Exercise – the magic bullet for active ageing

We recently completed Exercise Right Week at Precision Physio, and with it we were reminded of just how important it can be to have a conversation about exercise.

Historically, we’ve always thought of exercise as something we only do when we are healthy and uninjured, however the more we learn about exercise and the way it works, the more we find that the opposite is in fact true.

The following list is a compilation of chronic diseases and other things that we know exercise is great for treating and managing:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Muscle and joint injuries
  • Persistent pain
  • Falls
  • Post-surgical recovery
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease

The list goes on…

But not only is exercise useful for treatment and management. Prevention is a profoundly important aspect of physical activity. When you exercise, you reduce your risk of a tremendous number of chronic conditions simultaneously. If we put this in perspective, exercising is like taking a pill for your cholesterol, blood pressure, sore back, osteoporosis and arthritis – all in one. It really is the magic bullet everyone has been looking for.

This brings us to exercise and active ageing!

We now know that exercise is something everyone benefits from. But, we know that too many of us are not getting the exercise we need to stay healthy and prevent or manage the issues listed above. This is a very challenging problem because as we get older, naturally, we become much more susceptible to living with a chronic condition or starting to struggle with everyday activities. Consequently, these have a tremendous impact on the way we live our lives.

But if we know that exercise can help, why aren’t enough of us doing it? Here are a number of reasons we often see why.

  • The word exercise often scares people into thinking they have to do 3-hour long run and lift heavy weights every day. NOT TRUE. Exercise comes in many different forms and can mean very different things to different people. We at Precision Physio often push the terms MOVEMENT or ACTIVITY. Any ways you enjoy getting your body moving, or out of one position for long periods is really the aim.
  • Human beings really thrive on being in groups and doing things together. So, exercising on our own can be challenging and a difficult habit to maintain. Would it make sense to move with others and move together? Finding exercise groups, social outlets and other like-minded people can be difficult, but incredibly rewarding when you find something that sticks. Bowling clubs, walking groups, surf and swim clubs all the way through to local sports teams are all good places to start the train of thought – creating your own list of interests is often a great way to get the ball rolling!
  • Being unsure of, or slightly scared of exercise is incredibly common and might even be considered normal! Especially when you live with a chronic condition, injury or disability. Furthermore, not knowing how to exercise effectively to get the most out of your body is a very frequent complaint. However, there are a group of individuals in our health system that happen to specialise in exercise for chronic conditions, injury and disability. Exercise Physiologists!

Exercise Physiologists are university-qualified professionals that prescribe exercise as medicine. They have a great understanding of the human body and the way chronic diseases work. However, the most important part of what an Exercise Physiologist does, is understand the person; what they need; and what they want. The skilled Exercise Physiologists will make every visit fun and worthwhile, whilst helping you to make your body better and letting you get more out of life!

So, if you would like a dose of the active ageing magic bullet (exercise), get in touch with our team and start by just coming in for a first session to see what it’s all about.

This article

Was written by Precision Physio – Concord, Exercise Physiologist Liam Palmer. If you would like to speak to Liam about how he or one of the team can help you, contact us on: 02 8607 4000 or request a call by filling out this form.

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