kinesiology for senior citizens
It’s no secret that staying active is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true for senior citizens who need to exercise regularly in order to stay mobile and maintain their level of independence.
Many people believe that the loss of physical mobility and independence are a normal part of aging. Although it is true that illnesses and ailments can affect an individual’s level of autonomy, it’s important to understand that individuals with a sedentary lifestyle see their physical abilities deteriorate quicker than those who stay active.
Senior citizens can remain active thanks to exercises tailored to their specific condition. Alexandre Simoneau, a kinesiologist part of the multidisciplinary team at Clinique GO™, often meets with senior citizens in their home to help them maintain their physical health. He answered our questions to explain how kinesiology can help these individuals.
First, what is a kinesiologist?
According to the Fédération des kinésiologues du Québec, a kinesiologist is “a health care professional who specializes in physical activity and uses body movement to prevent or treat a condition and improve an individual’s abilities.”
A kinesiologist undergoes extensive training and has skills in several areas of expertise including anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics. They can help individuals affected by any condition achieve their physical objectives, whether to increase their physical performances, maintain or increase their skills, or any other personal goal related to their physical health.
What are the specific needs of senior citizens?
The main goal of a kinesiologist is to help the patient get a better understanding of their condition and obtain practical advice and exercise recommendations to maintain and improve their overall well-being. A one-on-one session is tailored to the individual’s physical and cognitive abilities.
In fact, the goal is to help senior citizens maintain their cardiovascular capacities, strength, and muscle tone so they can continue to enjoy their hobbies, deal with chores, or simply get around. In other words, a kinesiologist helps patients maintain their level of independence. They also make sure that the program they design for their patient is pleasant and easy-to-follow, so the individual will want to stick to their appointments!
What happens during a session with a senior citizen?
First, the kinesiologist will fill out a physical activity readiness questionnaire (PAR-Q). This is an essential part of the process because senior citizens are more likely to suffer from a variety of conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, which can put them at risk when taking part in physical activity. This step helps the kinesiologist find out if the patient needs to consult with their physician before increasing their level of activity
Once the PAR-Q filled out, the kinesiologist and patient can discuss the latter’s specific needs. Are they looking to maintain their physical capabilities or improve them to become more autonomous?
Once the kinesiologist determines the patient’s needs, they can recommend the appropriate exercises that will help them maintain or improve their cardiovascular capabilities and muscle tone.
What kind of activities can help senior citizens?
First, to maintain enough muscle tone, the senior citizen should strengthen their muscle groups and bones twice a week. When the kinesiologist meets with the individual at their home, they’ll recommend some exercises that utilize their body weight or everyday household items such as a chair.
Moderate-intensity aerobic activities a few times a week will help senior citizens maintain their cardiovascular capabilities. It’s important to note that frequency is more important than intensity. Moderate-intensity will increase the individual’s heart rate but they’ll still be able to talk and breathe normally. If the senior citizen exercises a few times a week, or even once a day, they’ll be able to maintain their physical abilities and ultimately, their level of independence.
What activities do you normally recommend to your patients?
Brisk walking, cycling, yoga, dance… There are so many easy ways to stay active every day. They can walk instead of drive, take the stairs instead of the elevator, when possible of course!
Why is it important for senior citizens to stay active?
Regularly exercising ensures that the individual will continue to enjoy their favourite pastimes and daily activities, without tiring themselves out quickly! In turn, they’ll be able to maintain their independence longer!
In addition to helping them increase their physical health, exercise can also help fight the feeling of isolation that can affect senior citizens, and it will also have multiple benefits on their cognitive abilities.
In-home kinesiology services with Clinique GO™
The team at Clinique GO™ includes several kinesiologists who, like Alexandre Simoneau, have the training and skills necessary to help senior citizens remain active. By calling upon our in-home services, you’ll get a thorough understanding of your condition and you’ll benefit from advice that you’ll be able to easily put into practice.
To maintain your physical abilities and level of independence, call upon Clinique GO™ and its in-home kinesiology services!