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The MCL Tips, Tricks and Recommendation - Blog

Why stay active as you get older?
October 03, 2019

As is often said : being active is important. Our health specialists and relatives all agree and try their best to hammer it home. Stay active ! As gyms crop up around every corner, when cooking shows all claim the brand new dietary trend consisting of kale and chia, all foods unkown to us before the 21st Century. Throughout juice cures and gluten-free, lactose-free, OGM-free diets, one struggles to make head or tails of it all. Let's try and make some sense of it better then perousing through magasines.

What does it mean to "be active ?

Practice physical exercice

With time, your aging body finds new limitations previously absent to it. At any age, it is important to move according to one's capacity. A wide range of exercice are possible, according to any limitations you might struggle with.

Your arthiritis keeps you from walking long distances?

Work your balance on an exercise ball. That way, you can work all the muscles of your body without putting weight on your joints.

Your hips are too painful for an exercise ball?

You can lift weights to tone the muscles of your armes. Of course, pick the weights according to your strenght ! No need to impress anyone. A weight of 3 or 5lbs lift enough times would be plenty to work on long-forgotten muscles.

Your arthritis makes it hard to hold onto weight?

With an exercise peddler, you can strenghten your arms, legs and cardio all the while sitting in your living room.


Always check in with your health specialist before trying a new trianing regime. They might be able to advise you towards the right exercises, and keep you away from the wrong ones. Your body is unique, and all exercises aren't suited for everyone. Please be cautious and check in with your physician.

« Depending on the origin of the pain, some exercises can be modified by a professionnal. That which is clearly shown, is that we must continue to train. In fact, it is recommended to reduce the length of the exercises, but to increase the frequency during the day. »

DIONNE, Isabelle, Ph. D.
Professor, Faculté des sciences de l’activité physique

Université de Sherbrooke et Centre de recherche sur le vieillissement 
RIESCO, Eléonor
Professor, Faculté des sciences de l’activité physique

Université de Sherbrooke et Centre de recherche sur le vieillissement 
FONTAINE, Marie-Noëlle, B. Sc.
Kinesiologist, Sercovie
The only bad exercise is the one we don't do.

Get out of the house

Even as many exercises can be made from the comfort of your home, nothing is better than fresh air. Take the time to go outside your home at least once a day, even if only to walk around the block.

Many activities are open to you outside your home. Instead of reading in your living room, why not simply take in some sun and read in the park ? If the weather is too grim, you can still go to your local library. It would at least change the scenery.

Instead of drinking your coffee alone at your table, why not go out and take a coffee with a friend ? Many social activities of the kind are organized to help those struggling with loneliness, keep a eye out for those.

Beyond physical exercise, simply  going outside provide many benefits for both body and mind. Here's a simple challenge : Shut the TV off, if only for a day. Do something else, leave the house and notice the well-being that will bring you.

Eat better

What does eating better have to do with staying active ? It's simply a way to better your health. The longer you'll stay healthy, the longer you can enjoy all the treasures life has to offer.

Even as many drastic changes can be brought to a typical north-american diet to promote a healthier body, you don't need to completely change the way you eat to do so.

With age, your metabolism slows down. It is usually best to reduce the portions eaten, as the body needs less energy throughout the day. Vegetables, fruits, a handful of nuts and a tall glass of water are safe bets, both as snacks and light lunchs.

« Protein-rich foods provide plenty of other nutrients essential for good health, such vitamins and minerals. And as exercise also bring a healthy appetite, eating enough protein and exercising is a double victory ... with sturdy bones and muscles, and a good health ! »
PAYETTE, Hélène, Ph. D.
Professor, Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé, Université de Sherbrooke

Researcher, Centre de recherche sur le vieillissement, Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Estrie – Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke

Stimuling the intellect

Staying active is both a physical and mental endeavour. Keeping your wits sharp by reading, or by sovling puzzle games such as crosswords and sudoku, keeps you alert and pushes back the deterioration of your cognitive faculties such as memory loss or Alzheimer's desease.

A sedentary lifestyle dulls the mind. Television, sensationalist media and plain old routine do not stimulate your mind. Consider better aleternatives, such as reading a good novel, or the biography of a celebrity dear to you. Organize meetings with old and new friends and talk about anthing. Be careful, though, as while it is fun to comemorate the good old times, the present and future is important to keep in mind in your discussions. Even at an advanced age, sharing with peers is a good way to stay in touch with the world, and keep a positive outlook on life.

To sum up, if you take measures to leave your home regularily in order to change settings and take in fresh air, if you keep your mind sharp and training a few times a week, you might just push back isolation, physical and mental deterioration.

Don't worry about your ills. Don't let yourself become bored. Fill your weekly schedule of fun and engaging activities. Your mood and your health will thank you for it.