There is one culprit deemed to be the biggest driver when it comes to accelerating the ageing process – and that is – inactivity.
Silver Fit has come up with a new and exciting community-based solution…
The body is a magical thing; we have millions of cells that work together to create everything we need to stay alive and functioning. Ageing, which is one of the body’s natural processes, is complex and intricate and it is influenced by genetics, lifestyle factors as well as chronic disease. There are certain factors that accelerate the ageing process, but there is one culprit that is deemed the biggest driver – ageing. What causes some people to age quicker than others? The answer is simple; inactivity.
Most people are aware that inactivity is bad for you, and yet, research shows that 60% of adults do not exercise regularly and that physical activity levels decrease with age, with older adults having the highest levels of physical inactivity. Inactivity is linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and many other chronic conditions such as diabetes and certain cancers. Depression is more prevalent in older adults who do not exercise. In addition, when we do not exercise, we lose functional ability, bone and muscle mass which contribute to the risk of frailty and falling.
Falling is devastating consequence of a deconditioned body. 1 in 3 adults over the age of 65 years and 1 in 2 over the age of 80 fall each year. Some falls can have devastating consequences such as hip fractures, and recovery after a fall is a lengthy and extremely expensive process. Many older adults are never quite the same after a fall; often confidence and independence are lost and the ability to carry out one’s day to day activities is reduced.
So now we know that we need to be active and stay strong as we age, what does that mean for our own lives? One study found that successful ageing comes down to 3 things:
Managing your health
We all know that being healthy involves eating correctly and exercising, in essence; doing things that are good for you and avoiding things that are bad for you. Yet, very few of us seem to follow these guidelines. Managing your health is about more than “putting out fires”. It means we need to embrace the concept of active ageing by making movement and exercise an essential part of our daily routine. According to international exercise guidelines it is recommended that older adults achieve 150 minutes of exercise per week. This should include aerobic (cardiovascular), strength, flexibility, balance and mobility exercises. With the latter specifically showing a significant reduction in fall rates in older adults, which will allows for maintenance of functional and independent lives.
Staying involved with your community
People who are isolated are more likely to develop depression, frailty and poor health. Humans are designed to live in community and so it is vital to stay involved in the community, this is where group exercise is especially beneficial.
Focussing on personal development
It is never too late to learn new skills and keep growing. When we stagnate and stop challenging ourselves, this is when we will see a decline in our wellbeing. Grow in your strengths. Learn new things. Develop yourself personally and continually.
Not sure where to start?
Many older people are not sure where to start when it comes to embarking on a new exercise routine. Commercial gyms can sometimes be intimidating, especially if they do not offer specialised programmes that suit the needs of older adults.
Silver Fit is a new and exciting community-based exercise programme that has recently been launched in Gauteng, and will soon be available in other provinces. The programme is specially designed to keep people 60 years and older, stable, mobile and strong.
Silver Fit invites you to try out a FREE trial class
to see that getting up and moving is sometimes as simple as taking the first step.
We are opposed to anti–ageing messages that we are so often fed in media, instead we are pro–ageing – we celebrate ageing, it’s an achievement! Ageing is a natural process. Ageing well is a conscious effort, and the most important thing is to keep moving!
For more information, please contact us on 011 481 4964
or visit our website www.silverfit.co.za to learn about active ageing.
Article by: Kim Hauman, Silver Fit