CALL: Creve Coeur (314) 991-1978 Clayton (314) 644-1978 Gambrill Gardens 314-497-1443 Chicago 773-381-3314

Physical Activity Can Help Maintain Functionality As You Age

It is no secret that as you age your body becomes weaker, your bones become more brittle and your joins become less flexible.  This is just a fact of life that we all need to come to terms with. Yes, we do need to accept that as we age we will not be able to accomplish the same physical feats we were able to accomplish in our youth but we don’t need to sit back and watch it happen in fact there are various studies that indicate that consistent physical activity can slow down the aging process and keep you doing the things you love doing for longer.  Researchers in Birmingham and King’s College found in a study that individuals between the age of 55 and 79 did not lose any muscle mass and strength when they exercised regularly.  There are also a lot of research that indicates that elderly people who exercise regularly reduce their risk of heart disease and have lower blood pressure.  There is even research to suggest that regular exercise can slow brain aging by up to 4 years

What Types of Exercise Should One Do?

It is suggested that a combination of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training is what you should focus on as you get older.  Cardiovascular for strengthening your heart and reducing your blood pressure, strength training to maintain muscle strength and flexibility training to maintain joint flexibility and balance.  

 

When considering cardiovascular exercise it is suggested that you choose exercise that doesn’t place too much stain on the joint to avoid any physical injuries.  For example it is better to choose swimming over jogging even-though jogging has a greater cardiovascular component, swimming in less weight bearing and therefore less likely to cause injuries. 

 

It is suggested that a minimum of 20 minutes of strength training 3 times a week is sufficient time to maintain strength and we suggest spending 10 minutes after your strength training focusing on flexibility and balance.  

 

It is very important that when you are doing this exercise you pay attention to form and make sure you are not at risk of causing injury by performing the exercises incorrectly.  That is why we at RPI Therapy Services suggest you always have a physical therapist by your side while performing these exercises to ensure they are doing correctly at all times and to evaluate your program and make adjustments accordingly.  It is very important to know that exercise can have a positive effect on your well-being however if you end up injured due to over exercising or perform the exercises incorrectly, this could have the exact opposite effect on your health and well-being.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is no doubt that exercising as you age is vital if you want to maintain an independent lifestyle for as long as possible.  All types of exercise are beneficial and a combination of cardio, strength and flexibility will provide the most benefit.  It is however very important to perform your exercise routine correctly to avoid injury.  We suggest that elderly individuals exercise under the guidance of the physical therapist who can ensure that the exercises are being done correctly and can make adjustments to the program when required.

 

Give us a call today to schedule a time to come in and exercise.  At RPI Therapy services we have an exercise area in all of our clinics where individuals can schedule time to workout with a physical therapist overseeing the program.  We also offer pilates classes for beginners to expert level.  Give us a call we look forward to seeing you.

 

Our rehabilitation centers are located at the following cities:

 

Creve Coeur:

Covenant House 8 Millstone Campus Drive Suite 1000 Creve Coeur, MO 63146

Number: 314-227-9641

 

Clayton:

950 Francis Place, Suite 115 Clayton, MO 63105

Number:  314-252-0924

 

Ellisville – Gambrill Gardens:

1 Strecker Rd. Ellisville, MO 63011

Number: 314-497-1443

 

West Rogers Park Chicago IL:

6840 N. Sacramento Ave. Suite 201 Chicago, Illinois 60645

Number: 773-381-3314