Being physically active and staying fit and healthy will help you to get the most out of life, whatever your age. In this article, the team from South Eastern Sydney Local Health District’s ‘Stepping On’ falls prevention program take us through five steps for exercise at home.
Adults aged 60-plus should be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
The Physical Activity Recommendations for Older Australians advise at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days or every day if possible, as well as two hours of balance exercises each week. Moderate exercise is described as when you can speak while exercising but you can’t sing!
Here are five tips to get you moving.
1. The first step: find a safe place to exercise. Remove clutter and trip hazards such as stools, items on the floor, unsecure mats and pets.
2. Find a secure support such as a kitchen bench or a sturdy table to hold on to if it helps perform the exercises.
3. We are all different and exercise doesn’t need to be completed at a certain time of the day. Exercises can be sprinkled through the day or completed in the morning or in the afternoon. It depends on what works for you.
4. If you have a new pain when doing exercise, talk to your GP or physio. Some people will need to have their exercises modified.
5. Exercises can be incorporated into your daily activities. For example, do your balance exercises when waiting for the kettle to boil. Stand up from your breakfast table three times rather than once when you are finished as an exercise to help strengthen your legs.
If you are not sure if you should be doing exercises, ask your family doctor.
There are free government-funded programs to support healthy and active ageing and promote independent living – learn more about them here.
For more information on exercises and preventing falls, contact Stepping On at 1800 823 002.