Singaporean seniors will get free entry to all ActiveSG gyms and swimming pool from next month onwards. How good is that?
This was announced just this morning by Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth, during this morning’s parliamentary session
Under the $1.5 billion Sports Facilities Master Plan to improve the Singapore sporting landscape, ActiveSG gyms will also be fitted with senior-friendly equipment. The plan is to be all-inclusive by 2026.
This is perfect timing because just last month Stack published an article Why Older Adults Desperately Need Power Training and I am inclined to agree with them.
Because, according to the Centre for Ageing Better, we start to lose muscle mass from the age of 40 at a whopping 8% per year. By the time we are 70, this almost doubles to 15%. That is a lot.
For perspective: If you invested a million dollars at 40 years old and received an annualised return of 8% per year, you will have $6,848,475.20 by the time you are 65 years old. That is a lot, right?
The good news is, when it comes to your body, you can sometimes catch up pretty well. By engaging in strength and balance training, research has shown that you can reverse 15 years of muscle strength decline in just three months.
How much should seniors exercise?
When it comes to exercise for seniors, the UK Chief Medical Officers agree that older adults should participate in daily physical activity.
According to them, seniors should perform two and a half hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity. Those who are already exercising regularly can aim for 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise instead.
Specific emphasis was placed on strength training and balancing exercises (at least two days per week) and weight bearing exercises to improve bone health.
The Health Promotion Board makes similar recommendations for Singaporeans above 50 years – even those who experience received mobility.
Singapore seniors are NOT healthy enough
A survey of 2,558 old folk in Marine Parade conducted by Ministry of Health revealed that 15% of fell at least once in the last twelve months.
- 52% DO NOT EXERCISE
- 78% suffer from at least one chronic disease
- 15% showed signs of depression and dementia
These numbers are not good.
Yet at the same time, Singaporean seniors have access to resources.
According to a study by National University Health System (NUHS), the participants of the Healthy Ageing Promotion Programme For You (Happy) were found to be less frail while over 70% experienced better function (walking speed, balance, standing from a chair).
The program is being extended to over 130 senior activity centres and void decks and is FREE for seniors to attend!
The guidelines have spoken.
Research has tells us that seniors need more exercise and can afford better physical well-being.
Our health system have introduced free facilitated programs to get seniors started with exercising.
Now the Singapore government is introducing free access to gyms and swimming pools.
What is your exercise?