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How Exercise Brings A Better Quality Of Life

As we’re often told by doctors and medical professionals, the better care we take of ourselves through eating healthily and doing regular exercise the better quality of life we can expect as we age.

However, it seems that many of us find it difficult to follow this sound advice. According to statistics dating back to 2009 and quoted by The Guardian in an article the same year, only 17% of men and 13% of women over 65 years of age are sufficiently active.

This lack of activity can have significant consequences, as choosing not to engage in exercise in later life can build up a variety of health issues such as declining strength and general body condition. All of which can make any illnesses or health ailments worse.

For this age group, the biggest obstacle to becoming more active is a belief that exercise will not deliver any health improvements. The reality is very different. Exercise will improve cardio respiratory and muscular fitness, regardless of age, as well as improving balance, blood pressure and bone density, along with a host of other health benefits.

The NHS Choices web site recommends over 65’s should be active daily, undergoing a mix of cardio (ie aerobic) exercise and strength exercise.

The specifics they give are:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as swimming, cycling or walking every week, and
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or

  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, and
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week. For example, two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equates to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, and
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

See the following link for this and more information:

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-older-adults.aspx

Of course, you should use common sense and judgement when deciding on an appropriate level of exercise for yourself. If it’s been a while since you last exercised, a check up with your Doctor is essential before beginning an exercise routine. Once given the all clear, start off gently and gradually build up to levels you find comfortable. If your health or mobility is already reduced by an illness or injury see your GP for specific advice or a referral to someone who can recommend an appropriate exercise programme.

An active lifestyle and exercise programme will always cause a few healthy aches and pains. What better way to soothe them away than in a good hot bath with a relaxing and invigorating air spa. At Absolute Mobility we specialise in bathrooms for older people and people with reduced mobility. We have many walk-in baths (think baths with doors!) with reduced step heights of only 8 or 9 inches that make stepping in and out of the bath so much easier than climbing over a high sided bath. All of our walk-in baths can have a quality air spa factory fitted and ready for us to install in your bathroom. Give us a call on 01491 411 041 if you’d like to find out more.

We’ll end with some interesting facts. The world record for the marathon currently stands at 2 hours 2 minutes and 57 seconds, set by Dennis Kimetto at 30 years of age. Did you know there are world records for the marathon recorded by age group? Derek Turnbull, at the age of 65, set an age group record of 2 hours 41 minutes and 57 seconds. Ed Whitlock set several marathon age group records into his eighties. Whilst we’re not saying every older person should be running a marathon (they are not everyone’s cup of tea!), these individuals are an inspiration to anyone keen on taking up and sticking with an exercise plan. You can find out more about Ed Whitlock and marathon records set by older people here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world_records_in_masters_athletics#Marathon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Whitlock

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