Sport is an essential activity for everyone, but even more important for the elderly to stay fit and healthy. Exercising at least twice a week helps seniors improve their health and reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.
THE BENEFITS OF SPORT FOR SENIORS:
Seniors who exercise are less likely to suffer from health problems. As you age, it becomes more and more important to stay active and stay healthy. However, many seniors find that their opportunities for exercise are limited. Fortunately, there are a number of sports that can provide a great workout for seniors. Here are some of the benefits exercise can provide:
Improve cardiovascular healthStrengthen bones and musclesIncrease flexibility and balanceIncrease mental well-being.
Sport for seniors would also allow them to maintain a social connection to the outside world through an active and healthy lifestyle. The aim is to avoid the isolation of older people as much as possible.
According to the UK National Health Service (NHS), adults aged 65 and over should:
Try to get some physical activity every day, even if it’s just light activity. Engage in activities that improve endurance, balance, and flexibility at least twice a week. Get at least 2 hrs 30 mins of moderate-intensity activity per week, or 1 hr 15 mins of vigorous activity if you’re already active, or a combination of both. Forbid long hours lying down or sitting, and schedule physical activity into your schedule schedule one.
WHAT IS AN LIGHT ACTIVITY?
Light activity is unlikely to increase your heart rate much or make you feel out of breath. However, it’s a good idea to break up long periods of sitting with short bursts of light activity.
3 examples of light activity:
Slow walking, cleaning and vacuuming
It should be remembered that any activity, no matter how light or gentle, is better for seniors than stillness.
WHAT IS A MEDIUM INTENSITY EXERCISE?
According to the NHS, a good way to tell if an activity is of ‘moderate intensity’ is if you can converse but not sing. In contrast to light activity, moderate-intensity exercise generally raises your heart rate a little. It may also be that the temperature rises and breathing accelerates.
3 examples of medium-intensity activities:
WHAT IS STRONG INTENSITY EXERCISE?
However, if you are already fairly active, you can opt for 1 hour 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week instead of 2 hours 30 minutes of moderate intensity. It’s easy to increase the intensity of certain moderate exercises to make them stronger. For example, bicycling is generally a moderate-intensity activity, but fast pedaling or climbing an incline can be considered an intense activity.
3 examples of high-intensity activities:
Running, swimming, hiking
ADVICE BEFORE STARTING A SPORT
Before engaging in any sport or physical activity, seniors are advised to seek the advice of their doctor and have a health check.
As you age, falls, joint pain and sprains are very common. Always start and end your workout with stretches. To reduce the risk of joint and muscle injuries, it’s possible to start warming up with slow, regular movements. After a long period of inactivity, the risk of injury during recovery is very high, you have to listen to your body. Start slowly and gradually increase the level, comfortable clothing and sturdy, well-fitting shoes are recommended. Shoes should be designed for the type of physical activity they are used for.
NB: Above all, don’t forget to drink during and after physical activity to improve blood circulation.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.
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