Research:Older Australians are not exercising enough!
By Jarah Breese BAppSc (Ex&SpS) MSc High Performance Science
Elements For Life Director and Exercise Scientist
It’s been a concern of mine for a long time and now it’s confirmed by recent research out of Melbourne University which has also been highlighted in a (small) Herald Sun article. Older Australians are not doing enough exercise, doing the wrong type of exercise and don’t understand the benefits to aging, wellbeing and fighting illness.
The research found people over the age of 65 were not getting the minimum recommend amount of exercise per week which helps improve and maintain cardiovascular fitness, strength, mobility and balance. The author of the study said moderate to vigorous exercise could delay age-related illness and disability enabling people to live more independently for longer. The author also stated that older people tend not to exercise at a high enough intensity to get the associated benefits and that this is most likely due to the lack of education around the type of exercise needed to get the most benefit. Hint… it is NOT doing 10,000 steps a day.
The biggest area that many older Australians are missing out on and are least knowledgeable about is strength training. The benefits of lifting weights correctly and regularly include increases in strength and muscle mass, decreases in joint and muscle pain as well as assisting in weight-loss. Research has also shown that patients who have more muscle mass and lift weights under professional guidance before and during times of illness such as going through cancer treatment have improve treatment outcomes.
If you have never done much strength training in the past it can be a difficult to know where to start. Your best bet is to talk with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist to work out the best program to suit your needs. If you can’t find one feel free to send us an email and we will happily recommend one for you.
There is no better time than now to start your strength training since COVID-19 has hit the world. It’s becoming more and more evident that your fitness level is an important factor in fighting the virus. Australia is just getting out of lockdown which means it’s time to get active. If you want to keep strong, fight off illness, play golf, tennis or any other active hobby late into your life, lift some weights!