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Age is Just a Number: Older Adults are More Active Than Ever

September 28, 2017 by HealthyFamiliesBC

Active living for seniors

People slow down with age…you can only learn new things when you’re young…it’s time to rest now. Which of these statements is true? None!

You can begin an active lifestyle at any time – regardless of your age. Check out this brilliant example:

Recently, a 105 year old gentleman broke the record for his age group for the most kilometers cycled in one hour (22.5 km). The most interesting thing from my point of view as an exercise physiologist is that he increased his fitness by following a training plan. Between the ages of 100 and 103, he increased his fitness level as shown in this scientific case study.

What it Means to be Active For Life

You may have heard the term physical literacy, which means being able and confident to do basic movements with your body. The physical literacy model has eight stages, from learning basic movements (hoping, catching, running, etc.), to sports participation, to the last but most important stage: Active for Life.

As a matter of fact (and as a part of being active for life), it’s recommended older adults achieve the following each week:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
  • muscle strengthening activities for all major muscle groups on at least 2 days
  • activities that improve balance and stretching exercises

Staying active in this way can reduce the risk of developing or help manage conditions like high blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart disease, and some cancers.

The old saying, “use it or lose it” could not be more accurate here. Through my work at Physical Activity Services at HealthLinkBC, I’ve personally spoken to older adults in their 80’s who play table tennis, do push-ups, complete half marathons and swim lengths for an hour. I’ve enjoyed helping older adults successfully and safely increase their activity levels so that they continue to live happy, healthy, independent lives.

Related blogs

The 2014 BC Seniors Games are on!
Feeling young and vibrant with age
Physical Activity From Grandchildren to Grandparents

Recommended resources

Public Health Agency of Canada: Physical activity tips for older adults (65 years and older)
Healthlink BC: Older Adults Physical Activity



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