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Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Australians, and Younger Ones too!

Physical Activity Guidelines

Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Australians, and Younger Ones too!

January 11, 2016


Sarah Booth

Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Australians

Adapted from the Australian Government Guidelines available at search for the ‘Choose Health’ Brochure.

Physical activity is important for every person, but is crucial for successful aging. Some main benefits of regular physical activity are:

It makes you feel and look better: more energy, better sleep, it’s social, helps you relax and it tones your body.

It’s good for your mind: Reduces stress and anxiety, improves self-confidence and concentration, reduces feelings of sadness.

It’s good for your body: Exercise helps to control your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and bone and joint problems, ie arthritis.

Reduces the risk of heart disease, some cancers, and stroke.

And it helps to manage pain, maintain and increase joint movement and it helps to prevent falls and injury.

How much do you need to do to achieve some or all of these benefits? Well it’s not that much, only 30 minutes per day. If that’s unachievable for you right now start with 10 minutes each day and gradually increase until you are up to 30 minutes. This could take you 1-2 months to achieve but keep ‘chipping away’ at it and you will get there!

There are four main areas you need to address to keep you healthy, these are:

Moderate Fitness Activities – Brisk Walking, Golf with no cart, Continuous Swimming, Aerobics, Walking the dog, Washing the Car, Garden and Yard Work, Dancing and more.

Strength Activities – Weight, Strength or Resistance Training, Climbing Stairs, Moderate Yard Work like shovelling and shifting dirt, Pilates Classes, Total Body Fitness Classes and Bodyweight Exercises like push ups.

Flexibility Activities – Specific Stretching Exercises, Yoga, Pilates, Tai-Chi, Gardening – where you are reaching and bending, and Indoor and Outdoor Bowls.

Balance Activities – You can make these up at home while the kettle is boiling! Stand on one leg whilst holding onto the bench, do some toe raises where you stand on tippy toes then lower back to your heels on the floor, walk heel-to-toe in a straight line, do some side leg raises whilst standing and holding the bench for support.

So now you know how you need to make a plan to get started. Fill in the blanks in this sentence then pin it up on the fridge to see and get started.

My Activities will be ________________________________________________________________

My Start Date will be _______________________________________________________________

My Activity Time will be ________________________________________.

My Main Goals will be (pick 2-5 goals) __________________________________________.

You just need to get going! Once you have started be sure to keep progressing your activities. After two weeks you should be able to do a bit more, so add a little more time to that brisk walk, or try using a slightly heavier weight for your strength training exercises, add some different stretches or try a different class, and even try your balance activities with less support from the kitchen bench. Your body will adapt to what you ask it to do, you need to keep challenging it to build the strength, flexibility, fitness and balance you need to get stronger and healthier to enjoy your life.

If you require assistance with getting started, goal setting, exercises or ideas feel free to get in touch with us or speak to your doctor for a referral to an exercise physiologist.

Sarah Booth

Cooloola Coast Pilates & Personal Training.

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