‘You're too old, let it go it’s over, nobody listens to Techno…’
Said Eminem. And whilst perhaps nobody does listen to Techno, you are never too old - to exercise.
Numerous studies have shown that exercise improves ALL your health markers and older adults can gain a lot by staying physically active. Although exercise and physical activity are among the healthiest things you can do for yourself, some older adults are still reluctant to exercise.
And it’s not because they don’t look good in Lycra – Then again who does ?
Many are afraid that exercise will be too hard or that physical activity may cause injury. Even though being physically active and exercising regularly in later years has been shown to improve your cognitive health, balance, strength and functional ability. As well as improving your mood, it also allows you to socialise with likeminded people and make new friends.
Since qualifying originally as an exercise instructor way back in 1988. I now specialise in exercise for the older adult, as well as orthopaedic, neurological and sports rehabilitation. I teach clients who are in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. We practice balance and stability exercises, alongside strength and functional movements, to make day to day living much easier. Age is just a number, and it’s of no importance (unless you are a cheese), it’s all about the attitude.
I have a lady in her 70’s who can row a sub 2:10, 500m. Clients in their 60’s who can run faster and further than people in their 20’s. And a former Royal Marine in his 80’s who still boxes and would kick your butt.
Exercise has been proven to significantly decrease the risk of falls, hospital admissions, distress and cognitive degeneration. For the most part, when older people lose their ability to do things independently, it doesn't happen because they have aged. It is usually because they're not active enough and lack balance, mobility or strength.
Include planned exercise as part of a weekly routine and it will provide you with untold health benefits that can help you feel better and enjoy life more as you age. Lycra not compulsory…
David Powney previously worked for the NHS within the physiotherapy department, he is an experienced Level 4 Personal Trainer and Exercise Rehabilitation Specialist, working at Move4ward situated within Moray College, Elgin.