Physiotherapy Group Exercise Classes

At a Glance...

Physiotherapy group exercise classes are an effective way to keep residents in nursing and residential homes active in a social environment.

Exercise programs are developed by our expert physiotherapists in conjunction with doctors and nursing staff. Before commencing group exercise classes our physiotherapists undertake a comprehensive assessment of each resident’s mobility, fitness and pain. This assessment is to ensure each exercise is suitable for their clinical needs and provides a foundation to track their progress throughout the program.

Conveniently held in the facility the classes focus on 

  • Strength, conditioning and range of movement
  • Balance and mobility
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory systems

The benefits of regular group exercise classes on residents are:

  • Increased social interaction with other residents
  • Improved movement of joints and limbs
  • Improved walking and transfers
  • Increased strength and endurance
  • Improved balance and reduced falls risk

An aged care group exercise program may include:

  • Stretching to improve flexibility and a gentle warm up to reduce muscle soreness
  • Strength exercises using resistance bands or weights to help improve balance and prevent loss of bone mass
  • Cardio vascular exercises to increase breathing and heart rate

Group exercise classes are a key component of Therapyxis Care Home Physio Service.

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Benefits of Physical Activity

The importance of physical activity in this older population cannot be underestimated and there is good evidence that prevention or minimisation of the impact of sedentary lifestyles can have dramatic effects on physical and psychological health.

How Seniors Can Benefit from Adopting an Exercise Regimen
The benefits of physical activity for people of all ages are often touted, but is it safe for seniors to exercise? According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, almost all older people can benefit from more physical activity. In fact, regular exercise prevents chronic disease, improves mood and lowers chances of injury.

As we age, our bodies take a little longer to repair themselves, but moderate physical activity is good for people of all ages and ability levels. In fact, for most people, the benefits of exercising regularly far outweigh the risks. Even older individuals with chronic illnesses can find ways to work out safely. Many medical conditions can be improved through physical exercise, including Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, heart disease, diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, obesity and much more.

Benefits of Physical Activity
Regular exercise provides a myriad of health benefits, including improvements in blood pressure and blood sugar management, reduced amounts of lipids in the blood, better bone and joint health, and long-term preservation of neurocognitive function.

Other positive effects of physical activity include:

  • Boosted Immune Function. A healthy, strong body fights off infection and disease more easily and more quickly. Rather than sapping energy reserves entirely, recovery from an illness will take less of a toll on the body if the person exercises regularly.

  • Better Respiratory and Cardiovascular Function. Frequent physical activity lowers the risk of heart disease and reduces blood pressure. Strong lungs and airways and a healthy heart and vascular system allow the body to function properly and more efficiently clear out and destroy any invaders that can make us sick.

  • Strong Bones. Exercise protects against bone loss. Higher bone density reduces the risk of osteoporosis and lowers the risk of falls and broken bones. While men do lose some bone mass as they age, post-menopausal women are particularly susceptible and can lose as much as 2 percent bone mass each year. Research done at Tufts University shows that strength training can dramatically reduce this loss, restore bones, and contribute to better balance and less fractures.

  • Improved Gastrointestinal Function. Regular exercise helps boost the metabolism, promotes the efficient elimination of waste and encourages digestive health. Physical activity is an excellent “treatment” for people who suffer from slow digestion and constipation.

  • Protection Against Chronic Conditions. Physical activity lowers the risk of developing serious conditions and can actually minimise some symptoms after certain conditions have already developed. For example, exercise is vital for helping individuals with conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s disease to maintain their balance and coordination and extend their functional independence.

A consistent exercise schedule is also associated with decreased mortality and age-related morbidity in older adults. In addition, a study by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that seniors who exercised experienced improvements in functional reach and balance and reduced the participants’ fears of falling.

Physical Activities for Individuals with Limited Experience and Abilities
There are people of all ages whose physical abilities are limited by medical conditions, injuries or general frailty. These individuals have to exercise more carefully than others, but with proper instruction and guidance, they can learn activities and exercises that improve mobility and strength. Exercise is even more important for these individuals since they are more prone to inactivity, which increases the risk of obesity, illness, falling and broken bones.

Exercise classes in group settings that are supervised by trained professionals are ideal for those with specific limitations. Our experienced Physiotherapists can offer real-time modifications of each move and can develop and/or recommend entire regimens for specific improvements despite one’s unique challenges.