Post Covid-19 Physiotherapy Led Exercises Classes for Elderly in Wokingham
We all know that exercise is very important for and helps us stay healthy as we grow older by keeping our joints moving, our muscles strong and is good for our mind. Especially when we have been under locked down for few weeks, we need to start doing exercises or Physiotherapy to get the muscle strength and balance back to normal. But how much exercise should you actually do? What level of intensity should you aim for and what types of exercises should you do?
The current recommended level of exercise (World Health Organisation) is at least 150 mins or 2.5 hrs a week of moderate exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. The duration of the exercises should be for at least 10 minutes at a time. For people above the age of 65 you should practise balance exercises at least 3 times a week to benefit from reducing the risk of falls and are advised to increase moderate exercise to 300 minutes per week. Are you confused yet? Let me try and summarise:
For people above the age of 65 it is advised to do moderate exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes at a time. As we get older and our strength and balance declines, we need to do more exercise up to 10 times a week for 30 minutes at a time !! I know what you are thinking here, how can I do 10 exercise sessions a week lasting 30 minutes at a time when I struggle to even walk to my bathroom with a zimmer frame and need a carer to help me?!
It is clear that many people are not exercising at the advised level by the experts. As we grow older we are more likely to suffer from a build-up of illnesses (comorbidities) than can make it much harder to live an independent lifestyle. The key is to start exercising early in the anticipation that it will prepare your body for he strains of old age.
What is moderate exercise?
It would be prudent to try and do moderate exercise every day for up to 30 minutes. Activities such as gardening, housework, and walking outside will all constitute for moderate levels of exercise. Thee tasks would make you feel slightly out of breath but not gasping for air. There are many exercise groups in the community ranging from keep fit classes, chair exercise classes, Thai Chi, Yoga, walking groups, aquarobics. People are still able to play golf, lawn bowls, tennis, swim and cycle well into their later years.
The key is identifying a task, exercise or activity that you can participate in which is the right level for you. If you can also find enjoyment in the activity and there is some social engagement, then it makes doing exercise much less arduous.
Dangers of sedation in old age
At Therapies on Thames we often see a pattern where some people end up doing less and less during the day. Often this is after a bout of illness, a fall, an operation and a period of time when they have been in hospital or in bed for too long. What they used to have has now been lost and a new routine has been set which involves less walking, less movement and more sedation. This can often go hand in hand with some memory loss and a lack of desire to want to do things, instead being content with the comfort of the armchair and the TV.
Sadly we see this quite often. After a fall or illness people lose their confidence to walk or go outside. The winter comes and people don’t want to go outside anymore, “it’s too cold outside” and it’s easier to say we will go out again once the weather improves. Before we know it you are becoming socially isolated and more dependent on people close to you to do things for you. You stop going out shopping with your wife, you no longer go the social club and before you know it the only time you leave the house is for hospital appointments. It’s also not easy for the care giver who is often your partner. They become the constant “nag” who can see the deterioration but is unable to encourage you to get back to doing things you used to do and the stain and frustration grows. This leads to increase dependency on carers which would have financial implication and physical and psychological decline.
The spiral of physical decline can be rapid without necessary intervention. The phrase “use it or lose it” applies so well in this case. Not everyone is going to be able to make miraculous improvements in their physical health from doing regular exercise, however small changes can help improve your quality of life. One obvious example is how regular exercise can loosen up our stiff joints and make basic things like getting out of bed, getting up from the chair and reaching to the floor much easier.
Postural stability Exercise Classes
Therapies on Thames has started 2 new Physiotherapy led exercises in Berkshire at Wade day centre in Wokingham and at Bridge House care home in Twyford. The classes have already been a success because we have created a community coming together to share their experiences and get stronger together. We asked the 1st group what was the biggest issues they all faced and the man problem was a loss of balance. All of the group had fallen over at some time in the last 6 months. Two of the ladies have made a quick connection and have set a date to meet for lunch at Wade day centre. One lady has felt the burden of looking after her sick husband and has become socially isolated and weaker for feeling guilty to leave him in the house alone and having a social life. She has become weaker as a result and already the exercise class has helped her to socialise, meet new friends and has given her purpose and hope.
The classes also bring people in from the community to Bridge House and Wade day centre, perhaps places they would never have visited before. The day centre and care home benefit from this as members of the community will be able to see the services these places offer. We need to work closely with other groups in the region who help the elderly, so we can support the elderly population and provide more activities to help them stay active and connected with others.
We offer 1:1 postural stability exercise sessions at your home by home visit Physiotherapy in Wokingham or group exercises at WADE day centre and Bridge house of Twyford. Please feel free to contact us if you have queries.