— By Ceri Anderson, BSc RPN
There are innumerable, and sometimes funny, one-liners about exercise. Generally they are used by people who don’t exercise. Let’s face it, exercising is NOT easy and, for many, it’s not fun.
If you’re over 55, physical activity improves both your health and overall well-being. Exercise is known to do many great things for your body, like reduce stress. It also strengthens the muscles that allows you to live, your heart and lungs! Once you have created a routine, it will help you maintain a healthy body weight, thereby increasing your energy levels which help to improve your outlook on life.
Everyone wants to avoid a premature death. One thing that can help is physical activity. Health Canada urges us to incorporate physical activity into our everyday lives. Whether at home, at school, or at work, we can always find ways to be active!
For seniors, physical activity is even more important. Over 80% of all fractures in people 50+ are caused by osteoporosis (osteoporosis.ca). Weight-bearing exercise helps to reduce the rate of bone loss associated with osteoporosis, leading to a lesser likelihood of bone breakage. Regular exercise can also maintain strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination — not to mention reduce the risk of falls!
What Can You Do?
Housebound? Limited mobility? Don’t worry! Physical activity is something that everyone can do. You don't need to go to the gym every day or train for the Olympics. The key is to look for simple ways to be active that work for you.
For example, you could:
- Take a walk once a day around the block;
- Take one flight of stairs instead of the elevator the whole way;
- Spend less time in front of the television or computer;
- Play actively with your grandkids;
- Walk, wheel or cycle for short trips like to the grocery store;
- Look for walking and cycling paths near you and use them.
To help you and your family get more active in your everyday life, check out Tips to Get Active . These tips help you make the best choices surrounding daily exercise, improve your health, help prevent diseases like osteoporosis and allow you enjoy your life to the fullest.
What other Resources are Available?
- Physical Activity Contribution Program: Supporting Healthy Living for Canadians
- Business Case for Active Living at Work
- Stairway to Health
- 2005 Integrated Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy
- Physical Activity Unit