Seniors in the Outdoors
Information and resources to enable, encourage and inform seniors to get (back?) into the outdoors and outdoor recreation activities.
Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland is the Seniors Peak Body committed to advancing the rights, needs and interests of people as they age in Queensland.
We aim to help create a more just, equitable and caring community in which older people are actively involved and have access to appropriate support, services and care.
National Seniors Australia is not only the leading independent voice for over 50s in this country, but also your gateway to a diverse range of exclusive member-only benefits.
#GetLifelongReady aims to equip our recreation and sport industry with practical information to engage, or re-engage, adults in physical activity.
Growing Older and Living Dangerously (GOLD), a Brisbane City Council Active and Healthy Lifestyle program, provides free or low-cost activities for residents 50 years and over.
Council also runs GOLD n’ Kids, for seniors and children (aged four years and over).
Senior citizen playgrounds are growing in popularity worldwide. Originally created in China, they are playgrounds featuring various stations that have equipment designed for use by the elderly. As science continues to show the correlation between exercise, health, and fitness and the importance of these to senior citizens, playgrounds for the elderly are in high demand.
An aging population presents many significant challenges to governments, particularly in areas related to health, participation in society, planning and infrastructure, and quality of life. Long-term physical activity has been linked to enhanced physical, mental, and social wellbeing and this may impact across many policy areas.
Clearinghouse for Sport
Helping older Queenslanders stay healthy, active, independent and on their feet
Every day, 133 older Queenslanders have a fall requiring medical attention, even though falls are mostly preventable. Falls have a big impact on mobility and independence, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk.
This site provides information about how we can all work together to help Queenslanders stay healthy, active, independent and on their feet. This site is for seniors and anyone who works with seniors, including individuals, organisations, health professionals in hospitals and the community, aged care facilities, local councils, government departments, and the fitness industry.
Choose Health: Be Active
A physical activity guide for older Australians
To help encourage older Australians to be physically active, the Department of Health and Ageing and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs have jointly produced a resource called Choose Health: Be Active.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
Related Articles / Info
For seniors, any physical activity is better than none
They found a link between physical activity and reduced risk of heart disease in both elderly and middle-aged people.
“Elderly people who were moderately inactive had a 14 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who were completely inactive,” said study first author and cardiologist Sangeeta Lachman.
Active middle-aged men are likely to stay active into old age, a new study finds.
“Sport participation in mid-life may help maintain physical function and [physical activity] self-efficacy in later life, increasing psychological and physical readiness for [physical activity] in old age,”
From traversing high ropes to stand-up paddle boarding, older people are open to and benefit from trying new and challenging physical activities, a leading researcher will tell next week’s Active Ageing Conference.
Bolton Clarke Institute senior research fellow Liz Cyarto undertook an Australian-first pilot in 2014 in partnership with the Australian Camps Association and COTA Victoria that demonstrated the feasibility of an immersive outdoor education program for seniors.
Australian Ageing Agenda
Gold Coast triathlete proves age is no barrier as he prepares for world title tilt
AlF Lakin is bound for the world triathlon championships in Holland — which is quite a feat considering he couldn’t swim 25m less than two years ago and hadn’t ridden a bike in more than six decades.
The association between social support and physical activity in older adults:
A systematic review.
The promotion of active and healthy ageing is becoming increasingly important as the population ages. Physical activity (PA) significantly reduces all-cause mortality and contributes to the prevention of many chronic illnesses. However, the proportion of people globally who are active enough to gain these health benefits is low and decreases with age. Social support (SS) is a social determinant of health that may improve PA in older adults.
This review had three aims: 1) Systematically review and summarise studies examining the association between SS, or loneliness, and PA in older adults; 2) clarify if specific types of SS are positively associated with PA; and 3) investigate whether the association between SS and PA differs between PA domains.
The question of how to maximise ‘health span’ – the period of life during which we are generally healthy and free from serious disease – is increasingly prevalent both in and out of sport.
It’s likely that we will live and work for more years than any generation before us. For many, this will be a necessity as much as a choice, as the increasing social costs of an ageing population are pushing back retirement age in many countries. These changes will have significant economic, social and psychological impacts, but one of the key questions we need to ask concerns the kind of life we’re hoping for, over this time course
World Economic Forum
Study found link between strong cardiorespiratory system and better memory.
Good heart and lung fitness can benefit older adults’ brains, researchers report.
They assessed the heart/lung fitness of healthy young adults (aged 18 to 31) and older adults (aged 55 to 74), and compared their ability to learn and remember the names of strangers in photos. MRI scans recorded images of their brain activity as they learned the names.
The older adults had more difficulty with the memory test than the young adults. But older adults with high levels of heart/lung fitness did better on the test and showed more brain activity when learning new names than those of their peers with lower levels of heart/lung fitness
In a study of more than 1,600 adults aged 65 and older, those who led a sedentary life seemed to have the same risk of developing dementia as those who carried the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene mutation, which increases the chances of developing dementia.
Conversely, people who exercised appeared to have lower odds of developing dementia than those who didn’t, the five-year study found.
Stronger muscles reduce cognitive impairment in elderly patients.
The study was conducted in collaboration with the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) at the University of New South Wales and the University of Adelaide …
How a disciplined weightlifting schedule can improve cognition
The trial looked at progressive resistance training – such as weightlifting – and the functioning of the brain
The weathered old timbers of Wild Wind immediately suggest adventure. Tethered at the quiet Smithton wharf, the old fishing boat actually looks at rest after four years circumnavigating Australia.
Old beer barrels for carrying water sit on the deck near a hatch from which the wizened head of Neil Smith has just appeared.
“Come on down, kettle’s boiling,” he beckons from the top of ladder steps before disappearing again to clank about with his wood heater.
