You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘fitness’ tag.

Doctors have been saying all along that physical exercise is essential for healthy ageing, better moods and fewer accidents.  But it’s not just aerobic exercise like walking – the exercise of choice for the majority of seniors – that keeps the doctors away.  While walking is “beneficial to heart fitness [it] does little to protect the exerciser against falls or loss of bone mass” says the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Australian Journal of Science and Medicine featured a study “Walking not enough for older Aussies” that looked at Australians over 65 years of age using the Exercise Recreation and Sport Survey.  Not only applicable to Aussies, this study gets at the heart of the overload of information out there on what’s healthiest, what seniors should be doing, and how best to do it.  Every person holds different interests, ability and fitness level that might work best for them.  What is important is that seniors seek out the regiment that works best for them while integrating various forms of exercise.

Key findings from the study are applicable no matter what the choice of fitness may be:

  • Varying exercise routinely increases your health
  • Combining aerobic, strength and balance exercises is key to maximizing health benefits
  • Exercising in groups increases motivation and reduces loneliness
  • Combining exercise with healthier eating habits optimizes your health
  • Some physical exercise is better than none at all

“Raising awareness on the types of activities that can most benefit the elderly, including those that achieve several fitness dimensions all at once, given that few older adults choose to participate in multiple activities is certainly warranted,” says Dr Dafna Merom, lead author of the study.

Old Runner A3

[Photo Credit: Maxwell GS, Flickr]

I’ve known Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging for a number of years. He is one of the most enthusiastic promoters of active ageing and his organization has amazing resources for everyone interested in wellness.

Colin travels constantly. And during his travels he collects information, ideas and facts. As a result he recently identified 8 trends that he thinks will impact the elderly and organizations that serve them, either through direct care or by supplying them with needed products and services.

Here are his trends to watch out for:

  1. The Internet is becoming the new link to health, social networking and travel
  2. Retirement communities are reinventing themselves
  3. Maintaining intellectual skills and brain health is top of mind
  4. Technology is inspiring activity
  5. Retirement means Boomers will continue to work – but on their own terms
  6. Lifelong learning opportunities and interests keep growing
  7. Age-friendly fitness opportunities are essential
  8. Health plans will pay for prevention

As Colin says in his report, ‘The ability to function and engage in life is what is important, not chronological age’.

For a number of years folks have said that using your brain by doing crossword puzzles or mental exercises like Sudoku will help you retain mental capacity for a longer period as you age. There have been some studies to prove this theory but none were quite as extensive as the one just completed by the University of Southern California Andrus Gerontology Center.

According to an article in Medical News Today, the IMPACT study, conducted by Dr. Eliabeth Zelinski, showed that doing the right kind of brain exercise can enhance memory and other cognitive abilities of older adults.

‘The changes we saw in the experimental group were remarkable’, Dr. Zelinski said. ‘ From a researcher’s point of view, this was very impressive – people got better at the tasks trained, those improvements generalized to various standardized measures of memory, and peopled perceived improvements in their lives’.

The research was conducted using the computer-based Posit Science Brain Fitness Programone, of a number of products developed by the company Posit Science, a California based company whose goal is to create programs that change the way we live and age.

This is great news for those of us who love puzzles.

About this blog

IAHSA’s Global Ageing Network Blog was created because of you!! We got your message loud and clear – “Provide us with a quick and nimble communications vehicle so we can stay connected and create community across borders".

Questions? Email us at


Virginia Nuessle, Study Tour Director

Majd Alwan, Director, CAST

Alla Rubinstein, Program Administrator, IAHSA

Twitter Feed

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Connect with us on Facebook

IAHSA - Global Ageing Network

Connect with us on LinkedIn

IAHSA - Global Ageing Network