Doing a moderate amount of exercise is beneficial to older persons in maintaining their physical and mental health as well as enriching their social life. The advantages include:
- Strengthening the cardiopulmonary functions, keeping the body in good health;
- Controlling body weight, improving blood pressure and reducing the level of blood lipids;
- Achieving better control of diabetes;
- Preventing coronary heart disease and stroke;
- Preventing osteoporosis;
- Reducing the risk of falls;
- Enlivening the state of mind as well as alleviating stresses and worries in life; and
- Enhancing the chance of making friends with others, broadening the social circle.
When the "Healthy Exercise for All Campaign" was initially launched, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Department of Health and the Physical Fitness Association of Hong Kong, China have specially developed a set of fitness exercises for older persons. The exercises have been well received by the public. In view of the fact that falls are common accidents among older persons, we have recently re-arranged the fitness exercises to better cater for their special need. The revised fitness exercises for older persons have added in the muscle strengthening exercise and balancing exercise on top of the chair aerobic, walk aerobic and towel exercises in the original version. It is hoped that the new addition will empower older persons with the ability to prevent falls.