28 August 2014

Age is not a hindrance to sports

For a long time it has been assumed that aging causes an inevitable deterioration of the body and its functional abilities, which is accompanied by an increase in the likelihood of injuries such as sprains and fractures, and diseases such as obesity and diabetes mellitus, as well as osteoarthritis and other pathologies of bones and joints. However, the results of the analysis of data obtained by Brown University specialists in recent studies involving elderly athletes (aged 65 years and older) indicate that routine complex physical training and proper nutrition contribute to minimizing the manifestations of deterioration of the musculoskeletal system and health in general associated with aging.

The authors of the study concluded that the key points of the positive effect of physical activity on the preservation of physical functions of the body and good health are the maintenance of bone density, muscle mass, ligament and tendon functionality, as well as the volume of cartilage tissue. Based on this, regular physical activity is recommended for elderly people, including strength exercises, endurance exercises, flexibility and balance. The main recommendations are given below:

Strength exercises.
Prolonged intensive strength training provides a more consistent increase in muscle strength, as well as fat-free and total body weight, than exclusively aerobic exercise. Moderate intensity strength training also helps to reduce the amount of adipose tissue. Regular strength training of the upper and lower parts of the body prevents a decrease in bone density and reduces the risk of sprains and fractures.

Endurance exercises.
Regular and at least moderately intensive aerobic exercise improves the state of the cardiovascular system, increases oxygen consumption, and also contributes to the improvement of the musculoskeletal system, including reducing the accumulation of fat mass, maintaining muscle strength and the volume of cartilage tissue. Experienced aging athletes are recommended endurance training lasting at least 150-300 minutes per week, divided into episodes of 10-30 minutes. Less intense and/or prolonged loads are less effective.

Flexibility and balance.
In order to maintain an accessible range of movements, optimize physical capabilities and reduce the risk of injury, active elderly people are recommended to perform flexibility exercises twice a week (stretching and static movements without weighting). To improve and maintain a sense of balance, progressive complication (depending on the possibilities) of poses for static exercises is recommended.

In addition, the authors formulated nutritional recommendations for active elderly people, allowing them to optimize their physical capabilities. According to these recommendations, the daily diet should include:

  • proteins:1.0-1.5 g/kg of body weight,
  • carbohydrates: 6-8 g / kg of body weight (more than 8 g / kg of body weight on the days of endurance training).

However, they warn that dietary recommendations should be adjusted depending on the initial state of health.

Article by B. G. Vopat et al. The Effects of Fitness on the Aging Process is published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
Lifetime of fitness: A fountain of youth for bone and joint health?28.08.2014

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