It is important to stay physically fit and active in old age. Physical activity allows older adults maintain their cardiac health, keep their brain active. It lowers the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. Falls are one of the major concerns in old age and physical activity reduces the risk of falls and fractures through building strength, endurance and improving balance. It also enhances mobility and flexibility. Overall improves sense of well-being.
There are three main categories of physical activity types that can achieve improved health, independence and well-being for older people:
- Endurance / fitness activities, where a major emphasis is on increasing the demand on the heart and lungs. Examples include brisk walking, bicycle riding, swimming and jogging;
- Strength training activities, where the emphasis is on building muscle strength. Examples include resistance exercise, lifting weights, and stair climbing, and;
- Balance, mobility and flexibility (stretching) activities, where the emphasis is on balance, walking, turning, going up and down steps, muscle flexibility and other mobility related functions.