Exercise for the Older Adult

As we age, exercise training can contribute to greater quality of life by…

  • Improving physical work capacity - maximizing daily energy stores and levels of vitality
  • Increasing overall body strength - making activities of daily living easier
  • Encouraging good posture and balance – maintaining independence and reducing the likelihood of falls
  • Improving circulation and joint mobility – encouraging ease of movement

Aerobic Training

Frequency: Aim to exercise 4-5 times per week.

Intensity: Exercise within your target training heart rate individually prescribed for you but most importantly you should perceive the exercise intensity as FAIRLY LIGHT to SOMEWHAT HARD. You should always be able to talk while exercising!

Time: Try to accumulate at least 20-40 minutes of continuous exercise during each session. Initially, you may need to complete shorter bouts of exercise (2 x 10mins, 3 x 10mins etc.) with periods of rest in between. As your exercise capacity improves, you may increase the duration of exercise, with fewer rest periods.

Type: Activities that are continuous and repetitive in nature, like walking, cycling and swimming are the best types of exercise to increase your cardiovascular health. Find something you enjoy doing!

Resistance Training

Resistance training helps preserve and enhance your muscular strength and endurance. This in turn can help prevent falls, improve mobility and extend functional independence. It is recommended that you complete at least 6 weeks of aerobic training before supplementing your sessions with resistance exercises. Resistance training should be performed 2 times per week with 48 hours rest in between sessions. Ensure you target all the major muscle groups of the body.

Tips for Exercising

  • Ensure you include a 5 minute warm-up at the beginning of your exercise session and a slightly longer period for cool-down at the end.
  • Wear appropriate footwear and comfortable loose fitting clothing.
  • Begin with lower intensities of exercise and assess this using ratings of perceived exertion, heart rate and physical symptoms at regular intervals.
  • Always increase the duration of your exercise sessions before altering the intensity.

What should you be doing following graduation?

Now that you have all the knowledge and confidence required to exercise regularly on your own, it is essential that you continue on with activities that you enjoy doing. Group exercise can be a good option for keeping motivated and meeting new people and creates a good support network. Here are a few options you may wish to consider upon graduation from our program…

Boys & Girls Club
Horton Street Seniors’ Centre – Ph: 519-434-9114

Huff n’ Puff Seniors Fitness Association
Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre – Ph: 519-661-5854

YMCA
Central Branch – Ph: 519-667-3300

Last updated: Tue, 2012-11-06 16:44