Seniors are increasingly active, as exemplified by the figures provided by the organization of the Santiago International Marathon, which indicates that in January of this year 86 seniors had already confirmed their participation, which represents a 50% increase compared to 2016.
And that is just a sample since men and women of this age range participate in numerous other group activities developed especially for them related to sports.
Specialists indicate that the benefits of these practices in older ages improve physical fitness, promote health by reducing risk factors for chronic diseases and produce adaptations in the body that improve health and well-being.
In fact, research from the Mayo Clinic published in the journal Cell Metabolism indicates that aerobic exercise is a perfect ally to stay young longer, as it has a positive impact at the cellular level and achieves muscular and metabolic improvement, among others.
In this context, it is important to know what type of preparation is recommended for this age group and how they can reduce the risks.
It is useful to know that there are certain precautions to consider, especially for those who start practicing sports in the most advanced stage of life. The sports that are recommended for the elderly are those with low impact on the joints, such as walking, swimming, rowing, dancing and riding a stationary or elliptical bike, among others. The idea is that physical exercise includes basic physical abilities, that is, exercises that involve flexibility, strength, resistance, and speed. For this, it is important that the prescription of physical activity is carried out by a technician or a professional specialist in the area.
How Much Daily Exercise Is Recommended?
20 minutes of physical activity per day are recommended, however, this will depend on the physical condition of the older adult. The ideal is to maintain a routine of 30 minutes duration, with a frequency of three times a week and a moderate intensity.
As an option, you can accumulate 30 minutes of exercise during the course of the day, in different blocks, even performing some domestic activities, such as washing and waxing the car for 45 to 60 minutes, cleaning windows and floors for 45 to 60 minutes. gardening for 35 to 40 minutes, walking in a wheelchair for 30 to 40 minutes, walking 2 miles in 30 minutes, swimming or doing water aerobics for 20 minutes, or walking up and downstairs for 15 minutes. Even walking in a mall can be a good alternative.
Precautions And Risks
The older adult, like any person and athlete, must consider certain keys and rituals to follow when practicing some type of physical exercise. For all types of sports and physical activity, it is important not to forget to include muscle stretching exercises, before and after physical activity, to avoid injuries.
Additionally, every time you exercise, it is recommended as safety measures: wear-resistant shoes with ankle reinforcement; drink water (about 250 cc.), before and after exercising; wear loose clothing; avoid exercising in extreme temperatures or humidity; and practice exercises in the company of other people, if possible.
It is also important to pay attention to some symptoms that may be warning of something more serious, such as stopping exercising immediately if you have chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, dizziness, and palpitations.
In addition, there are certain situations that contraindicate physical exercises, such as some related to the musculoskeletal system (inflammation or recent trauma); neurological diseases; cardiovascular diseases; respiratory diseases, and metabolic diseases (such as alterations in blood glucose levels or hyperthyroidism).
How To Start Exercising If You Have Never ‘ Lifted A Finger’?
If you’re not one to exercise regularly, consider the following program: Walk 10 minutes every day for a week at a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation with your friend. Then increase by 5 minutes a week, until you can walk 30 minutes or more a day.
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