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The answers to frequently asked questions on exercising for older adults undergoing rehabilitation
Structured physical activity or exercise is a popular pursuit amongst older persons and can be of considerable benefit given the physical declines associated with ageing.
As we age, a great number of structural and functional transformations occur leading to a decline in optimal physical capacity. While our level of activity affects some of these changes others bear little relationship to the quantity of exercise performed. Age-related changes in skin, vision, hair take place irrespective an individual's level of physical fitness. However, other factors such as breathing capacity, heart function, and muscle strength are heavily influenced by one's level of fitness.
The human body generally responds well to physical exercise. Substantial improvements may be anticipated in heart and lung function, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and one's ability to respond to stimuli.
Some of the benefits to exercise may include:
Exercise can have a profound effect upon older persons with the most 'unfit' usually experiencing the greatest benefits.
When prescribing exercise, health professionals will usually talk about three important factors: intensity, duration and frequency.
The intensity of exercise refers to the amount of effort put into an exercise. Intensity is usually measure by assessing the heart rate during exercise. As a rule, the intensity of exercise should not exceed certain limits. If monitoring heart rate, use the simple equation - 200 minus your age in years to estimate the working heart rate you should remain under.
The duration of exercise refers to the actual time spent performing an activity. It is generally accepted that to improve cardiorespiratory or heart fitness you should aim to achieve 30 minutes of exercise on most if not all days of the week. Recent studies have shown that favourable health benefits can be achieved from as little as 5 minutes continuous exercise, repeated several times per day.
The frequency of exercise refers to the number of occasions per week that activity should be undertaken. The accepted frequency, to achieve cardiorespiratory or heart fitness is three to five sessions per week. Positive benefits have been shown to occur from as little as two sessions per week.
The most important element of exercise prescription is the notion that activity should become a life-long habit and not merely a passing fad.
Clients attending the Eastern Regional Day Hospital, Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre may participate in exercise rehabilitation programs conducted by the Centre for Physical Activity In Ageing. Clients participate in a range of specific and goal orientated exercise rehabilitation programs.
Clients attending this program must be referred.
Chronic disease exercise programs aim to improve physical function through exercise and assist clients with management of their chronic disease, which may include (but not limited to) diabetes, stroke fitness, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson's disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and obesity or peri-operative patients.
This service is suitable for clients who are undergoing or who have undergone cancer treatment and is closely supervised by experienced Accredited Exercise Physiologist. This program focuses on improving the various treatment-related complications associated with cancer and particularly assists with cardiovascular fitness, functional capacity, strength and fatigue.
The Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing offers both Phase 2 and Phase 3 cardiac rehabilitation. Phase 2 sessions are closely monitored and supervised by experienced Accredited Exercise Physiologists.
Stroke fitness classes are intended for clients recovering from a cerebrovascular accident or related problem that wish to continue with an exercise regimen. Stroke fitness classes are structured so as to permit clients to work in both individualised and group settings. The program aims to improve physical function and maintain previously made rehabilitation gains.
The Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing cardiac rehabilitation program is designed to meet the needs of clients who have been diagnosed with a coronary heart disease condition such as myocardial infarction, angina, cardiac failure, arrhythmia, and recovery from heart surgery or procedures.The program comprises a series of weekly exercise classes that may continue indefinitely.
The aim of this program is to make exercise a natural and rewarding part of your life. For our participants exercise therapy means an improved quality of life as well as better health and fitness.
The cardiac rehabilitation program is managed by an exercise physiologist in an equipment gymnasium setting. Specifically tailored exercises are prescribed, with clients encouraged to work within their limitations.
Our cardiac rehabilitation program offers you the potential to:
The program follows a standardised format encompassing warm-up, aerobic work and cool-down, and may consist of various activities utilising a range of strengthening machines and aerobic conditioning apparatus (exercise bikes and treadmills). Stretching and strengthening exercises are also incorporated into sessions.A home program is provided where appropriate.
In most cases, clients of our cardiac rehabilitation program would be at least 12 weeks post cardiac event and have appropriate medical clearance.
Specific goals of the program include maintenance of exercise capacity or tolerance and continued support in advising how best to make positive lifestyle changes.
A cardiac nurse will be available during the class to answer any health-related questions. Individualised counselling can be organised via appointment. The cardiac nurse will liaise with your general practitioner, cardiologist and other allied health professionals to maximise your health needs. The cardiac rehabilitation program comprises a series of 1-hour, weekly classes that may continue indefinitely. Classes are conducted at various times of the day according to demand.This session will provide clients with a comprehensive risk factor assessment and tailor an individualised education program.
