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Age is not a barrier to Good Health!

Have you ever imagined running 400m under 2 mins at the age of 85? How about fulfilling your gymnastic dream at the age of 91?

Watch TSEREN Radnaa break the Masters M85 World indoor 400m record at 8th World Masters Athletics Championships Indoor in Torun, Poland, March 26, 2019.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp5hh3KJ6Dg

Or maybe you want to continue your gymnastic dream at the age of 91?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKDrOWdxLQo

Well these cases might be bit of extreme, but we want to talk about how to be an active older adult!

No matter whatever crazy goals you have in mind, they are possible if you just keep moving!

 AnthandYvonne

Who is an older adult exactly?

Well according to the Department of Health and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) ---

Older adults are generally defined as individuals equal or over 65 years of age.

However, of note is that individuals of similar chronological age may differ dramatically in terms of their fitness capacity and their response to exercise.

Ageing is really like having a 78 Series Land Cruiser, some could still run perfectly down the road while others are barely roadworthy (well this might not be a good analogy but you get the point!).

You might have the I still live like I’m 18 mindset and that’s awesome!! But it is important for us to recognise that there are some physiological changes actually happening as we get older in age.

These include:

  • Reduced muscle mass, strength and physical endurance;
  • Reduced coordination and balance;
  • Reduced joint flexibility and mobility;
  • Reduced cardiovascular and respiratory function;
  • Reduced bone strength and Increased body fat levels;
  • Increased blood pressure;
  • Increased susceptibility to mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression;
  • Increased risk of various diseases including cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Exercise is Medicine

The saying ‘Exercise is medicine’ initiatively promoted by ACSM and American Medical Association back in 2007 fits not only the older population, but also other age groups as well.

Many health benefits can be gained by conducting appropriate exercise training. Overwhelming evidence exists that supports the benefits of appropriate physical activity for older populations including:

  • Slowing physiological changes of aging that impair exercise capacity
  • Optimising age-related changes in body composition
  • Promoting psychological and cognitive well-being
  • Managing chronic diseases
  • Reducing the risks of physical disability
  • Increasing longevity

Appropriate medicine is super helpful for our health. However, if we take the wrong type of medicine or have too much of it, medicine sometimes could become poison!

Just like taking prescription medicine, conducting physical activity is a very personalised thing! That’s why the Core Principles team are here to help you! We have the ability to find the optimal ‘dose’ and ‘type’ of exercise for you to help you achieve your individual fitness goal based on your own health status!!

OlderAdults

It is never too late!

Fitness is like any goal on your bucket list, it is never too late to start leading an active lifestyle! Any hard work that you do will pay off in some way! Doing some training is always better than doing nothing!

Moreover, the current COVID-19 pandemic has changed our life in many aspects. Lockdowns, limited exposure to sports and often poor nutrition not only impacted many of us physically, but also mentally. It is important for us to find ways to continue to lead an active life within this COVID-normal world!

The stress and anxiety that people are experiencing during the pandemic may also impair an individual’s immune defence, thus it is critical that older adults aim to maintain recommended levels of physical activity to help boost immune function and mitigate the deleterious effects that inactivity can cause.

Perfect I am ready to be more active! Any guidelines to follow?

Sure thing! As per the below, I have summarised the general exercise suggestions provided by multiple health organisations. Please have a read and hopefully you would find some meaningful ones and take them back home (I mean take home messages!)

Guidelines:

  • Older people should accumulate at least 150 min to 300 min of moderate intensity physical activity (Aus, WHO, US) or 75-150 min vigorous intensity a week (WHO, US), or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous intensity exercise;
  • Generally, training for older adults should include 4 types of training – aerobic (aerobic exercise can be done in bouts of 10 min); muscle strengthening; flexibility; and balance training;
  • There should be at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days;
  • Be active every day in as many ways as you can. Some physical activity is better than none;
  • Try to corporate different types of exercises in the training;
  • Try to reduce the time you spend sitting down – break that time up as often as you can.
  • Eating healthy nutritious food in conjunction with being physically active will help to obtain the best health outcomes.

Charlie

In the end, the Core Principles team wish you a peaceful, happy and quality ageing life! And we would always love to assist you in your journey of becoming a stronger self! Please just come and chat with our friendly trainers!

References:

Cunningham C and O’Sullivan R (2020) ‘Why physical activity matters for older adults in a time of pandemic’, European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 17:E1-4, https://eurapa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s11556-020-00249-3

N.d. (n.d.) What is Exercise Is Medicine – a global health initiative. https://www.exerciseismedicine.org/about-eim/

Pescatello LS (2014) ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription, 9th edn, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.

Runners Awesome (28 Mar 2019) ‘World Record Masters M85 400m Indoor at Torun 2019’, YouTube, accessed 27 May 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp5hh3KJ6Dg

Said CM, Batchelor F and Duque G (2020) ‘Physical Activity and Exercise for Older People During and After the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: A Path to Recovery’, Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 21(7):977-979, https://www.jamda.com/article/S1525-8610(20)30489-8/pdf

Tasmanian Government (n.d.) Reccommendations on physical activity for health for older Australians. https://www.getmoving.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/111712/NPAGolderadults.pdf

ToysKids StefyBoo (12 Jan 2017) ‘Amazing 91 Years Old Gymnast- Johanna Quaas’, YouTube, accessed 27 May 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKDrOWdxLQo

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About the Author

Kai Wong

Kai Wong

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