10 May 2012

Retirement: Regular Physical Activity

Functional decline in the elderly is attributable, at least in part, to physical inactivity. We are presenting here the findings of researches which support the effectiveness of moderate physical activity in :

  • Decreasing overall mortality
  • Decreasing coronary heart disease ( the leading cause of death in elderly)
  • Decreasing colon cancer
  • Decreasing incidence and improving management of diabetes mellitus
  • Decreasing incidence and improving management of hypertension
  • Decreasing obesity
  • Improving depression
  • Improving quality of life
  • Improving functional status
  • Decreasing falls and injury
( Note : moderate exercise means 30 or more minutes of brisk walking on 5 days or more per week. Yoga is helpful for improving balance and flexibility. We have suggested some other exercises in our book- Elder Care at Home. The book is on line.

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Keep in mind the barriers to physical activities and try to overcome these situations-
  1. Lack of access to safe areas to exercise
  2. Pain
  3. Fatigue
  4. Impairment in sensory function
  5. Mobility
  6. Above all laziness
Identify persons or friends who may be interested in physical exercises like you. Identify activities and stick to them. Make your exercise programme a daily routine. You may take help from physiotherapist, he will develop exercise programme for you.

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