For the organism of an elderly person, physical activity is of considerable importance. Gymnastics for the elderly, whatever it is, must be specifically designed for the elderly, in order to promote musculoskeletal flexibility, motor capacity and overall postural correctness in people who, due to their advanced age, are less " loose ”in the movements.
It is therefore essential to perform exercises that are suitable and useful for your health.
Physical activity has multiple benefits on the elderly person:
- prolongs life, keeps the intellect alive,
- increase attention,
- critical ability and coordination,
- promotes the proper functioning of organs and systems,
- improves circulation, strengthens and preserves joints,
- modifies body mass by optimizing lean mass and reducing fat mass,
- acts on the respiratory system (increasing the functionality of the respiratory muscles and the range of motion between the vertebrae and ribs / sternum and increasing or maintaining the tissue elasticity of the lungs),
- pushes the evolution towards muscular hypotrophy,
- it is an excellent antidepressant and acts as a social aggregator.
1. What to Know
- gradual exercises repeated several times, combined with breathing and muscle relaxation;
- knowing how to stop when you feel pain, holding the position reached for a few seconds;
- continuous activity that allows, with training, the control of the relative increase in heart and respiratory rate, which is physiological;
- gymnastics done together with other people, as an opportunity for meeting and mutual stimulation.
- excessive effort;
- muscle stiffening;
- abrupt transition from one position to another;
- physical activity that causes breathlessness, excessively increases heart rate and respiratory rate;
- impromptu performances;
- activity conceived as an individual struggle.
2. What exercises for seniors?
As we have seen, gymnastics for the elderly is important. Five exercises for the elderly are described below.
An exercise and gymnastics program for seniors does not necessarily require the adoption of specific fitness equipment. A simple sports suit and sneakers are enough for older people to approach this discipline.
Before starting any exercise or activity, it is necessary to do some warm-up (such as a brisk walk), combining the movement of the lower body with the upper limbs. In addition, stretching will allow you to stretch the muscles and exercise the joints.
1. Head and neck. Seated with your shoulders relaxed, trunk and head aligned. Bend the neck down, bringing the chin closer to the chest, and upwards. Turn your head left and right. Tilt the head sideways towards the shoulders, first to the right and then to the left (you can also help with the arm always gently).
2. Upper and lower limbs. In an upright position, alternately raise the knees upwards. After performing this exercise, arm movement can be added, always raising the opposite arm from the knee being lifted. Everything must always be done very slowly.
3. Proprioception and balance. To be carried out in an upright position. Bring your right leg back and place your forefoot on the ground. Bend the leg until the knee touches the floor and return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg, alternating.
4. While sitting with your feet firmly on the ground and legs apart, stretch forward (as if tying your shoes), first on one side and then on the other, and finally in front of the legs. This simple exercise allows the back to relax, "opening" the lumbar vertebrae but also the cervical and dorsal ones.
5. Bust. The starting position involves the standing position. With your legs slightly apart, your knees slightly bent and your hands on your hips, flex your torso first to the right and then to the left. Then, always with the legs slightly apart and without moving the lower limbs, rotate the torso first to the right and then to the left. It is a useful exercise to support the maintenance of an upright position.
These are just some of the many exercises that can be performed, free body or even with the use of small tools. To this, it is however important to underline the importance of constant and daily walking and walking.
In conclusion, physical activity is essential to feel good and to keep fit. Performing gentle gymnastics exercises, as we have seen, takes on considerable importance, since, by taking care of your person, your body, relationship with it and self-image improve.