I am happy to report that I recently gained a certificate from Active IQ in Level 3 Physical Activity and Health Considerations for the Older Adult.
Although we slow down and lose strength and flexibility as we age, by keeping physically active we can delay the aging process by 10-20 years.
Benefits of physical activity for the older adult include:
- Disease prevention – Reduces the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, stroke and type II diabetes. Helps with weight loss. Slows loss of bone density.
- Health promotion – Maintains mobility. Slows the loss of muscle mass, increases or preserves muscle strength.
- Preservation of function – Improving strength, balance and co-ordination reduces the risk of falling and therefore fractures; and maintains the ability to perform activities of daily living.
- Quality of life – Improves mood and reduces anxiety. Better physical wellbeing can increase self-esteem and may help with aspects of cognitive function. Keep fit classes are an opportunity to socialise.
Pilates is a good choice for older adults, because it can help with all the above, especially mobility, strength, endurance, balance and co-ordination. All the exercises can be adapted to the needs of the individual.
Read the NHS Physical activity guidelines for older adults, which include a recommendation for “strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)”.