Top Tips for Keeping Active and Healthy as We Age
Why should I exercise?
There are numerous reasons why exercise is so important. Research shows that regular exercise can help:
- Maintain healthy growth
- Prevent chronic diseases (Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, Heart disease)
- Make muscles stronger
- Increase your energy
- Decrease stress
- Prolong independence
- Prevent falls
- Manage incontinence
- Improve your memory
What kind of exercise is right for me?
Health Canada recommends that people over the age of 65 years old:
- Take part in at least 2.5 hours of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week.
- Spread out the activities into sessions of 10 minutes or more.
- Add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups at least twice a week. This will help your posture and balance.
There are two main types of exercise:
Aerobic exercise – Continuous movement that makes you feel warm and breathe deeply. Examples: Pushing a lawn mower, taking a dance class, or biking to the store.
Strengthening exercise – Keeps muscles and bones strong and prevents bone loss. It will also improve your balance and posture. Examples: Lifting weights, groceries or yoga.
Top Tips to Help You Keep Active!
- Find an activity you like such as swimming or cycling.
- Minutes count — increase your activity level 10 minutes at a time.
- Active time can be social time — look for group activities or classes in your community, or get your family or friends to be active with you.
- Walk wherever and whenever you can.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator, when possible.
- Carry your groceries home.
Top Tips to Keep You Healthy!
- Pay attention to your body: Exercise at a level where you feel like you’re working, but it shouldn’t feel extremely hard.
- Pay attention to your surroundings: Make sure your environment is safe and free of obstacles.
- Warm up and cool down before exercise: It will help your body get ready for your exercise and prevent injuries.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Even when you may not feel thirsty. Staying hydrated is always important, especially on hot days.
- Watch out for the weather: Avoid exercising in very hot or cold environments. Wear good clothing, and don’t exercise if the weather isn’t cooperating.
- Use the proper equipment: Wear a helmet when bicycling and comfortable shoes when walking.
- Visit your doctor regularly: Ensure your strength, mobility and balance are good, this will help prevent injuries! Ensure that your vision and hearing is good, and that your eyeglass prescription is correct.
- Maintain a proper diet: Follow the Canadian Food Guidelines to ensure that you are meeting your goals for Calcium and Vitamin D.
- Medications: Speak to your doctor and pharmacist about the medications that you are taking. Certain medications increase your risk of falls.
- Wear proper footwear and clothing in your home and outdoors: Avoid long skirts, loose clothing or dangling cords.
MEGHAN STRAUB, B.Sc,M.S.c, PhT is a graduate of McGill University with a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy and member of l’ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Quebec (OPPQ). Meghan has taken her background as an avid athlete and combined it with her caring-personality to help individuals achieve their maximum potential. She has completed several stages with high-distinction in the fields of orthopedics, neurology and pediatrics and has worked with the McGill Women’s Rugby team for the past three years. In addition, Meghan has taken courses on the treatment of orthopedic conditions, cancer rehabilitation and advanced pediatric physical therapy and plans to continue her post-graduate education with courses in manual therapy and pediatrics. To book an appointment with Meghan, click here.
Cappino Physiotherapy and Wellness Center offers innovative, hands-on treatment techniques to heal injuries faster and to improve quality of life.
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