December 22, 2023

Embracing an active lifestyle outdoors

Staying active may be a fountain of youth that continues to flow even as we enter our golden years. For seniors who have embraced regular exercise, the rewards are familiar and cherished: a surge in energy, the warmth of dopamine’s embrace, and the joy of endorphins. These benefits only gain value as we age, becoming essential components of a fulfilling life and allowing your body to keep up with your mind.

Regular physical activity presents a treasure trove of advantages for seniors:

- Energised Living: Increased energy levels to enjoy each day.

- Chronic Disease Management: A powerful ally against chronic conditions, either reducing the risk or relieving symptoms.

- Restorative Rest: Enhanced sleep quality improves health and alertness.

- Pain Relief: Alleviation of joint pain, creating a more comfortable daily experience.

- Musculoskeletal Fortitude: Stronger bones and muscles, bolstering overall health and hormones.

- Mental Acuity: Improved cognitive functions and brain health.

- Emotional Well-being: Better mental health, mood, and a richer quality of life.

Optimal exercise frequency for seniors

Contrary to what some may believe, the senior years are ripe for reaping the rewards of physical activity. Various guidelines suggest adults aged 65 and above should target a mix of below activity:

- A minimum goal of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activities, like brisk walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous activities, such as jogging.

- Muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week.

- Balance and mobility-enhancing exercises supporting daily routines.

A call to movement!

Don’t wait for a New Year’s resolution to start moving. Every step taken today is a step towards a healthier, easier tomorrow. Embrace the journey with positivity, and let the path exercise be one you walk (Pun Intended) with energy.

*If you have chronic conditions or ailments, please seek advice from your allied health partners or local doctor and follow their directions regarding these activities. We should remain as active as our health permits.

Exercise Focus

Balance Training
Essential for maintaining stability, balance exercises help mitigate the risk of falls. Gentle, balance-focused activities like Tai Chi are recommended.

Strength Building
Functional fitness and bodyweight exercises enhance muscle and balance. Starting with a low weight under 5kg should be the aim before increasing in intensity or weight.

Low-Impact Routines
To preserve joint health, low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling,
or yoga are ideal.

Cardiovascular Health
Enjoyable activities like walking, tennis, or water aerobics keep the heart healthy without strain. This is where those balance building activities have a huge impact.

Simple exercises that promote flexibility and agility ensure that daily tasks remain within reach. Referring back to the Horse Stance exercise or variations of isometric exercises can significantly impact mobility.

Incorporating these exercises into a daily or weekly routine not only maintains physical health but also enriches seniors’ overall quality of life. As we’ve learned through our exploration of the Horse Stance in Tai Chi, regular, mindful practice can yield significant benefits, from strengthening muscles to enhancing balance and cognitive function.