A Canadian Health Measures Survey states that adults between the ages of 18 and 79 can spend about four hours a day being physically active, most of the activity being light, and more than nine hours sitting. It found seniors can spend more than 10 hours sedentary.
“One of the biggest things we see in aging populations is there is a decline in flexibility muscle mass and strength, that is just a natural progression as you age,” Trench Fitness Owner in Regina, Neil Tkatchuk said.
“Weight training combats that, exercise where you’re moving your body and moving through your hips, you’re going to see a lot less of senior’s hip and back issues that do have, because they are moving the way the body is designed to move.”
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity weekly. A study by Statistics Canada shows that more than half of Canadian adults report they were at least moderately active in their leisure time but a 2014/2015 Canadian Health Measures Survey indicates that only 17 per cent meet the current guidelines.
“I think the guidelines are very generalized. Where when we look at long-term health, we really need to make sure that we are focusing on specific types of exercise.” Tkatchuk said. “So when we talk about vigorous or moderate exercise, there is going to be a big difference of doing something like weight training and doing a heavy set of eight or 10, compared to taking your dog out for a walk.”
“Those are going to have dramatically different effects on the body, your body composition, health, strength, muscle mass and all of those things that pertain to health as you age.”
87-year-old Laura Malesh of Regina is part of the people who meet the guidelines. She said is active up to five hours a day and it is important for her to work out, to keep her in shape for one of her favorite past times.
Malesh spent 40 years playing professional softball and her career has landed her a spot in the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame. Her workouts aren’t as vigorous as they once were. Now she uses some workout machines, a band and does core exercises on a mat.
“I’ve been exercising all my life, ” Malesh said. “It just makes you feel good.”