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Exercise for the Elderly
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Exercise for the Elderly

Developing physical fitness for the elderly through sport and exercise

The importance of exercise for the elderly is increasingly brought to our attention. Current NHS guidelines promote the risks of being too sedentary. Exercise is really important for the elderly, but just how much do you really need to do each day and which sports are suitable for the those over 65 years?

Why should older people keep moving?

Exercise is good for your whole body. It reduces the risk of various diseases, including cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, diabetes and depression. However, for older people, keeping moving has another advantage: it reduces the risk of bone fractures as bones remain stronger when they are regularly used. As bones become more brittle in later life, sports for the elderly is, therefore, particularly important. Also, muscle strength and walking speed will remain functional for much longer with regular use.

Exercise slows down dementia

Exercise also seems to coincide with a lower risk of cognitive decline. Exercise improves the flow of blood flow to the brain, helping it to stay healthy for a long time. Getting off the couch regularly can, therefore, help to delay the development of forgetfulness and dementia.

How much should elderly people exercise?

According to NHS guidelines, the elderly should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week. Those 150 minutes (or two and a half hours) can be divided over several days. Of course, you can exercise for longer, as the more active you are, the more health benefits you will enjoy.

What is moderate-intensity exercise?

Moderate-intensive aerobic exercise falls somewhere between gentle exercise and intensive activity. As a guideline, you can keep moving a little more quickly, but don’t get out of breath. For example, a moderate-intensive movement is understood to mean:
– Cycling
– Walking
– Gardening
– Vacuuming or mopping

Moderate-intensive exercise will cause your heart rate to accelerate slightly and your blood to be pumped more quickly. It’s a great workout for your heart and blood vessels and good for the blood flow to all your organs.

sport image


What sports are suitable for the elderly?

If you really want to exercise intensively, taking up a sport is the best option. However, as those over 65 are more susceptible to contracting injuries, not all sports are suitable. It’s a good idea to avoid contact sports like football or rugby – or anything where there is the risk of sudden moves, collisions or falling.

The following are suitable sports for elderly people who want to keep fit:

Fitness

Under the supervision of an experienced instructor, you can work out safely in a gym on your fitness and muscle strength;

Swimming

Swimming is an excellent sport for the elderly as the water supports your joints which minimizes the risk of injury. In addition, all muscles are trained in swimming.

swimming

Gymnastics

In addition, all muscles are trained in swimming; Gymnastics.

The NHS advises elderly people to do balance exercises at least twice a week and to do muscle and bone-enhancing activities. Gymnastics is a great way to follow that advice.

Walking or cycling

Take a stroll or cycle a bike to keep you fit. It improves your fitness and has a positive effect on your cardiovascular system. In addition, the improved blood flow will also improve the condition of your skin condition. Walking or cycling is a good way to clear your head and reduce stress.

Sports for older people: every little helps!

Do you hate exercise or are you having trouble doing it? Exercise for the elderly does not mean you should necessarily go to the gym. Just moving a bit more often and more intensively can make a big difference. Get off the bus one or two stops earlier, and walk the rest of the way. Take the stairs rather than the lift, or sweep the garden more often. Every little helps!

Sources:NHS.uk/Livewell/fitness