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Exercise Brings Balance

One of the most significant health problems for older adults is injury that results from a fall. It is estimated that one third of people 65 years of age and older fall each year and individuals who fall once are twice as likely to fall again. One-third of Canadians over age 65 who are hospitalized for a fall are discharged to a personal care home. 

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to help older adults stay on their feet. Certain exercises help increase balance and stability that, in turn, can help prevent the injuries associated with a fall.

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends adults aged 65 years and older should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity (can hear breathing and can still talk) to vigorous intensity (breathing heavy and hard to talk) aerobic physical activity per week. They suggest this should occur in bouts of 10 minutes or more. It’s also beneficial to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups, at least two days per week. Those with poor mobility should perform physical activities to enhance balance and prevent falls. More physical activity provides greater health benefits.

Adult day programs, support to seniors in group living, seniors resource councils and Interlake-Eastern RHA’s community wellness programs all embrace exercise as a part of healthy aging. It’s always recommended that a health care provider be consulted prior to starting an exercise program.

Contact your local recreation commission or seniors resource council for a summary of exercise opportunities available to older adults. You can also call Interlake-Eastern RHA’s community wellness team at 1-877-979-WELL (9355) to learn more about healthy living programs being offered this winter and spring. A calendar of events is posted online here

Click here for more details on seniors programs. 


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