New research suggests that fitness, not physical activity alone, plays a protective role in guarding the body against risk factors for heart disease and other conditions.
Medical News Today
A 75-year-old man has run 75 marathons in 75 days to raise money for a special needs school in Rotherham in north-east England.
The extra candles on the birthday cake, the little lines you notice in the mirror … aging doesn’t always feel good. But remember, age also brings wisdom and balance. Watch these reminders of the benefits that come with age.
‘Nothing special’ about daily regime starting with 10km pre-dawn walk, 78yo Coolum man says
To keep our muscles healthy deep into retirement, we may need to start working out more now, according to a new study of world-class octogenarian athletes. The study found substantial differences at a cellular level between the athletes’ muscles and those of less active people.
Muscular health is, of course, essential for successful aging. As young adults, we generally have scads of robust muscle mass. But that situation doesn’t last.
Muscles consist of fibers, each attached to a motor neuron in our spinal column by long, skinny nerve threads called axons. The fiber and its neuron are known as a muscle unit.
When this muscle unit is intact, the neuron sends commands to the muscle fiber to contract. The muscle fiber responds, and your leg, eyelid, pinky finger or other body part moves.
However, motor neurons die as we age, beginning as early as in our 30s, abruptly marooning the attached muscle fiber, leaving it disconnected from the nervous system. In younger people, another neuron can come to the rescue, snaking out a new axon and re-attaching the fiber to the spinal cord
But with each passing decade, we have fewer motor neurons. So some muscle fibers, bereft of their original neuron, do not get another. These fibers wither and die and we lose muscle mass, becoming more frail. This process speeds up substantially once we reach age 60 or so.
Scientists have not known whether the decline in muscular health with age is inevitable or whether it might be slowed or altered.
There have been encouraging hints that exercise changes the trajectory of muscle aging. A 2010 study of recreational runners in their 60s, for instance, found that their leg muscles contained far more intact muscle units than the muscles of sedentary people of the same age.
But whether exercise would continue to protect muscles in people decades older than 60, for whom healthy muscles might be the difference between independence and institutionalization, had never been examined.
So for the new study, which was published last week in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers from McGill University in Canada and other schools contacted 29 world-class track and field athletes in their 80s and invited them to the university’s performance lab. They also recruited a separate group of healthy but relatively inactive people of the same age to act as controls.
At the lab, the scientists measured muscle size and then had the athletes and those in the control group complete a simple test of muscular strength and function in which they pressed their right foot against a movable platform as forcefully as possible. While they pressed, the scientists used sensors to track electrical activity within a leg muscle.
Using mathematical formulas involving muscle size and electrical activity, the scientists then determined precisely how many muscle units were alive and functioning in each volunteer’s leg muscle. They also examined the electrical signal plots to see how effectively each motor neuron was communicating with its attached muscle fiber.
Unsurprisingly, the elite masters athletes’ legs were much stronger than the legs of the other volunteers, by an average of about 25 percent. The athletes had about 14 percent more total muscle mass than the control group.
More interesting to the researchers, the athletes also had almost 30 percent more motor units in their leg muscle tissue, and these units were functioning better than those of people in the sedentary group. In the control group, many of the electrical messages from the motor neuron to the muscle showed signs of “jitter and jiggle,” which are actual scientific terms for signals that stutter and degrade before reaching the muscle fiber. Such weak signaling often indicates a motor neuron that is approaching death.
In essence, the sedentary elderly people had fewer motor units in their muscles, and more of the units that remained seemed to be feeling their age than in the athletes’ legs.
The athletes’ leg muscles were much healthier at the cellular level.
“They resembled the muscles of people decades younger,” said Geoffrey Power, who led the study while a graduate student at McGill and is now an assistant professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario.
Of course, this type of single-snapshot-in-time study can’t tell us whether the athletes’ training actually changed their muscle health over the years or if the athletes were somehow blessed from birth with better muscles, allowing them to become superb masters athletes.
But Dr. Power, who also led the 2010 study, said that he believes exercise does add to the numbers and improve the function of our muscle units as we grow older.
Whether we have to work out like a world-class 80-year-old athlete to benefit, however, remains in question. Most of these competitors train intensely for several hours every week, Dr. Power said. But on the plus side, some of them did not start their competitive regimens until they had reached their 50s, providing hope for the dilatory among us.
The New York Times
Whatever you’re planning on doing at 61, it probably won’t be as awesome as what Mary Hanna is about to achieve.
What do you reckon your exercise regime will be like at 61?
Strolls on the beach and the occasional gentle swing of a golf club sound pretty perfect.
Not for dressage rider Mary Hanna. Instead of having a roll at the local lawn bowls rink, Hanna is set to become Australia’s oldest ever competing Olympian in Rio.
Growing old is mandatory; acting old is optional.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80.
Anyone who keeps learning stays young
Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90 – time is a concept that humans created.
If I could live my life again.
Next time, I would try to make more mistakes.
I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more.
I would be sillier than I have been.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would be less fastidious.
Accept more risks, I would take more trips,
Contemplate more evenings,
Climb more mountains, and swim more rivers…
I would go to more places where I have not been,
Eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
I would have more real problems and less imaginary ones.
I was one of those people who lived sensibly and meticulously every minute of their life.
Of course I have had moments of happiness.
But if I could go back in time, I would try to have good moments only,
and not waste precious time.
I was someone never went anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bag, an umbrella and a parachute.
If I could live again,
I would travel more frivolously.
If I could live again, I would begin to walk barefoot at the beginning of the spring
and I would continue to do so until the end of autumn.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would contemplate more evenings and I would play with more children.
If I could have another life ahead.
But I am 85 years old you see, and I know that I am dying.
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