Many people believe that only young, fit and generally healthy people can afford physical activity. Nothing could be more wrong! Regular exercise, adjusted to the state of health and physical abilities, helps to prevent disability in seniors, and is an important element of the prevention and treatment of many diseases typical of old age. See how important it is to be physically active in the elderly.
From the text you will learn:
- why physical activity of the elderly has a positive effect on their health,
- what forms of physical activity for older people are especially recommended,
- are there any contraindications to the physical activity of seniors.
The statistics leave no doubt – Polish society is aging, and this process will continue in the coming years. According to Eurostat estimates, in 2060 the median age of Poles will be over 54 years, while in 2010 it was 40 for women and 36 for men.
Demographic aging is a major demographic, economic and health challenge. It is believed that one of the most important factors that helps to alleviate the aging process, maintain physical fitness of seniors for longer and prevent or even treat many diseases typical of old age is the activity of seniors .
Physical activity of seniors – what are the benefits?
Quality of life, health and physical activity are closely related. The human body is designed to move. So she needs physical activity to stay healthy and avoid disease.
At the beginning, it is worth realizing that physical activity of older people has an impact on their intellectual performance. It allows them to maintain their perceptiveness and the ability to concentrate longer, develops sensitivity and the ability to think for themselves, it is an excellent way to reduce stress and improve mood. It is difficult to talk about health without mental balance.
Physical activity in the elderly – adjusted to age, general health and abilities – obviously has a very beneficial effect on the health of the body:
- prevents and alleviates the course of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease or atherosclerosis,
- helps to regulate the level of sugar and blood pressure,
- improves the functioning of the musculoskeletal system, reducing the risk of injuries such as joint sprains or bone fractures in the elderly ,
- relieves pain, e.g. in the course of osteoarthritis,
- increases the body’s natural immunity, reducing the risk of viral and bacterial infections,
- allows you to control body weight, preventing overweight and obesity,
- is an important element in the prevention of neoplastic diseases – incl. colorectal cancer or stomach cancer.
Physical activity of seniors – what forms?
There are many forms of physical activity for the elderly . It is important that the one chosen by the senior is matched to the general health and fitness. Of course, if there are no contraindications, the senior may even run regularly or go to the gym – for safety, however, it is necessary to consult a doctor beforehand.
Certainly, among the forms of exercise recommended for the elderly are regular walks – they improve the functioning of the locomotor system and allow you to get oxygen. Cycling is a great way to relax. Swimming and gymnastics in the pool are recommended for seniors – they improve aerobic capacity, train muscles, but are in no way burdening the bones and joints. Gymnastic classes contribute to the development and maintenance of general fitness. Recently, Nordic walking, i.e. energetic walks with the use of special poles, is also very popular among seniors. So there are plenty of possibilities!
Activity of seniors – contraindications
Although contraindications to the exercise of physical activity in the elderly are rare, they do exist. They include, among others the presence of an aortic aneurysm, end-stage circulatory failure, or very high blood pressure. In general, however, exercise is health, also for seniors – of course, provided that it takes the form we like best!