Cardiac rehabilitation (maintenance) classes are designed to meet the needs of clients who have been diagnosed with a coronary heart disease condition. In most cases, clients of our cardiac rehabilitation program would be at least 12 weeks post cardiac event and have appropriate medical clearance.
Full reporting including initial assessment, re-assessment and discharge summaries will be provided where appropriately referred and requested, utilising the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing ‘best practice’ model of exercise rehabilitation.
The Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing offers a range of massage services, such as therapeutic massage, sports massage, foot reflexology and trigger point therapy services.Massage techniques date back to very early civilisations and have been utilised for a variety of purposes. Today, the therapeutic benefit of massage is well accepted with specific techniques continuing to develop throughout Westernised societies.
Massage aids the circulation of blood and lymph systems, reduces swelling, relaxes tension and helps us cope with the stresses of everyday life through the release of emotional tension.
It is a natural instinct to "rub away" pain and as such massage can assist in the enhancement of quality of life. Furthermore, massage reaffirms the receiver as a worthwhile person.
The massage program is intended for SFH clients. However, in addition to the Enrolment Form completed when commencing SFH fitness classes, clients will need to complete a Massage Interview Sheet prior to receiving any services from the massage therapist.
All massages are conducted within facilities of the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing, Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre, 207-255 Hampstead Road, Northfield.
A choice of massage is available in regard to bringing your own linen or having it supplied by the massage therapist. If supplying your own linen you will need to bring along three towels, one hand towel, one sheet and a pillow case.
Clients seeking specific information concerning their physical health may access a range of health assessments including: height, weight, flexibility, strength, body fat, blood pressure and fitness level. There is increasing demand nowadays from clients seeking specific information concerning their physical health.In an endeavour to meet this demand, the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing offers a number of physical health assessments to check your height, weight, flexibility, strength, body fat, blood pressure (resting and exercising) and fitness level.
All assessments are conducted by a fully trained exercise physiologist within the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing. The results of each assessment are reported against mean values of individuals of the same sex and age range using Australian norms during a post-test counselling period.
Assessment and physical training programs can be provided for clients recovering from a work related or motor vehicle accident injury through a workers compensation scheme.
The risks associated with each of the assessments are no greater than that which you would encounter during everyday tasks such as walking up stairs, running to catch a bus or lifting heavy objects. Nevertheless, the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing is fully equipped to handle any adverse medical event.
All clients are strongly encouraged to obtain clearance from their Doctor prior to the conduct of any strength or fitness evaluation. Specially prepared forms are available on request.
Specific physical health assessments include:
Assessments may be undertaken individually, in any combination or as a complete package.
A physical health assessment conducted by the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing should not be regarded as a substitute for medical care or advice available from your regular medical adviser. The assessments are only intended to provide basic information pertaining to aspects of your physical health or fitness.
General exercise or "community fitness" classes follow a standardised format encompassing warm-up, aerobic work and cool-down, and may consist of various calisthenics, stretching and strengthening exercises together with a progressive walking program or other similar aerobic activities. Certain general fitness classes may also be predominantly "chair based" depending upon client needs and abilities.
Structured physical activity or exercise is a popular pursuit amongst older persons and can be of considerable benefit given the physical declines associated with ageing.
Staying Fit and Healthy is the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing's fitness and health program specifically designed for older persons.
Staying Fit and Healthy classes are arranged according to activity type such as water, general, circuit, stroke fitness, swim fitness and learn to swim, and pace or exertion level of the class being either slow, moderate or active.
Classes are intended to provide an opportunity for clients to:
All classes are ongoing throughout the year pausing only for the Christmas and New Year period. As such, clients may enter a program at any time of the year.
As classes are conducted at a variety of levels new clients are strongly encouraged to view a class prior to commencing so as to gauge whether the class will be suitable for them.
There is no specific age or geographical restrictions for entry into Staying Fit and Healthy programs. However, the program does specifically focus upon the needs of the older person.
Information and resources regarding the benefits of walking and walking exercise programs may be accessed at The Heart Foundation website.
These classes are divided into 3 specific levels which reflect the pace or "exertion requirements" of the class.
Clients recovering from joint replacement surgery or cardiac problems are well suited to these classes. Slow pace exercise in water classes do not engage in aerobic activities and are more directed towards mobility and flexibility activities.
Such classes are intended for beginners or those clients requiring a slower or remedial approach to exercise. Whilst clients with disabilities are well accommodated in these sessions, one-on-one assistance cannot be assured.
Clients are generally encouraged to participate in all aspects of the program. However, in some cases we recognise this may not be advised and clients will therefore be encouraged to pursue alternate activities where appropriate. Adequate rest periods are built into all classes.
The time spent exercising in most classes is approximately 45-50 minutes.
All clients are required to obtain clearance from their Doctor.
