Aging is associated with declines in activities of daily living (ADL) and physical function that can lead to physical impairment, disability, and loss of independence (Spirduso, 2005). Due to a significant change in demography, many older adults in recent days get minimum assistance from others while performing their ADL. Reduction of lean body mass (particularly the skeletal muscle mass) and muscular strength are important factors associated with age. Both the decreased muscle mass and muscular strength diminish the capacity to perform ADL, retain employment or participate in social events; in short, there occurs reductions in the overall quality of life. An optimum and regular physical exercise programs along with an appropriate caloric intake may offset aging-associated declines in physical health.
The number of elderly population is increasing rapidly in many developed countries (for instance, it is predicted that by 2025, 28% of the population in Japan will be over the age of 65 years). This suggests that supervised laboratory-based exercise programs in a few specialized centres will not provide sufficient access to exercise for all older adults. To respond to these changing demographics and to ensure that all older adults can realize the benefits of participating in regular physical activity, home-based exercise programs must be developed.
On the other hand, open spaces such as public parks and lakes are becoming occupied by unauthorized vendors and merchants in order to construct either new shopping malls or other kind of business centres in many developing countries. As a result, open spaces to perform outdoor physical exercises are decreasing in number and sizes each year in these countries which is affecting badly the health and wellbeing of the general population. To address this issue professionally, home-based physical exercise program (Islam et al., 2016) could be a better alternative of outdoor exercises for older people in these countries.
In our community outreach physical exercise programs, we use elderly friendly mode of exercise such as elastic bandbased resistance exercise, chair-based stretching and aerobic exercises etc. As a part of our well rounded exercises, we conduct balance training either in sitting position or on standing position depending upon the level of fitness of the participants. Recently, we started to use less expensive, portable, recyclable PET water bottles as an alternative to the conventional heavy and expensive machines to perform cost-effective resistance exercises especially for older adults of low socio-economic status. In one of our home-based and community-based physical exercise intervention studies on older adults of a remote island in Japan, significant improvement was noted in upper body muscular performance, lower body muscular performance, and a tendency in improvement in agility (including dynamic balance) and static balance performance. Based on this exercise program, a local CABLE TELEVISON channel of that remote island developed a TV-based exercise program which has been being telecasting regularly on each day (twice a day) since May, 2018 (https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IY14-Bjf0M&feature=youtu.be). This home-based and community-based program was well covered by local newspapers (http://amamishimbun.co.jp/2018/11/02/14393/) as well.
Take Away Notes:
• Use of recyclable PET water bottles as resistance exercise tools are cost-effective, portable, and easy to continue while staying either at one’s home or while staying outdoor
• Nurses can assist hospital in patients and outpatients to perform these exercises with the aim of reducing the disuse muscular atrophy, care gives can instruct these exercises to nursing-home residing older adults as well as for older adults who are residing at their own home with the aim of controlling the magnitude of age associated sarcopenia
• Researchers and faculty members from around the world may use this research methodology to expand their own research in the field of exercise gerontology
• We believe, PET water bottle-based resistance exercises will address well the physical independence issue of older adults while performing their activities of daily living
• The concept of home-based and community-based physical exercises is not yet well known in many developing countries. However, methodical practice of these exercises by older adults from around the world may contribute to the fulfillment of a sustainable development goal (SDG) named Healthcare through health promotion in these people.