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ESSA highlights how physical activity is beneficial for all ages
Marking Active Ageing Week from 24th to 30th September, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is calling for physical activity and exercise to be included as a routine part of ageing and health services.
Mindful that the Australian population is ageing, and with older age comes greater incidence of chronic illness and disease, ESSA highlights that more than three-quarters of Australians aged 65 years and over have at least one chronic condition, with chronic disease a leading cause of disability in older adults.
ESSA Chief Executive Anita Hobson-Powell explains “ESSA is for an active nation, and many chronic, age associated physical and cognitive declines can be delayed by participation in regular exercise.
“ESSA continues to urge the government to increase access to lifestyle interventions, such as exercise and diet, as part of a usual model of care for older people. This includes adding exercise physiology as a listed service type and exercise as a therapy type in aged care funding instrument (ACFI).”
With research showing us that just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can have numerous benefits, exercise can make the following health and well-being differences as people get older. ESSA cites that exercise helps:
• Stay socially connected
• Reduce risk of developing chronic, age associated physical and cognitive declines, or manage the symptoms of any current conditions
• Improve memory and brain function
• Increase independence
• Strengthen bones
• Recover from illness more quickly
Another important benefit of older people engaging in physical activity and remaining active is the prevention of falls.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist Louise Czosnek highlights that one of the most common causes of injury among older people are falls, with at least one-third of community-living older Australians falling every year.
She explains “regular exercise participation reduces falls and falls risk in older people - a significant cause of hospitalisation, disability and ultimately admission to a residential aged care facility.
“Physical activity improves balance and coordination and in turn can minimise the risk of falls.”
The objective of Active Ageing Week is to celebrate the many varied possibilities to help people stay active and engaged as they age. It promotes the benefits of healthy lifestyles, staying active and engaged in safe and supportive environments.
Some quick tips for adding more physical activity in to your life:
1. Art and craft classes
2. Community exercise groups - many local councils often provide free or low-cost exercise classes and fitness programs for older people
3. Travel and day trips
4. Low impact sport e.g. bowls, croquet
5. Clubs and groups e.g. local walking groups, ballroom dancing
6. Walk around the golf course instead of getting the cart
7. Walk up and down every aisle when doing the groceries
Czosnek adds “some simple exercises can be practiced at home to remain active and reduce the risk of falls. They can be practiced sporadically throughout the day and you can build up your capacity slowly. It’s best to just keep it simple.”
Click here to find out more about Active Ageing Week.
31st August 2017 - SNAP FITNESS OFFERS ‘LESS INTIMIDATING ENVIRONMENTS’ FOR OLDER EXERCISERS
16th February 2017 - VICHEALTH SUPPORTS DIVERSE COMMUNITIES THROUGH INNOVATION IN SPORT
8th February 2017 - ESSA CONCERN OVER FALLING FITNESS LEVELS AMONG AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN
31st October 2016 - EXERCISE RIGHT SHOWCASES STRONG WOMEN IN LATEST CELEBRITY EXERCISE CAMPAIGN
29th November 2014 - PHYSIOLOGIST WARNS EXERCISE OR FACE RAPID DECLINING HEALTH IN OLD AGE
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