Since ancient times, mankind has been trying to slow down the aging process and solve the riddle of this phenomenon. The great Hippocrates (V-IV centuries BC) considered old age to be a natural drying out of the body. Plato concluded that aging depends on the way of life in middle age.
Every year, doctors, physiologists, philosophers, biologists, psychologists make their contribution and the world receives more and more new drugs, medicines, methods to slow down aging. From the moment of birth to 20-25 years, the potential of the body’s functions increases with the achievement of peak values. At the age of 25-35, the greatest stability of all body systems is observed. But after 35 years, there is a steady decline in vitality. By the age of 60-65, the ability to work and functional systems of the body are fading away.
Physical activity in life is becoming less and less regular, the habitual way of life and thinking, which has developed over many decades, is disrupted. When you no longer have to strain to make a living, the meaning of existence is quickly lost and you no longer want to take care of yourself. Vigorous activity is replaced by a sedentary lifestyle, a person plunges into himself and his sores. Lack of activity contributes to decreased immunity. As Hippocrates said: “Nothing depletes the body like physical inaction.” So, let’s look if exercises for seniors it’s something we should practice and focus on.
Movement is the essence of life
It is scientifically proven that regular physical activity provides undeniable health benefits for the elderly by slowing down the damaging processes. Active seniors are less prone to common causes of death. They have more developed cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, skeletal systems of the body, normalized weight, and body proportions.
As Plutarch said: “Movement is the storehouse of life.” To preserve the health of an elderly person, a systematic approach is required that is available in terms of kinetic and dynamic characteristics, taking into account the individual characteristics of the organism and personality.
Such a complex is provided by physical therapy (exercise therapy), which helps to strengthen the body and maintain a high level of organ activity, physical and mental activity. As you know, with age, hormones of “youth” – sex hormones, as well as adrenal hormones cease to be produced. Diseases suffered during life begin to remind of themselves, a person constantly feels pain and ailments. There is no strength for anything, high fatigue and apathy prevent an elderly person from continuing to live a normal life and doing everyday activities.
Physiotherapy is necessary for people of age.
With the manifestations of the most common diseases, such as osteochondrosis of the spine, osteoporosis of bones, arthrosis, vascular dystonia, hypertension, metabolic disorders, the work of internal organs, and other problems, the body needs to adapt to external and internal conditions to improve the quality and duration of life.
When choosing exercises for an elderly person, it is very important to consider some age-related features in order for the training to bring maximum benefits. These features include:
- Decrease in metabolism, increase in the content of decay products in the blood. This affects fatigue, fatigue and it is important to avoid overwork during exercise.
- Changes in the skeleton, decreased muscle tone, impaired posture, gait due to a shift in the center of gravity.
- Disorders of cerebral circulation, which affects coordination of movements and balance.
- Urinary incontinence due to prolapse of internal organs.
- Decreased respiratory function, lung capacity.
- Disturbances in the mobility of the eyeballs of older people are compensated by turning the head and may lead to dizziness.
- Changes in the psyche. In old age, the previously existing character flaws are aggravated: grumpiness, aggressiveness, moodiness, apathy, and this can affect the course of physical therapy.
Elderly people find it difficult to readjust to a new regime, including the introduction of physical activity into their lives due to the constant feeling of fatigue and malaise. But you need to overcome this condition and start with the simplest exercises, then gradually increasing the load.
You will notice how many movements are easier and easier each time, how a charge of energy and strength wakes up after exercise, you will feel the retreat of chronic muscle and joint pain, as well as an improvement in mood due to the release of endorphins.
Can I do it myself as a senior?
Physiotherapy for the elderly and pensioners is carried out in medical centers, clinics, nursing homes, special places where there are qualified trainers in exercise therapy.
Home exercises are also possible, but it is better to coordinate the set of exercises with your doctor. If you are leaning towards home workouts, then it is necessary that the exercises are aimed at all muscle groups. The duration of classes can be within 30 minutes and be repeated 3-4 times a week.
It is recommended to adhere to the rule “slowly but surely”, to do all exercises smoothly, without sudden movements. Before starting physical exercises, you need to warm up your muscles: march in place for a few minutes, do 10 tilts in each direction and the same number of body rotations, stretch your arms and legs in circular movements in the area of each joint.
Workouts are most effective in the evening. It is recommended to refrain from eating an hour before class. After a load, cottage cheese products or dairy products will be an excellent snack. Good luck!