Sport and movement in old age – Interview with a physiotherapistThe older you get, the faster your muscles degrade. As a result, the condition is getting worse. Everyday challenges. But how can you counteract this and do sports even in old age to improve fitness?
In addition to facts and figures on exercise in old age, RESORTI asked a physiotherapist. This is how you can find out how to keep fit in old age and whether even long-time sports slackers should still join in.
Benefit from exercise – sport is the best medicine
Sports and regular exercise – properly dosed and performed – are helpful for physical ailments. Exercise has been shown to have positive effects on
– cardiovascular disease, – dementia, – hypertension, – obesity, – mental illnesses.
Exercise in old age also combats the buildup of fatty tie in the abdominal area, which promotes diabetes and increases the risk of a heart attack. So exercise acts almost like a medicine. Is the optimal health care – which costs nothing.
Fitness analysis of German seniors
Seniors have recognized these positive effects and use their time to keep fit. The following facts and figures show this:
– Most seniors between the ages of 65 and 85 say they have a positive attitude to life and feel younger than they are. – Almost 40 percent describe their state of health as impeccable. – 40 percent of retirees exercise once a week. – Retired people do about half an hour of sport a day on average. – From the age of 30. Every year, a person loses one percent of his or her muscle mass – that's why seniors in particular should train their muscles, endurance and balance. – Men get an average of 6.2 more years of life through regular sport, women live 5.6 years longer through sporting activity.
Several hundred seniors took part in a study conducted by the Geriatric Center in Ulm with the support of the Federal Ministry of Health. The results show that older people who do light balance, strength and endurance exercises twice a week significantly improve their physical performance. The number of accidents caused by falls decreased by 30 percent among the study participants. Walking ability and strength improved in more than 80 percent of participants.
The frequency with which retirees do sports
Sports offers for seniors in Germany
The range of sports clubs, fitness studios and outdoor fitness parks is booming in Germany. The positive health effects of exercise in old age have an impact on the range of sports available to seniors, which these figures illustrate:
– 4.2 million out of 28 million members of German sports clubs are 60 years and older. Many sports clubs offer activities specifically for retirees. – Almost one in three of the approximately 8 million gym members is older than 50; about 13 percent are older than 60. – Fitness and gymnastics are the most popular sports among German seniors, with walking in second place and cycling in third place. Fitness studios today are geared more. More according to the health aspect from. The time-honored cliche of the gym is slowly dissolving. This is how seniors also find fun in equipment sports.
Proportion of seniors in fitness studios
But not everyone can move the way they want to. As we age, our ability to move is limited, and so falls and illnesses happen more often. Because of this they move less. Slipping into the vicious circle of increasing immobility. In the worst case, besides well-being. Health also puts independence at risk.
But is it worthwhile to fight it with sports even at an advanced age?? And what exercises are suitable for older people? After all, seniors tend to have very different athletic goals than young people do.
The right exercise in old age – interview with a physiotherapist
RESORTI spoke to physiotherapist Ianis Ionuta to find out which types of sport are suitable for older people, what to look out for in physical activity for seniors and how to counteract immobility.
What are the effects of aging on the ability to move as well as sport fitness?
It is absolutely natural that the body degrades with age. The ability to move suffers above all from pain, inflammation and also illnesses. The will to move should nevertheless come from the seniors themselves.
Sporting fitness, on the other hand, is built up through preventive exercise. Starting later in life can be demotivating in some circumstances. Nevertheless, it is of course possible to exercise more at any age.
Which health problems that affect fitness occur more frequently in old age?
Arthrose and chronic pain I experience in this connection very frequently. False pride plays a major role here: many seniors often had pain in their working lives, but repressed it and did not go to the doctor. The results are seen years later or. become noticeable later.
Exercise prevents many diseases – you can also start to exercise in old age © RESORTI
How can seniors counteract the increasingly limited mobility?
It may sound strange, but exercise actually helps here. In old age, the body breaks down everything it no longer needs. The stimulus provided by sporting activities or. similar movement occurs, slows down this process.
Fitness exercises in everyday life
Everyday movements become a challenge in old age. What can seniors do to stay fit for everyday life in old age??
It's a good idea to incorporate exercise into everyday routines – for example, while brushing teeth, ironing or watching TV. Nutrition also plays an important role here.
What seniors need to exercise especially? musculature, balance, endurance?
This is individual, because everyone has different weaknesses. In general, balance, strength and fall prevention are important aspects. Basically, however, a whole body workout is always useful.
The general condition improves because the strength in arms, legs and trunk increases. If you are unsure which exercises are good for you, you can get advice from a physiotherapist or an exercise therapist. have it treated.
Physiotherapist Ianis Ionuta
Which sports do you recommend for seniors?
Quite simply, any! Water sports are particularly easy on the joints. Above all, it is important that the fun of movement is always in the foreground. If you feel prered by goals that are too high, this quickly leads to frustration and exercise becomes a "must".
What opportunities do you see for seniors to incorporate sports into their daily lives?
It's not like you have to go to the gym for two hours every day. It is more important to take time for your body three to four times a week and to challenge it.
Whether it's walks, gymnastics classes or something else: sufficient exercise is the be-all and end-all.
Think outdoor fitness parks with sports equipment especially for seniors are a way to motivate them to exercise and do more sports?
100%. However, seniors should not engage in sports alone. Accidents can happen to even the most "stable" older people. Furthermore, the motivation increases when you train as a group in such parks and courses. What are the effects of regular exercise?. Exercise affects the health of seniors?
Of course basically positive. However, if you have pain during sports, you should see a doctor.