Keep Life In Motion (Quality Life Forum Self-Care Series) Health Coaching Session, September 2018
As the aging population keeps increasing, more and more older people are recognizing a growing need for exercise in their lives. Maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial for sustaining health and happiness. Exercise can help older adults achieve a higher quality of life, and it can help them live longer as well. The aging process can have an enormous impact on the human body. As people age, they may notice a loss of flexibility, balance, endurance and strength as well as a loss of bone density and muscle mass. Likewise, they may also notice an increase in body fat and possible joint injuries. It is estimated that four out of every five adults aged 50 years and above are suffering from at least one condition that is chronic.
The World Health Organization recommended physical activity guidelines are -
Older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
For additional health benefits, older adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate-and vigorous-intensity activity.
Older adults, with poor mobility, should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on 3 or more days per week.
Muscle-strengthening activities, involving major muscle groups, should be done on 2 or more days a week.
When older adults cannot do the recommended amounts of physical activity due to health conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
Exercise benefit overall quality of life, improving cardio-respiratory, muscular-skeletal, guts and functional health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, depression and cognitive decline. An active lifestyle is equal or greater than 7,500 steps a day; a sedentary lifestyle is less than 5,000 steps a day.
Older people can try a wide range of exercises to improve their physical health. Aerobics, swimming, tai chi, weight training and yoga are all great options for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Engaging in strenuous physical activity is not the only way to stay fit and healthy. It is also possible to stay physically active by keeping up with casual daily activities. Walking briskly, taking the stairs, gardening, doing yard work and completing household chores are all simple activities that may make staying active an easier endeavor.
Aerobic (endurance or cardiovascular) activities involves the simultaneous use of multiple large muscle groups. It increases your breathing and heart rate; brisk walking or jogging, dancing, swimming, and biking are examples. There is a long list of cardiovascular exercise benefits, including improve heart health, bone health, immune functions, brain power, sleep quality, regulate blood sugar and body weight, increase metabolism and energy, reduce chronic pain and stress, and many more. The bottom line is – active life promotes quality of life.
Strength exercises make your muscles stronger. Lifting weights or using a resistance band can build strength. Abdominal workout is also important to strengthen the core. Core strength is very important for balance. For example, the abdominal and back muscles in your core support your limbs, especially when you're walking. The gluteal muscles in your buttocks and hips propel you forward. Starting with gentle core exercises and then moving to more intense exercises on your own pace. Leg lifts will strengthen the gluteal muscles, and adding resistance bands to leg lifts makes the exercise even more effective. Muscle strengthening will also benefit balance and stability.
Balance exercises help to stabilize your body and prevent falls. Imbalance is a common cause of falls. One in three people ages 65 or older will suffer a fall. It's time to assess your balance and improve it. Tai chi and yoga are exercises that make you pay attention to the control and quality of movement, rather than the quantity, which improves your balance. In tai chi, you practice slow, flowing motions and shift your weight from one limb to another. Yoga incorporates a series of focused postures and breathing. Both exercises increase flexibility, range of motion, leg and core strength, and reflexes. You will become better at balancing in a number of body positions and be able to adjust body weights to avoid falling. In addition, vision plays an essential role in balance. Gazing on a fixed target stabilizes body balance. Vision correction is also necessary for safety.
Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and improve range of motion
The best approach to weight loss will be a combination of exercise and modest calorie restriction. Plan to lose weight through exercise alone would be incredibly difficult, though not impossible. You can lose weight if you burn enough calories to create a calorie-deficit state. To do so, you’d really have to be over-exercising, probably to a point of unbearable. Exercise can affect hunger and appetite. it’s important to ensure that you’re fueling with quality foods. After all, macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) play a vital role in fueling your workouts. For weight management, track your daily food intake to get a sense of how many calories you’re eating and how many you should be eating for weight loss. Monitor your weight closely.
please perform an active level self-assessment by answering the questions below –
Are you currently doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent combination of moderate-and vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week?
Are you doing Aerobic activity bouts of at least 10 minutes duration?
Are you doing Muscle-strengthening activities, involving major muscle groups, on 2 or more days a week?
Are you including balance and flexibility exercises throughout the week?
Are you already doing or plan to increase moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate-and vigorous-intensity activity for additional health benefits?
If you answered “yes” for at least 4 questions above, you are doing well and keep up the good work. If not, set a new target and make a plan. Need more motivation and/or a structured program? Quality Life Forum health coaching can help. When you are making progress in fitness, you are improving quality of life. See how your body makes its own powerful medicine from exercise benefit and experience a natural course of health recovery and healing. You will appreciate the positive outcome. Physical functioning is one of the most important health goals. This is especially critical for older adults, who often have a certain degree of limitations. Stay connected; health coaching offerings provide individualized approach for age-appropriate, safe and effective physical activities to keep life in motion.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional for personal conditions.
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