mentors. You can emulate them by being active in your own way be in walking for just 15 minutes a day in the park , taichi , yoga or swimming either on your own ( with the assistance of your caregiver) or with others in a group. The point is to move and to stretch those muscles. Your body will thank you for it and you will be happy that you did.

 

I would love to hear of your own experience with your elderly loved ones and the types of activities that both of you did together. If you have some suggestions of different exercises that helped improved movement and quality of life for your “golden” babies, please feel free to share it on the comment box below. 

Let’s learn from each other.

Written by: Angie

9 Comments

Jon

Hi,
I was looking through this site and thinking how useful it could be for my dad who is suffering with joint pains in his shoulder. He wants to carry on being busy and hates the acts and pains, so this site is perfect for him.

I love the dedications to some mentors especially Sensei Keiko, amazing stories! We all have loved ones we want to help, you’ve got a great niche here, keep up the good work!

Jon

Reply
stretch1942

This site is very interesting. It has a lot of good information. I am get to the age where I will soon need care, so this is timely for me and I think for many others. The website is nice and clean and catches your eye right away.

Reply
jschicanha

age moving forward have been stressing me and seeing those elders who can no longer perform any task use to hurt me most and sometimes imagining my self of being on that stage already

this post is more educative and one could even gain a lot from it

thanks
cheers
Jose

Reply
Angie

Oh yes,tell me about it, Jose. It is a scary thought. The most wonderful thing is we still can do something about it. A 20 minute walk daily, playing with your kids or pets, anything to keep you active on a daily basis. 🙂

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Cathy

What an inspiring article this is, to learn that people still exercise way into their 90’s. At the Yoga center where I take my weekly classes, the eldest student is a 64 year old lady. She can do so many poses that I can’t so watching Tao Porchon does what she does, it’s simply amazing.

I should stop complaining more about my back pain and start exercising more often.

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ches

What a great moral boost for us oldies who often wonder are we doing enough exercise. In fact, for those who don’t make the effort to exercise and move about, they may suffer more in their older age and possibly reduce their longevity.
The examples of those in their 90s who are having fulfilling and useful lives are what I hope to achieve. Keeping your nutrition up is also of great importance especially as we know that as we get older, we do not absorb our vitamins and minerals as well as we did in our younger days.
It is very hard to make the effort to exercise, especially if the older body is deficient in important nutrients. Great post. Ches

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Simon

This article of yours has to be a great inspiration to all the elderly folks – cheers for spreading the word.

Truth being told – not only do older people should exercise, but they also have to starting doing that as early as possible. When you lift weights (for example) and you’ve been doing so since your early 20s, your bones will be stronger. This can definitely help with osteoporosis!

Do you think that older people should take supplements though?

Reply

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