By: Brian P. Kinmartin, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, STC, CWcHP, Cert. DN
With the winter months here, physical therapists are always concerned with falls by our elderly patients. We spend a great deal of time treating those who have fallen - and what is most concerning is that these injuries are often times easily preventable.
Problems with strength, balance, bone density, and arthritis can be controlled with just a short daily exercise routine and proper nutrition.
Exercise provides important benefits for the aging body. Regular exercise provides a variety of health benefits in older adults, including improvements in diabetes, blood pressure, lipid profile, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and neurological function.
Regular physical activity is also associated with decreased mortality in older adults. However, most of the elderly are still insufficiently active to achieve these health benefits. Few contraindications to exercise exist, and most of the elderly population can benefit from additional physical activity. An exercise prescription consists of three components: strength training, aerobic exercise, balance and flexibility.
Exercise, for the elderly, is an essential way to stay active and healthy. Nobody is ever too old to start incorporating exercise into their daily routine and it is also never too late to reap the rewards. Even if you have never been one to exercise in the past, getting started now can help your golden years last longer, and can help you live stronger.
Performing regular physical activity and adhering to a nutritious diet can help increase muscle mass, maintain a healthy body weight, prevent or delay diabetes, heart trouble, reduce depression, anxiety and arthritis pain. It is also important in helping senior citizens maintain their independence. Exercising 30 minutes per day on most days, preferably each day, is a great way to help the body age gracefully and more healthy.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons advises that regular exercise for the elderly helps maintain posture, improve strength and balance, endurance and flexibility, and maintains muscle mass and tone. Resistance Training reduces muscle loss; maintains strength and increases bone mineral density. It is also good for the body's joints and for building stronger, more resilient muscles.
Professional rehabilitation Services Physical Therapy can help seniors take an active role in maintaining health and reducing health risks by developing a personal fitness and wellness program that enables one to live a healthy and active life. Our physical therapists provide screenings, evaluations, intervention, individualized home-exercise programs, and education to promote senior wellness by:
- Diagnosing movement-related health conditions that decrease a person's ability to move throughout the day
- Developing personal fitness and wellness programs that enable one to live a healthy and active life
Professional rehabilitation Services offers free consultations either on the phone or in person to discuss your thoughts and concerns about exercise. If we decide that exercise is appropriate for you we can set up an appointment to develop a program that is customized to your health care needs.
You can make an appointment today at one of our locations to see a physical therapist. You may be surprised how easy it can be to get started. A customized program can be set up for you. A very small daily effort over a long period of time will go a long way.