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Exercise: Do It or Risk Losing It

Exercising daily is an integral part of staying healthy in old age. However, many adults with osteoarthritis find that their pain and physical conditions are holding them back from exercising.

Perhaps they had been playing sports all their lives when they were younger and may be consequentially developed osteoarthritic joints, and may have gone a long period without exercise with the belief that exercising would make their pain worse. Martin Hall, experienced aged care physiotherapist and team leader of The Physio Co. explains that this is not always the case.

He points out that there is an abundance of evidence which suggests that exercise can actually help to improve and reduce pain especially around osteoarthritic knees, hips and backs. He also stressed the importance of seeing professionals such as physiologists or physiotherapists who can prescribe the right exercises for their conditions.

More often than less, the avoidance of exercise is a problem of mindset, rather than pain. People are afraid of being slower than others or hurting themselves and find it easiest to avoid exercise altogether. Mr Hall encourages exercise in this group by asking them to join in on group exercises, which is usually more fun and enjoyable than exercising alone. The addition of the social aspect of group exercise helps seniors find people similar to themselves, and who also have similar fitness goals.

Exercise also helps to boost cognitive functions and has shown to help people suffering from early signs of dementia. Exercises like basic aerobics, brisk walking, swimming and easy cycling are among those that are great from a respiratory perspective.

Overall, being active and moving is far more beneficial than being sedentary and not doing anything at all.

Read more here. “Why staying active is so important in your senior years

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