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Beyond Injury Recovery for Older Adults: The Imperative Continuum of Rehabilitation

Updated: Mar 12


Physiotherapist teaching fitness classes for seniors

In the realm of health and wellness, the journey from illness to function is often perceived as a linear progression. You sustain an injury, undergo rehabilitation, and once recovered, resume your regular activities.


However, stopping at injury recovery might be akin to closing a book before reaching its conclusion, especially so for an older adult. In the lifetime of an older adult, one may experience an injury pertaining to their body, a fall, a surgical procedure, a medical condition needing hospitalisation etc. during this period it is thus common to cross paths with a trained profession that helps restore the physical loss as a result of the injury.

Recovery after injury for better quality of life

The key lies in transitioning from injury recovery to functional training and eventually delving into performance-oriented exercises.


Our ultimate goal for the older adult is not just injury recovery, but to continue to build and maximize the physical reserves this person has, so that he/she can build a resilient body that they can take through for the next decades of life. This shift not only ensures sustained well-being but paves the way for a robust, long-term solution to health. The more robust one is, the more reserves we will have to face injuries that can occur in the future. 


The Incomplete Story of Recovery:


Recovery from injury is undeniably a critical phase, but considering it the end of the wellness journey is a common misconception. It’s akin to healing the wounds on the surface without delving into the underlying causes or preparing the body for future challenges.


Functional Training: The Bridge to Wellness:


Functional training goes beyond traditional rehabilitation exercises. It focuses on movements that mimic real-life activities, enhancing the body’s ability to perform daily tasks. This phase of rehabilitation addresses imbalances, strengthens stabilizing muscles, and promotes better posture and body mechanics. This phase looks beyond the area of injury recovery and aims to promote physical gains beyond injury recovery. 


The Transition to Performance:


Once functional fitness is achieved, the natural progression is towards performance-focused exercises. This phase is not just for athletes; it’s about optimizing your body’s capabilities for a range of activities, from sports to outdoor activities to daily life. Performance training sharpens agility, endurance, and strength, fostering a holistic approach to health.


Preventing Future Setbacks:


By embracing the continuum of rehabilitation, individuals are better equipped to prevent recurring injuries. Functional and performance training act as a shield, fortifying the body against the strains of modern life and physical activities. This proactive approach significantly reduces the likelihood of relapses.


The Psychological Boost:


Beyond the physical benefits, transitioning to performance training provides a psychological boost. In a supervised group setting, the potential of peer support, encouragement and cameradie unleashes it’s full potential on the members.  Achieving milestones in functional and performance realms instills confidence, fostering a positive mindset towards health and fitness. It transforms rehabilitation from a necessity to an empowering journey.


What next?

Active ageing has become a buzzword of late, with more and more older people opening up to the idea that they must add strength training to their fitness regimen. Oftentimes though, those new to exercise find that entering a gym can be daunting without the proper guidance.


A functional fitness class for seniors guided by exercise professionals such as a physiotherapist would add credibility and safety for participants. Legends, a fitness programme started by Thrive Healthcare, provides that guidance in a community of older adults looking to improve their health markers for a longer quality of life.

Fitness classes for seniors in singapore for health

Legends acts as the bridge between wellness to functional performance for older adults. Participants have shown reported improvement to their strength and conditioning numbers, with some reporting improvements to their bone density results when they did their health check-ups with the doctor.



Mdm P, one such participant shared that she never tried to run to catch a bus for fear of falling. Through the classes, she has gained the strength and the confidence to do so, and finds these activities of daily living so much easier now than she did before! 


In the pursuit of long-term health, the transition from illness to function to performance is not a mere progression; it’s a paradigm shift. By recognizing rehabilitation as an ongoing journey rather than a destination, individuals can build a foundation for sustained well-being. Functional and performance training become not just tools for recovery but gateways to a lifestyle that prioritizes health and resilience.


It is time to go beyond recovery and embrace the continuum that leads to a healthier, more fulfilling life.


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