To live well is to move well
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY HELPS AN AGING PERSON TO:
- Remain physically independent for as long as possible
- Prevent and reduce the effects of disease and disability
- Slow down age-related changes on bone, muscle, heart and other tissues
- Improve mood and reduce depression
- Boost immunity to fight illness and infection
- Promote faster healing from injury
- Meet the demands of life with greater physical reserve
Physiotherapists help older adults age well through physical activity and exercise.
Optimal aging is defined by Brummel-Smith as the capacity to function across many domains – physical, functional, cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual – to one’s satisfaction and in spite of one’s medical conditions. The reality is that the majority of older adults do have at least one chronic health condition and many live with physical limitations and disabilities. Reduced mobility leads to a downward vicious cycle of increasing limitations and physical deconditioning with associated exacerbation of existing chronic conditions and development of new secondary conditions.
Physiotherapists can be instrumental in stopping or reversing this downward cycle by providing restorative and accommodative changes that allow the individual to achieve optimal aging in the presence of chronic health conditions. With all the benefits of regular physical activity including increased blood flow, improved digestion and respiratory function, the older adult will be more resilient in coping with disease and will meet the demands of life with greater physical reserves.
Source: Geriatric Physcial Therapy by Andrew Guccione, Rita Wong and Dale Avers, Elsevier Mosby, 2012, print