It’s the biological law that many over 60 will understand. If you don’t exercise regularly, your ability to do some of life’s most basic tasks becomes harder, whether you’re opening a jar or doing the shopping.
Muscle loss is a natural part of getting older. A Harvard Medical School study found the average person loses anywhere between three and five per cent of muscle mass per decade. This can lead to falls, chronic illness, and other health issues.
It’s not all bad though — scientist Roger Fielding, a researcher specialising in the study of age-related decline, says muscle exercises can improve mobility and rebuild lost muscle mass.
“When you do resistance or strength training, very important chains of molecules that relay signals between cells are affected,” he said.
“These changes linger in the body for hours after exercise, building up a cumulative, positive effect. Even a low-intensity strength and walking program has substantial benefits.”
Whether floating, stretching, or walking through water, hydrotherapy is one of those tried-and-true methods of strengthening your muscles.
The ancient practice uses gentle water-based workouts to build back muscle mass, improve endurance and increase joint mobility.
While the water supports your body, the warm temperature helps relax your muscles and relieves joint pain.
A low-impact, mat-based exercise, Pilates works to strengthen your muscles through controlled and repetitive movements.
A 2022 study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine found older people who did muscle-strengthening activities like Pilates twice a week were more likely to live longer than those who didn’t.
Strength and fitness
Cardio and strength-based workouts are beneficial at any age, but even more so when you’re over 60. Undertaking regular cardio and strength activities can help build muscle mass and increase fitness.
AnglicareSA’s Health and Wellness team can tailor an exercise program to suit your ability, and activities are generally undertaken in a supportive and friendly group setting to provide extra motivation and enjoyment.
If you’re over 60, it can take your body a little longer to recover if you were to take a tumble.
Low muscle mass and reduced core strength can all increase your risk of having a fall. However, studies have shown that moderate exercise can reduce the risk of falls by 23 per cent.
“Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in older people, but research has shown that falls can be prevented,” Professor Cathie Sherrington, a Sydney University researcher, said.
“We have found that placing a greater emphasis on balance and strength training and slowly building up to a high challenge can further increase the effects of exercise on reducing falls by up to 40 per cent.”
AnglicareSA runs weekly Falls Prevention classes focused on improving your balance, core strength and muscle mass.
Instructors progress your workouts weekly so you can develop stability and strength while smashing your personal goals.
Our clinical team are also trained and able to teach you the techniques of falling safely and how to manage getting back on your feet safer and quicker if help isn’t around.
AnglicareSA offers a range of Health and Wellness services. With a little help from our team, you’ll lift those grocery bags inside in just one trip and open jars with little fuss!