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NZREPs highlight the role of regular exercise in delaying ageing
The New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (NZREPs) has highlighted that while there are natural parts of the ageing process that cannot be prevented, more research indicates that many areas of ageing can be reduced or delayed with regular physical activity and exercise.
As adults continue to live longer and remain more active, the need for exercise to improve health and activity becomes more important, with people, quite rightly, not willing to give up the freedom that goes along with an active life.
Exercising in older age is not just a matter of reversing the ageing process, but more about maintaining a level of health and wellbeing that is not seen population wide. The effects of inactivity are well known, and the reduction in everyday function and likelihood of lifestyle diseases accelerates over time. While the ageing process accounts for some of this decline, much of it can be attributed to long term inactivity.
A term that many do not recognise is ‘mobility disability’. It’s a term that is used to refer to older adults who, without a specific injury or health condition, are unable to move freely enough to maintain independence. A recent study from USA found that women who spent the most time performing light-intensity physical activity had a 46% lower risk of mobility loss compared to women who participated in lower levels of physical activity.
In NZ only 55% of men and 47% of women between 65 and 74 years of age are regularly active (a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity on most days of the week). This drops to 38% for men and 28% for women over 75, so mobility disability is an issue that impacts on older New Zealanders as well. Older adults that are not active are missing out on many of the benefits of being active. And it’s not just about being able to live a full life, there are very real benefits to all aspects of life that sedentary older adults are missing out on.
The benefits of physical activity and exercise are not limited to those already active. ACC reports that those aged over 65 have a one in three chance of falling due to poor balance, weak muscles, low blood pressure, poor vision, as well as medical conditions, e.g. Parkinson’s disease, stroke. The addition of balance exercises can decrease the risks of falling by addressing risk factors including poor balance, weak muscles and slower reaction time.
Bone Density/ Osteoporosis
Bone density can reduce annually by 1-2% in postmenopausal women. Regular weight training and weight bearing activity can increase bone density, thus reducing this risk.
Diabetes, Stroke and other Lifestyle Diseases
In many cases exercise can contribute to the management of pre-existing conditions associated with age. Even those of us who have been previously inactive can benefit.
For more information on NZ Register of Exercise Professionals go to www.exercisenz.org.nz
16th February 2021 - NZREPS share research insights into top exercise trends for 2021
29th September 2020 - NZREPS highlights benefits of movement for women’s health and wellness
19th February 2020 - NZREPS shares research insights into exercise and fitness trends for 2020
2nd September 2019 - NZREPs highlights benefits of exercising in water
22nd January 2019 - NZREPS reviews the top Exercise and Wellness Trends for 2019
10th March 2018 - NZREPs flags warnings over energy drinks and exercise
26th March 2017 - NZREPs asks if a Sugar Tax is the Best Solution to Obesity?
25th October 2016 - NZREPs highlights the real cost of physical inactivity
25th March 2015 - NZREPS highlights the need to be physically prepared for sport
17th September 2014 - NZREPs highlights need for exercisers to ask key questions about High Intensity Training
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