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Physical Activity for Older Adults. The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. “Use It or Lose It”. Goes for both our minds and our bodies. How Does Regular Physical Activity Benefit You?. More energy, strength and flexibility Less risk of chronic diseases

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Physical Activity for Older Adults

The University of Georgia

Cooperative Extension Service


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“Use It or Lose It”

  • Goes for both our minds and our bodies...


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How Does Regular Physical Activity Benefit You?

  • More energy, strength and flexibility

  • Less risk of chronic diseases

  • Prevention of bone loss (osteoporosis)

    • less risk of fractures


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How Does Regular Physical Activity Benefit You?

  • Improvement in cholesterol and blood pressure

  • Maintenance of healthy weight

  • Reduced risk of falls and injuries


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How Does Regular Physical Activity Benefit You?

  • Less depression, stress, and anxiety

  • Improved function in people with arthritis


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What Types of Activities Should You Do?

  • Daily physical activity of moderate intensity

  • Strength exercises

  • Flexibility exercises


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Regular Physical Activity

  • At least 30 minutes of moderately-intense physical activity most days of the week

    • Divide into 10-minute sessions if needed


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Types of Beneficial Activities

  • Moderately intense

    • Brisk walking

    • Bicycling

    • Swimming

    • Dancing

    • Vacuuming

    • Sweeping floor

    • Yard work (mowing, raking, digging)


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Ways to Increase Lifestyle Activities

  • Use stairs more often

  • Walk to neighbors instead of driving

  • Do some gardening

  • Take dance lessons

  • Play golf or tennis


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Strength Exercises

  • 2-3 days per week to improve strength and endurance

  • Improves ability to perform daily activities and helps prevent muscle weakness


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Strength Exercises

  • Free weights

  • Ankle/wrist weights

  • Traditional strengthening machines (Nautilus)

    • 1 set of 8-12 repetitions


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Flexibility Exercises

  • To maintain and improve flexibility, coordination, and balance

  • Do every day

    • Range-of-motion

    • Stretching


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Activity does not need to be strenuous (low-impact)

Should be done daily

Swimming

Water exercises

Stretching

Chair exercises

Light weight lifting

Gentle yoga and tai chi

Activities for People with Disabilities


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Make Activity A Bigger Part of Your Daily Life

  • Find activities that you enjoy

    • Find others to join you. Partners make it more fun.


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Make Inactivity A Smaller Part of Your Daily Life

  • Spend less time in front of the TV, computer, sitting, and lying down


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Getting Started

  • Talk with your doctor to find out what level of activity is safe for you

  • Set specific activity goals

    • Start slowly and build up to increasing levels

    • Try to be active for at least 30 minutes a day


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Points to Remember

  • You can increase your quality of life and health by becoming more physically active

  • A healthy physical activity program for older adults includes:

    • Regular physical activity for 30 minutes a day

    • Daily stretching and flexibility exercises

    • Strength exercises 2-3 times per week

  • Use it or lose It!


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