Why eight out of 10 seniors are not exercising enough

Exercise Right Week 2019: How accredited exercise physiologists can boost health

Wellbeing
GET MOVING: Jeanne Belson sees an accredited exercise physiologist to help with strength and mobility.

GET MOVING: Jeanne Belson sees an accredited exercise physiologist to help with strength and mobility.

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'I couldn't get my own socks on.' What prompted Jeanne to get moving.

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PUTTING your socks on by yourself in the morning is something many people take for granted.

But for Jeanne Belson, when this daily task became too much she knew it was time to get help.

The 68-year-old decided to take action and made an appointment with an accredited exercise physiologist to help increase her flexibility.

"In just 8 weeks I could notice a difference in my flexibility and my strength. I couldn't get my own socks on by myself before, but I can do that now. I see exercise as an absolute priority in my life," she said.

"Now when I leave the house in the morning I feel like I could conquer the world and I see exercise as an absolute priority."

Ms Belson is one of several Australians getting behind Exercise Right Week (May 20-26) a national campaign highlighting the importance of active ageing by Exercise and Sports, Science Australia (ESSA).

WORK IT OUT: Only 17 per cent of people aged over 65 are meeting recommended physical activity guidelines.

WORK IT OUT: Only 17 per cent of people aged over 65 are meeting recommended physical activity guidelines.

With one in five over-65s experiencing disabilities that severely limit their activity, and seven in 10 senior Australians overweight or obese, ESSA says keeping active is vital as we age.

And as Ms Belson's experience shows, exercise not only helps to manage weight and prevent chronic disease, but also improves mobility and independence.

Yet despite this only 17 per cent of people aged over 65 are meeting recommended physical activity guidelines.

ESSA chief executive Anita Hobson-Powell said seeing an exercise physiologist can be the important first step to staying active.

"An accredited exercise physiologist (AEP) is a trustworthy part of the health care industry, holding a minimum four-year university qualification and held to strict accreditation standards," she said.

According to research, just under half of all older adults say injury or poor health stops then from exercising.

Others say they're unsure where to find the right advice to start exercising, while some don't know how to modify exercise programs to suit their fitness levels and health status.

"You can be confident that they [exercise physiologists] hold the right skills and knowledge to prescribe and deliver exercise as medicine."

AEPs specialise in working with those who are living with chronic conditions, illnesses and disabilities to exercise safely in a way that is right for them and their health.

Working in a wide variety of locations, from aged care communities to hospitals and private clinics, AEPs provide services that are also claimable with Medicare, DVA and most private health funds.

There are free events being run by exercise specialists to mark Exercise Right Week all over Australia. Click HERE for details.

To find your local accredited exercise physiologist click HERE or go to www.exerciseright.com.au

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