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I’ve lost count of the number of older patients that come to see me, and think that pain is just “part of the ageing process”. While physiotherapy and exercise may not be able to completely remove the pain it can certainly make you more functional, improve your energy levels and often reduce the pain.
Keeping active at any age is good for us, however staying active as we age is vital. With 1 in 3 older Australians having a fall in any given year; and 7 in 10 being over weight or obese and 8 in 10 having a chronic condition, exercise can play a role in managing all of these issues. A recent patient commented that he “felt like getting up a doing things now” after starting a Pilates-informed class just 2 months ago.
What are the benefits?
Recent research is pointing toward exercise being beneficial to assist with reducing risk of falls, helping to maintain or reduce weight, reduce likelihood of developing chronic diseases such as type II Diabetes and heart disease. Exercise can improve your mood and increase your endurance to keep up with the grandchildren or improve at your chosen sport.
How do I do “Active Ageing”?
The type of exercise you do really depends on your personality and budget. If you need to be held accountable then join a class or exercise with a friend so that you keep going. If you don’t like classes then go for a walk or for a swim. Even seeing a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist and get some body weight exercises to do at home.
The key is to make exercise part of your routine. Start small and gradually build up and in no time you will start to feel the benefits of regular exercise. If you need help getting into exercise call our team on 07 3398 9556 and we can get you started.
The term “Women’s Health” covers health concerns for women from adolescences to menopause. While some concerns such as incontinence, breast cancer and post-natal depression may require a specialist or Women’s Health Physiotherapist, this is not always the case. The majority of physiotherapists can still assist you with common Women’s Health problems such as incontinence and pelvic floor, and if your particular issue requires further assistance they will refer you on.
Did you know that 1 in 2 Australian women have a chronic disease? Exercise has been well documented to help with mental health, protecting you against chronic conditions and supporting you as you age by keeping your bones strong. It is currently recommended that women do at least 150min of moderate activity or 75min of vigorous activity per week. It is also recommended to do 2 sessions of strength training per week. Strength training does not have to mean hitting the gym. You can do simple body weight exercises at home or at the park such as planks, squats and bridges.
Physiotherapists can help with pain and reduced range of motion or strength for many Women’s Health issues. You do not need a referral to see a physiotherapist. It is important to address any injuries or issues before starting any exercise program. Read more about our expert physiotherapists to find the right Physio for you. Ensure that you give your physiotherapist a good detailed description of your problem, include your functional difficulties and your goals of what you want to be able to do. Once you start to get improvement you can look at doing exercise that might interest you.
If you feel that you really just need to get a bit fitter, then find a good Exercise Physiologist to help get your exercise regime back on track. Our Exercise Physiologist run a number of different classes from group strength, core fusion, which blends pilates-informed exercises with mat work strengthening. There is something for every age group and fitness level. We tailor the program to suit your level. See our current timetable for some ideas.
Tips for staying active
Exercise with a friend:
Exercising with your partner, friends or family increases the likelihood that you’ll stick to your new exercise routine. Grab a buddy and get moving! Being held accountable for exercising with someone, and supporting each other’s goals is proven to increase the amount of exercise you do.
The most common reasons for not exercising, is lack of time. It’s all about planning and prioritising. Your health is what’s most important. Even if it’s a 10-20 minute walk in your lunch break each day – something is better than nothing.
Exercise isn’t supposed to be a chore. Hate the gym? Don’t go! Find an exercise that you enjoy and you are more likely to stick with it. If you find yourself getting bored, change up your exercise routine, take it to the park or do something different.
Every bit counts:
Don’t forget to make the most of incidental exercise. Take the stairs. Park your car further away from work or the shops. Opt for standing instead of sitting. It all adds up and every little bit counts.
You only have to turn on the TV or your social media to see lifestyle is a major cause of ill health all across the world, and Australia’s no exception. Obesity rates are rising globally, and there’s a whole lot of people who aren’t obese but are carrying enough extra weight to be putting their health at risk. Eating processed food and snacks high in sugar, fat, and salt is considered normal, and healthier food choices don’t appeal to a lot of people. Add in smoking, drinking, and stress, and it’s no wonder so many people have lifestyle-related health issues. What can you do if you know you need to exercise more, but the lure of the latest TV show is too hard to resist?
Why do I need to exercise?
You can lose weight without exercising if you consistently eat fewer calories per day than your body needs, however this makes you thinner, but not fitter or stronger. Having weak muscles because of your inactivity makes it hard to enjoy physical pursuits, and even worse, as your heart is a muscle it needs to be strong to keep you going, and that means exercise.
Exercise has many positive benefits, including:
- Increasing oxygen concentration in the blood.
- Toning your muscles for a better figure.
- Helping to keep you feeling younger
- Helping with weight loss.
- Keeping blood pressure down.
- Preventing disease such as osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes
- Increasing energy and stamina.
- Reducing stress.
- Improving mood.
Improve you fitness and you will feel better; it’s as simple as that.
How do I get over barriers like illness and injury?
Barriers are those things that crop up and can stop you in your tracks. Injury and illness are common problems, but you can manage them with the right approach. For example, if you sustain an injury, call out expert team and get an assessment now. Undergoing expert treatment ensures you heal more quickly and don’t make the problem worse. If you are ill, get your doctors advise on starting an exercise program and make sure you’re rested and recovered before your begin.
How do I find the motivation to exercise?
If all the positive benefit of exercise doesn’t make you rush to your next exercise session, it’s likely that you just haven’t found the right kind of exercise. If you don’t enjoy being physical for the sake of it, then the gym is probably not for you.
Sometime simple things like taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator and parking further from the shopping centre entrance can give you a little more exercise in your day without really trying.
Or you could just walk into town, or to see a friend. Anything that you enjoy, take the emphasis off exercise and make it about doing what makes you happy.
Try a few different tricks or activities to find what works for you. Remember that something is better than nothing and it’s never too late to start. There will be something that gets you enjoying your exercise, so don’t give up.