Regular exercise can help with your well-being and improve your health.

Today our healthcare system is in crisis and this has been complicated by Covid-19. Many people do not have a family doctor and there a long wait time for many medical interventions and surgeries. On top of all this boomers are getting older placing further demands on healthcare system and resources. A recent survey showed seven out of 10 Canadians wish to age in place. i.e. stay in their own homes with support versus going to a nursing home.

Now is the time to take action to improve your health and well-being.

A regular exercise program and staying active has the following health benefits:

  • Keep you mobile and independent.
  • Control your weight.
  • Decrease your risk of heart disease.
  • Strengthen bones and muscles.
  • Improve balance and reduce risk of falls.
  • Reduce the risk of some cancers.
  • Help keep your judgement and learning skills sharp as you age.

The good news is that whatever your age and your health condition you can start on a program to meet your goals. If you have pre-existing health conditions such as arthritis, low back pain, Parkinson’s, or osteoporosis, you may not know where to start or how to exercise safely. A physiotherapist can help design a home program for you to improve your level of health and independence.

A good exercise program should incorporate the following:

  • Stretching

This should be gentle and usually stretches are held for 15 seconds. Stretching will help maintain mobility.

  • Strengthening

It is especially important to strengthen core stability muscles that help us maintain our posture and alignment, this can prevent back pain.

  • Balance and coordination activities

This can help prevent falls.

  • Aerobic activities

Theses activities safely stress our hearts and improve our cardiovascular health.

Here are some tips for integrating some fitness and exercise activities into your daily routine:

  • Walking

Try to walk more each day a Fitbit is an excellent way of tracking how many steps you take. Walking a mile burns as many calories as running a mile it just takes longer. If you have mobility problems such as arthritis in your knees or hips or poor balance use Nordic poles. Using your arms will also increase your cardiac output and you’ll burn more calories. Park your car little farther away from where you are going so you get those few extra steps. Walk briskly to get your heart rate up.

  • Stretching

Try to do a few stretches before you get up in the morning. If you have a secretary job do some stretches at your desk for your neck and take a little stretch break every couple of hours.

  • Strengthening

We can help you design a home program that uses resistant bands and small free weights.

  • Balance

You can work on your balance by standing on one leg whenever you brush your teeth or when working at a counter.

It is never too late to start on an exercise program and improve our well-being and health. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.