Exercise for Older Adults

The National Health Service (NHS) for England recommends exercise for older adults needs to consist of both aerobic exercise and strength exercise. This will help people over the age of 65 to stay healthy or improve their health. However, they also point out that the amount of exercise for staying healthy in old age depends upon your age.

Exercise for older adults

NHS guidelines suggest over 65s who are generally fit with no health conditions should perform 150-minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. This can include walking, dancing, cycling or pushing a lawn mower for instance.

In addition, The NHS recommends doing strength exercises for a minimum of two days a week. This is to maintain or build strength throughout the body by working the major muscle groups. Furthermore, this type of exercise for older people is hugely beneficial for those where balance is poor, placing them at risk of falling. In fact, both aerobic and strength training exercises are achievable on an ergometer, such as the Monark Rehab Trainer.

Exercise for older adults needs to consist of both aerobic exercise and strength exercise, both of which are achievable on a Monark ergometer.
Images courtesy of sport-medical.monarkexercise.se

The Monark Rehab Trainer is both an arm and leg ergometer with adjustable intensity. It is so easy to use and can be used on a table top while standing, or from sitting, including from a wheelchair, and even while lying in bed. Its versatility makes it suitable for exercising in any environment: at home, in a care home, senior living premises, rehabilitation facilities and in hospital.

Older adult fitness

Older adult fitness plays a huge part in staying healthy in old age. For instance, on average over 65s spend 10 hours or more sitting or lying down. This leads to the chance of more falls, heart disease and obesity. However, evidence suggests that regular exercise helps to reduce falls in older adults.

Gentle exercise for older adults shortens stay in hospital

There is a recent review summarising 13 trials involving older adults who were admitted to hospital for medical reasons. Findings show significant improvements in walking speed in those patients encouraged to move, compared to those who were not. Moreover, these patients were able to leave the hospital two days earlier than the control group. This is a huge benefit for hospitals where budgets are tight and beds are in short supply.

The interventions for mobilisation in this study include moving from bed to chair, standing, walking and gentle exercise. Gentle exercise for older adults in any establishment is possible with the use of medical ergometers, such as Monark. In fact, Monark Medical manufactures the most popular industry standard ergometer for use in rehabilitation and healthcare.

Exercise bikes in ICU aid recovery

In 2018, the Royal Gwent Hospital in Wales acted upon the success of a trial. As a result, the hospital is putting exercise ergometers next to patients’ beds in the intensive care unit. This is a result of the trial in which patients use the ergometer to exercise their arms and legs. This helps the patients recover more quickly from injury and illness. This is because while in intensive care, patients develop muscle weakness which leads to mobility issues. However, by using exercise bikes, patients are getting their strength back and walking again more quickly.

Care home improving health & wellbeing of frail older adults

This year, the University of Birmingham will be assessing the effects of exercise for older adults while sitting. Called Keeping Active in Residential Elderly (KARE), study participants will use specialised chair-based exercise machines. These machines are adapted to make them more comfortable and easier to use for older adults. The hope of this feasibility study is that this gentle exercise for older adults will teach them how to stay healthy in older age.

Monark medical & rehab trainers provide gentle exercise for older adults

Monark ergometers are 100 years in the making. They set the industry standard for training and test equipment. This is because they tailor their products to meet different requirements. For instance, some are specifically suitable for rehabilitation and medical use. What makes these so suitable for this, is that they offer features particularly designed for older adults:

  • Open entry frame making it easier to access the bike
  • Built to withstand heavier weight
  • Adjustable seat heights accommodate all sizes
  • Upright cycling position is more comfortable
  • Recumbents support the back and are gentle on joints
  • Arm/Leg ergometers work the upper and lower body independently

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