Staying Fit and Healthy classes are conducted at facilities of the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing, Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre, 207-255 Hampstead Road, Northfield or in various locations within at the Port Adelaide region.
Starter circuit classes are intended to provide new clients or existing clients unaccustomed to gymnasium programs with basic information concerning the use of equipment utilised in "super circuit" classes. Attendance at starter circuit classes is intended to be short term (3 to 5 weeks) and all clients are required to move onto "super circuit" classes when ready to make the necessary transition.
Circuit exercise classes follow a standardised format encompassing warm-up, aerobic work and cool-down, and may consist of various activities performed in a gymnasium utilising a range of strengthening machines such as hydraulic and pin-loaded training machines, and aerobic conditioning apparatus such as exercise bikes or treadmills. Callisthenic, stretching and strengthening exercises are also incorporated into sessions.
Exercise in water or ‘aqua’ classes follow a standardised format encompassing warm-up, aerobic work and cool-down, and consist of a wide range of activities performed in a heated, indoor hydrotherapy pool.
It is requested that clients arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to commencement of their water class. When arriving in the pool area clients are requested to remain as quiet as possible. The relaxation segment of another class is likely to be in progress and outside noise is most distracting.
All clients are required to shower before entering the hydrotherapy pool. Clients are requested not to enter the water before the preceding class has completed their exercise session and only when your instructor arrives.
Owing to the limited number of showers and change cubicles, clients are asked to be mindful of clients already in the process of showering and changing. The Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre pool complex has significant acoustic problems. As such, clients are reminded that talking will increase the difficulty of hearing instructions.
Please note, for safety, the use of shampoo, talcum powder and soap are not permitted.
Learn to swim classes are intended to provide basic water skills in small teaching groups conducted by specifically accredited swimming instructors. Individual programming is also available for clients with special needs.
Lap swimming sessions provide access to clients wishing to undertake lap swimming in a partially supervised session.
The first few sessions of a circuit program may be orientated towards familiarising you with the wide range of equipment. This is important when using gymnasium apparatus.
The first few weeks of a circuit program will probably not involve ‘step’ work as it is important to become orientated to the equipment before attempting complex routines on steps.
Car parking is available immediately outside the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre hydrotherapy complex for those with special permits. All other users are asked to use the Main car park.
After hours parking outside the pool complex is permitted by non-permit holders. Parking permits may be obtained by contacting the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre Pool Operator.
Clients are discouraged from attending exercise sessions if they feel unwell. If unwell, the best advice is to rest and recover fully before attempting to recommence an exercise program.
Clients are encouraged to inform staff or contact the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing office if they are intending to be absent for a prolonged period, for example 2 weeks or more.
By doing so, we can try our best to ensure that your place in the class is reserved, although this cannot be guaranteed during periods of prolonged absence.
Returning to class following absence will require either a re-assessment and/or a doctor's clearance.
The consumption of water is actively encouraged before, during and after all exercise sessions. Clients are encouraged to bring their own water containers.
There is no specific age restrictions for entry into the CPAA rehabilitation programs.
All classes are ongoing throughout the year pausing briefly for the Christmas and New Year period.
Clients may enter programs at any time of the year and continue for as long as they wish.
Continual movement from one class to another is not encouraged.
Please refer to the related resources box above for the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing hot weather fact sheet. For further information on SA Health's hot weather policy please refer to the SA Health extreme heat health advice.
Current session timetables for each program, service and class are available upon request.
To book an appointment for any of our programs and services please contact our main enquiry line on (08) 8222 1891.
Half hour and one hour appointments are available Monday to Friday and occasional Saturdays. To make an appointment please phone (08) 8222 1736 during office hours. If unattended, please leave a message including after hours on 0414 240 188.
You may wish to contact the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing to find out which programs and services operate on a fee-for-service basis.Fees may be paid on a per-session basis, or clients may purchase ‘termcards’ which provide for "blocks" of exercise at a reduced rate.
The fee schedule is designed in such a way that the more often you attend the less you will pay. The cost of a class therefore decreases with a greater level of commitment. Importantly however, you elect the manner in which to pay for classes.
Payment for exercise classes is made directly to the Fitness Leader in charge of your session. Instructors usually have sufficient money to change notes. However it would be appreciated if the correct change were given.
Termcards are an ideal manner in which to purchase classes and are available for purchase from the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing office.
A termcard is simply a small card that entitles the user to a nominated number of attendances at a particular class and:
It is recommended clients wear comfortable loose fitting clothing for the duration of these sessions such as:
Thick jumpers, windcheaters should not be left on during exercise sessions.
Whilst normal bathers are required in water classes, we do permit the wearing of shorts and T-shirts if clients are in the process of obtaining appropriate swim wear.
It is ideal to wear: