Osteoporosis is one of the greatest health challenges facing the over 55 population. You can either read below or watch our video to find out more on how exercise can help.
EXERCISE AND BONE DENSITY
One critical approach, which is often overlooked, is resistance exercises. The bone cannot improve in strength if you do not strengthen the muscles around it. Also calcium will not be absorbed properly without strength exercises as well as other vitamins and minerals.
When we exercise, the weight that our bones carry as well as the pull of the muscles on the bones produces stress. Our bones adapt to this stress by laying down more bone to ensure that they can withstand future stress.
Research indicates that the most appropriate types of exercises to optimize bone strength gains include a combination of weight bearing, resistance based exercises & balance exercises performed 2-3 times a week with a rest day between resistance exercise sessions.
Resistance exercises either either pushing, pulling or lifting weights. This can be done very safely for people of any age with proper guidance. Weight bearing exercises are those that involve movement while carrying the full load of our body’s mass. The most common example of this is walking, however walking alone is not enough to improve bone strength.
To ensure that our bones continue to develop strength, the exercise program needs to be changed on a regular basis (2-3 months).
Safety is a very important consideration to make sure that you get maximum benefits without injury. With a low bone density, the strength of the bone may be compromised making it more likely for them to fracture with too much load or after a fall.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common problems for people over 55 and according to the latest research is the fastest growing medical condition worldwide.
Osteoarthritis can affect people in a vast number of ways, causing considerable pain, stiffness and reduced quality of life.
Watch our video here or read below to find out how exercise can help.
EXERCISE AND OSTEOARTHRITIS
Exercise is a vital component of osteoarthritis management no matter how severe the damage to the cartilage is. The health of our joints relies on movement of the fluid within the joints as this provides the cartilage with the nutrients it needs. This is achieved through exercise that moves the joints and hence causes the fluid to come into contact with the entire joint surface. Without this nutrition, the cartilage will degenerate at a faster rate causing both stiffness and pain.
CAUSES OF OSTEOARTHRITIS
The common cause of Osteoarthritis is improper movement in the joints, put simply, either too much movement or not enough movement.
The first, too much movement, is generally due to trauma or weakness in the supporting muscles or ligaments. This can be assisted by resistance exercises to strengthen these supporting muscles. Resistance exercises are exercises that involve a weight (such as a dumbbell, elastic band or body weight) being pushed or pulled. They are designed to target specific muscles or specific groups of muscles. As resistance exercises are more physically demanding, it is important to take a day of rest and recovery between sessions. The types of resistance exercises that are appropriate will depend on the areas affected, severity of the degeneration and other individual factors. It is best to seek the guidance of a qualified health professional prior to starting.
Alternatively, not having enough movement is caused by a lack of flexibility, which can be assisted by stretching. Flexibility exercises are designed to focus on maintaining and improving the range of movement within a joint. They are aimed at reducing joint stiffness and maintaining the health of the cartilage. Flexibility exercises can be performed without any equipment and are safe to perform daily.
As our joints are under the constant load of gravity and our body mass it is also important to consider the effects of excess body weight. This is especially important for osteoarthritis affecting the knees, hips and spine where research indicates that even a 1kg reduction in body weight can dramatically reduce symptom severity.
All of these exercises can be given specifically here at Active Seniors.
One of the major concerns as people age is their loss of balance. It not only increases the risk of falls, which are the largest cause of injury related deaths in people over 65, but it also greatly affects your confidence to maintain an active lifestyle.
The video to the right is a preview of one of our Balance Workshops.
Exercise has been shown to be an effective way to improve your balance. It is best helped by working on improving mobility and strength of the joints, in particular the hips, spine and feet. Here at Active Seniors, we specialise in finding the right balance exercises for your level and supervising you while you do them to keep you as safe as possible.
To watch a full length video of the Balance Workshop please click here
Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common, not only in adult populations but also in younger adolsecents and children. Type 2 diabetes is vastly different from type 1 diabetes.
MANAGING TYPE 2 DIABETES WITH EXERCISE
Exercise has an important role in the management of type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise can:
- Help to reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity
- Reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular related diseases & stroke
- Assist in weight management
- Assist with stress management
Watch our video here to find out more
An estimated 80% of the population experience back pain at some stage in their lives. Exercise has consistently been shown through research to be the best strategy to manage back pain.
MANAGING BACK PAIN WITH EXERCISE
Regular exercise can:
- Improve mobility limitations (such as in the hips) that may be contributing to back pain
- Increase trunk muscle strength and endurance to support the spine
- Assist in optimising posture to reduce stress on the back
- Teach your body the best strategies for lifting, bending and moving
Cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes. Exercise has been shown to be an important strategy to help with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular health.
MANAGING HEART HEALTH WITH EXERCISE
Regular exercise can:
- Improve the efficiency of the heart and lungs, thereby reducing workload
- Improve circulation
- Assist with weight management
- Promote healthy cholesterol and improve blood sugar control to reduce potential damage to the blood vessels
Joint replacement surgery is becoming increasingly common in people as they age. While joint surgery often has a profound impact on quality of life, it is quite an involved and lengthy process involving not only the surgery itself but the preparation and recovery.
MANAGING JOINT SURGERY WITH EXERCISE
Exercise is a pivotal part of both pre and post joint surgery and can:
- Reduce the length of time spent in hospital post operatively
- Improve rehabilitation outcomes and reduce time to return to normal activities
- Reduce the risk of associated complications