Movement In Old Age - Healthy Movement In Old Age

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Movement In Old Age - Healthy Movement In Old Age
Movement In Old Age - Healthy Movement In Old Age
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Video: Maintaining Mobility as we Age A Key to Aging Successfully 2023, February
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Healthy exercise in old age

Whether jogging, cycling, dancing or strength training: Regular and varied exercise is important at all ages. It is good for body and soul and helps to stay healthy and mobile into old age. It is never too late to start - of course, always within the framework of the individual health status. A lack of exercise, on the other hand, has a negative impact on health. Those who do not move or move very little increase their individual risk of becoming frail and needing help earlier. Those who keep their bodies fit can remain independent longer and enjoy a higher quality of life than people who exercise too little.

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  • Why is exercise important also in old age?
  • What is the importance of strength, endurance, coordination and flexibility in old age?
  • Is exercise healthy in old age with existing diseases?
  • Active mobility in old age

Why is exercise important also in old age?

Physical performance - fitness - depends on how we “train” our physical abilities well into old age. These physical (motor) skills include endurance, strength, dexterity and agility. Movement skills can be maintained or even improved through regular exercise and targeted training. The Austrian recommendations for physical activity for older adults describe the amount of physical activity that is good for your health.

Note Physical performance can be improved into old age. Training is not necessarily a question of age. A trained 70-year-old can be more athletic than an untrained 30-year-old.

Exercise helps prevent chronic diseases that occur particularly frequently in old age. These include obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases (e.g. high blood pressure, coronary heart disease or stroke), spinal column damage, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and cancer. In the case of illness, targeted exercise can alleviate the symptoms. Physically fit people generally recover much more quickly from a possible hospital stay than inactive people. In addition, physical activity and the development of motor skills have positive effects on the functioning of the brain. For more information, see The Health Benefits of Exercise.

Prevent falls

Physical fitness promotes people's mobility and thus participation in social life and social activities. Exercise training, which promotes muscle strength, balance, flexibility and endurance, is important to reduce the risk of falling, which increases with age. Because a fall in old age can have serious consequences, such as a fracture of the femoral neck with permanent restriction of mobility. Sometimes older people remain in need of permanent care after a fall. In addition, there is the fear of falling again after a fall, uncertainty when walking, withdrawing, less exercise and falling self-confidence. This can set in motion a vicious circle. Because if you move less for fear of falling, you lose muscle mass and strength and lose your balance,which increases the risk of falling again.

What is the importance of strength, endurance, coordination and flexibility in old age?

Strength, endurance, coordination and flexibility are important in order to be able to maintain individual performance. For example, strength training of the legs is important in order to be able to stand and walk stably and to climb and descend stairs safely. Well-trained arm and shoulder muscles are important in order to be able to carry, lift, pull or push something, and trained abdominal and back muscles enable upright sitting, stable standing and walking.

Endurance training has a positive influence on the cardiovascular system, the lungs and the metabolism. It improves blood flow to the brain and brain performance (cognitive function). Endurance training includes, for example, running, swimming or cycling.

Good dexterity (neuromuscular coordination) is important for a controlled sequence of movements. This can be trained through sports such as dancing and aerobics with choreographies. Training dexterity and strength helps prevent falls. Good coordination also improves the performance of the brain.

A certain amount of agility is required for many everyday activities. This includes being able to get dressed, bend over and wash.

Note Elderly people in particular should regularly incorporate exercise into their everyday life and specifically train strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination. This makes a valuable contribution to maintaining physical and mental health.

Is exercise healthy in old age with existing diseases?

Sport and exercise can prevent many so-called widespread diseases (e.g. high blood pressure, back pain, arthrosis or type 2 diabetes mellitus and osteoporosis) or positively influence their course.

If you have an existing illness that may already be treated with medication, you should always consult a doctor before starting sports. Suitable sports can be selected during a consultation. In addition, the training success can be accompanied professionally. Sometimes a sports medical stress test is recommended.

Examples of the positive effects of exercise on illness are:

  • In the case of diabetes, for example, regular exercise is important in order to improve blood sugar control, maintain or reduce weight, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and thus the use of medication.
  • In the case of high blood pressure (hypertension), targeted endurance training under medical supervision can help to lower critical blood pressure values ​​over time. Exercise is usually an important and often extremely effective supplement to drug treatment for high blood pressure and can help reduce the use of medication. In addition, sport has a long-term positive effect on the cardiovascular system. In this way, physically active patients with high blood pressure are better protected against secondary diseases such as arteriosclerosis. If you have already diagnosed high blood pressure, it is important to talk to a doctor about your sporting plans. A sports medical stress test is also recommended.
  • Exercise supports the treatment of disorders of fat metabolism. Regular exercise can lower total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides and increase the proportion of HDL.
  • Targeted strength training can prevent the development of osteoporosis and increase bone density again in the case of existing osteoporosis.

Note People who have been inactive for a long time and want to start exercising should start carefully and not ask too much of themselves at once. Movement should be based on individual requirements, especially at the beginning. Those who have already built up a little strength, flexibility and stamina can increase the amount of exercise and / or the level of difficulty.

Targeted exercise under medical supervision can help in many chronic illnesses or after acute medical events to positively influence the course of the disease. Exercise therapy is offered in conjunction with certain illnesses or in rehabilitation. An important goal is for those affected to exercise more independently even after the end of therapy in order to maintain their mobility. For more information, see: Exercise Therapy.

Active mobility in old age

For many people, being mobile independently in old age is an important part of their quality of life. To be mobile means to be able to participate better in social life and to organize everyday life independently. Older people can also be actively mobile and use their own muscle strength to move around, for example to do their shopping on foot, by bicycle or by electric bike.

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