A Pro-Health Community Physiotherapist, Opeyemi Bakre, on Friday advised elderly people to improve the quality of life that they were living by exercising.
Bakre, a private physiotherapist, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that growing old should not be a phase that should limit one from beginning a new adventure.
He said: “People always think because one is old and tired, then exercising would not be right for him.
“This is an impression physiotherapists are working to correct.
“That someone is old does not necessarily mean the person is tired.
“The person may have slowed down pace due to the process of ageing and some other medical conditions, but strength can be built and maintained.
“While exercise cannot stop ageing, it can help to reduce the impact that it has on our bodies and our lives.
“It can also help to reduce the risk and impact of illnesses that are more likely to affect older people.
“Also, it makes an older person becomes stronger than a much younger person.
“So, old age should not limit us from doing activities that we like to do.”
Bakre urged older people who needed to still stay active to seek the services of a trained physiotherapist.
She said the work of a physiotherapist was to identify physical and other factors preventing older people from being active and independent as they could be and find ways they could overcome them.
According to her, research has also shown how effective physiotherapists are at treating and preventing joint problems, balance disorders, risk of falls, strength decline and reducing high blood pressure and obesity.
Bakre noted that the benefits of exercising far outweighed the demerits.
She said: “Physiotherapy prevents diseases from getting into the heart, lungs and circulatory system.
“It gives balance and coordination, muscle strength, flexibility, relaxes the muscles, has effects on mental health and improves the prognosis of other diseases.”
Bakre said there were exercise packages tailored to meet every individual needs irrespective of the phase older people are.
She advised those who had reached 50 years and above to start living actively by exercising, though the World Health Organisation classified older people to be from 65 years and above.
According to her, the reason is to begin to get people thinking of living actively as they grow older and not just wait till when they are 65years.
She suggested that alongside individual exercises, they could belong to a group exercise setting, saying the support system created by exercising in a group helps one to overcome challenges along the way.
Bakre said group exercise would help improve social skills and prevent isolation.