Healthy Ageing

Overview

It is a commonly held misconception that, as we age, all aspects of our health slowly but surely deteriorate. We know that this does not have to be the case. The wide-ranging benefits of physical activity can help you sustain and even improve your health as you grow older. Preserving your independence should not be an unrealistic feat, and by utilising our multidimensional view of physical activity and incorporating regular movement into your daily routine, you can find activities which suit your lifestyle and context, keeping your body mobile and your mind active. As such, age is no barrier to good health. One of the things we are passionate about at KiActiv®, is affording each and every individual the opportunity to realise this aspirational view of healthy ageing and continue to live independently with confidence; ultimately, we have made it a key part of our mission to empower older adults to enjoy a happier, healthier life, for longer.

Physical Activity & Healthy Ageing

Physical activity is clinically proven to help maintain both physical and mental health into older age. Physical activity is a crucial modifiable risk factors for many chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, and therefore should be actively encouraged to provide greater independence in later life. Being physically active can enable older individuals to continue to live an independent life, whilst also significantly reducing the reliance on medications. As well as preventing chronic conditions, maintaining regular physical activity into older age can help increase your confidence and self-efficacy in your day-to-day life, and ease any concerns associated with falling, as well as improving your general wellbeing.

The Benefits of Physical Activity for Healthy Ageing

There are a variety of benefits to being active for healthy ageing, including:

  • Builds and maintains muscle mass, strength, power, and balance, all of which contribute towards improved physical function and greater independence
  • Reduces the risk of developing chronic health conditions
  • Increases bone mineral density, which lowers the risk of developing Osteoporosis
  • Increases joint range of motion and flexibility
  • Improves stamina and resilience
  • Improves cognitive function and memory, which reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Boosts the immune system, reducing the likelihood of suffering from illness and infection
  • Improves mood, mental wellbeing and sleep quality

There isn’t one type of physical activity that’s best for everyone, as everyone has different levels of confidence, varying levels of physical function, and a range of preferred activities which best suit their individual lifestyle. It is important to build up levels of physical activity gradually and avoid excess stress on particular muscles or joints. Physical activity is inherently multidimensional, and we know that. As such, we promote all types of movement, giving you the autonomy to make your own choices about the activities and movements you want to incorporate more of into your daily routine.

KiActiv® for Healthy Ageing

KiActiv® Health is a digital service that provides people with a personalised understanding of their everyday physical activity to empower behaviour change in the context of their health and capacity, enabling people to make the right choices for them.

In the context of healthy ageing, understanding how physical activity reduces the risk of chronic health conditions, as well as improving confidence and self-efficacy with regard to moving more is key to benefitting self-management.

Crucial to this understanding is that physical activity is more than just exercise and sport, and that every move you make counts. Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure and, as such, it is important that all of the movement in our lifestyles are accounted for – not just exercise.

Indeed, for many older adults, physical activity is something that is often feared due to lack of confidence and risk of injury, and there is a common misconception that for physical activity to be valuable it must be vigorous. As such, understanding that physical activity is more than just exercise and sport, and that every move matters, is vital for empowering effective self-management. So, for individuals on this programme, focusing on movements they enjoy or feel comfortable with is likely to result in sustained behaviour change.

Moving away from exercise to personalised, everyday physical activity is essential for Falls Prevention, as it opens the therapy window to ~112 hours/week. This can feel more accessible to these individuals, and this raised awareness and understanding of everyday physical activity is a key factor in increasing motivation to create healthier habits.

Here at KiActiv®, we have worked with many older patients to empower them to self-manage their health and improve their physical activity in a personalised way. As such, KiActiv® Health provides an accessible option for everyone.

Client Quotes

“It’s changing my lifestyle and that’s good. That’s why I’m determined to keep it going. It’s not a 3-month programme, it’s a whole life programme”- Male, 65, Type 2 Diabetes

“I realise now how important it is to keep active and exercise as much as possible for the rest of my life as I wish to remain mobile and useful.” – Female, 74, Asthma

“I have noticed I’m able to go up and down stairs quicker as I feel stronger, my legs are stronger.. I’m not as breathless as I was as I’ve been doing it more regularly.”- Female, 80, Hypertension

“Generally living a more healthy life because of the programme. It has given me a new understanding of physical activity.”Male, 65, Type 2 Diabetes

“I feel fitter and have more energy than before the programme started.” – Female, 81, Type 2 Diabetes

“I was pleasantly surprised with what extra health benefits I received with very little extra effort on my part” – Male 84, Type 2 Diabetes