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Healthy Aging: Ottawa Seniors Can Maintain Mobility & Independence With Physiotherapy

senior couple lacing shoesHaving more candles on your birthday cake doesn’t have to equate to moving less. In fact, one of the best ways to extend your longevity is through exercise. Consistent physical activity is by far the most potent antidote against the effects of aging, making you stronger, more youthful, and more independent.

Physiotherapy: Offering a Helpful, Guiding Hand

While personal trainers often focus on helping the young and the fit, physiotherapists specialize in assisting the aging population. Most often, older individuals have a vast repertoire of past injuries, existing pains, and variable levels of function.

“So it’s important to be able to have an understanding of the person’s function and their body, be knowledgeable about different exercise principles and have a background in exercise so that you can adjust and tailor an exercise program for each individual senior,” said Taofiq Aziz, Registered Physiotherapist at Ottawa Health: Performance and Rehabilitation.

Balance: The Cornerstone of Safety

One primary aspect physiotherapists focus on is balance. Our balance may falter as we age, posing a significant safety risk. Physiotherapists like Taofiq work to enhance balance, which is essential for preventing falls and fractures. They use safe and suitable exercises and equipment tailored to each senior’s needs, promoting safety while ensuring progress.

Independence through Exercise

Preserving mobility and independence is another area of focus for physiotherapists. They use a wide range of exercises and stretching drills to enhance mobility, thereby promoting independence. This allows seniors to maintain their daily routines without becoming reliant on others, drastically improving their quality of life.

Pairing Medicine and Exercise Science

One area where physiotherapy shines is that physiotherapists have an exercise science and medical background. So combining the two helps them provide care to more vulnerable populations, such as seniors with other comorbidities like hypertension that can potentially affect their ability to exercise.

The Power of Motivation: Breaking Barriers

“For seniors who’ve never exercised in the past, starting an exercise program can be daunting or overwhelming at first. They might not even feel comfortable to go to a gym and to see a trainer in the first place. Plus, if they’ve never had any experience on their own, they might not want to start by themselves. They prefer to have someone show them safe and comfortable ways of exercising,” said Taofiq.

He can provide coaching, encouragement, and education, making the process much more accessible for seniors and can guide them on how to use gym equipment or help them establish a home-based routine.

Moreover, working with a physiotherapist can significantly reduce feelings of self-consciousness or embarrassment often associated with gym environments, breaking down barriers to exercise.

Cardiovascular Exercise for Enhanced Wellness

In addition to strength training and balance exercises, physiotherapists also ensure the health of seniors’ cardiovascular systems. They are trained to recognize warning signs and provide immediate assistance if necessary—a vital aspect when working with individuals who may have underlying health conditions.

Maintaining Muscle Mass and Bone Density

As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass and bone density. When these reductions reach a certain threshold, they become medical conditions requiring treatment—osteoporosis and sarcopenia. By engaging in regular physiotherapy, these losses can be significantly curtailed, reducing the need for medication.

Get Started Today

Whether you’re dealing with pain or simply want to maintain your health as you age, physiotherapy offers a tailored, safe, and effective way to keep you fit and active and add more life to your years.

Book an appointment with Taofiq today!

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