Muscle Weakness and Physical Activity

Physical strength is particularly important to keep mobile and prevent falls and injury. Exercise is good for your heart and circulation, as well as your bones, muscles and balance. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight and mental well-being.

Assess your level of muscle weakness and physical activity by asking yourself the following questions:

• Do I exercise less than 3 three times a week for 15-20 minutes?

• Do I find it difficult to exercise due to arthritis, heart problems or other conditions?

• Have I been inactive for more than a few weeks?

• Do I experience stiffness when moving or muscle weakness?

If you answered yes to any of the above you may be at an increased risk for falling and is therefore important to seek guidance from a health care professional.

Suggestions

• Include balance and exercises as part of your regular exercise routine. For older people, walking groups, exercise groups, such as Tai Chi and dancing are recommended.

• If you are inactive, start by choosing an activity you like and make a plan for how to safely and progressively incorporate physical activity into your regular routine – every minute counts! 

• Look for group activities or classes in your community, or get your family or friends to be active with you.

• If you have a medical condition, discuss your plans for physical activity with a health professional before beginning an exercise program and seek a supervised program (e.g. physiotherapist, nurse or fitness leader trained to provide exercise classes for older adults).

Helpful Resources

Free resource for practical and trusted physical activity and healthy living information.
Call toll-free: 1-877-725-1149. (In the Lower Mainland, call: 604-241-2266). Service is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Move for Life is a physical activity DVD featuring simple exercise routines that can be done at home.