OUR BODIES AS WE GET OLDER
- As we age our bones become weaker, thinner and lighter making them more likely to fracture and less able to absorb impacts.
- Loss of bone density leads to a stooped posture and decreased mobility in the neck and shoulders.
- Wear and tear as well as age-related changes can make the joints stiffer over time.
POOR BONE HEALTH WILL LEAD TO AN ESTIMATED 1 IN 2 WOMEN AND 1 IN 8 MEN SUFFERING A BONE FRACTURE.
- Our muscle mass declines as a result of ageing; this is known as sarcopenia (loss of skeletal muscle mass or loss of flesh).
- Sarcopenia can also be caused by lifestyle factors such as smoking or inactivity.
- It also limits the ability to carry out everyday tasks and could lead to falls.
ACCORDING TO THE WHO FALLS ARE THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL OR UNINTENTIONAL INJURY DEATHS WORLDWIDE. AROUND 1 IN 3 ADULTS OVER 65 WILL HAVE AT LEAST 1 FALL A YEAR.
- Our lungs become less elastic with age, so they become less efficient.
- The muscle which controls our breathing, known as the diaphragm, becomes weaker, which makes it harder for us to breathe.
- A more stooped posture means less space for our lungs to expand, reducing their overall capacity.
- The effect of ageing on our lungs can reduce our capacity for exercise, but regular exercise can slow the reduction down.
OVER A 40 YEAR PERIOD, UP TO 1/3 OF LUNG CAPACITY COULD BE LOST.
- The risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes increases with age, but a lack of exercise is the primary cause.
- Inactivity causes the heart to lose strength over time, becoming less effective at pumping blood around the body.
- Improving heart capacity and maintaining good heart health comes with regular and consistent aerobic activity.
DAILY WALKING CAN REDUCE THE CHANCE OF CARDIAC ARREST BY UP TO 31%.
- The loss of brain mass accelerates as we age which can affect our memory, vision and hearing.
- Changes to the nervous system can reduce the sense of taste, smell and other sensations such as heat pain; however, pain relating to pressure can increase.
- Movement and balance tend to decline with age due to the reduction of the brain and inner ear function
THE BENEFITS OF KEEPING
Regular exercise can help slow the effects of ageing,
lower the risk of heart disease, reduce the chance of
type 2 diabetes, improve bone density, increase
muscular strength and flexibility, and help maintain
It has a positive effect on our mental health, build self-
confidence, improve our mood and get a better nights’
sleep. It can also provide a chance to meet new people
and improve our quality of life overall.
THERE ARE SOME RISKS.
Exercise holds some risks for older adults, such as the
risk of falling or over-exertion as well as those associated with specific conditions such as osteoporosis or osteoarthritis, but exercise’s benefits far outweigh the risks.
A qualified fitness professional with appropriate
training will work with you to minimise such risks and
to design an exercise programme that meets your needs.