Questions & Answers

From knowing which exercises most benefit elderly people to the exercises that should be avoided due to certain conditions – discover all the answers to your questions.

Which physical activity should an elderly person do to slow down aging?

Moderate aerobic exercise for 30 to 60 minutes at least five days a week or vigorous exercise three times a week is recommended. Moderate or vigorous means a level of intensity equal to 5-6 or 7-8 using a reference scale of 0 to 10. With strength exercises, do exercises twice a week at moderate or vigorous intensity depending on your fitness level. Activities to improve flexibility and balance should be done at least twice a week.

Which exercises improve balance in elderly people?

Exercises with gradually increasing difficulty such as; holding positions on the ground with both feet, and then gradually reducing the base of support, balancing exercises on one leg and exercises with eyes closed. In addition to static balance exercises, you can add, gradually and safely, dynamic balance exercises that shift the centre of gravity and require you to continuously adjust posture by adapting to changes in position.

What are the effects of physical activity on health?

Physical activity is a protective factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases common in the elderly, such as stroke, hypertension, and heart attack. It also allows you to control the levels of cholesterol, in particular by reducing LDL cholesterol which is a risk factor for obesity. You can also prevent diabetes or at least slow down the complications. Physical activity also fights diseases associated with aging, delays osteoporosis and the onset of disability, depression and preserves mental health and wellbeing.

Why is exercising good in preventing osteoporosis?

Like muscles, bones gradually lose strength if they are not properly stimulated. Regular physical activity slows the development of osteoporosis due to the stress action that the muscle exerts on the bone when it contracts, stimulating the osteoblasts to synthesise new bone tissue. Strength and balance exercises are critical in preventing and slowing down the progression of the disease because they allow you to strengthen muscles and, by improving balance, help to prevent falls.

When is physical activity not ideal?

Exercising is not ideal when there has already been a reduction in bone mass due to osteoporosis and especially if there are already fractures – it’s best to avoid overloading the bones with exercises.

Why are women more affected by osteoporosis?

Especially after menopause, women are four times more likely to be affected than men; as the amount of female hormones which regulate the intake of calcium from bones, decreases. In men, instead, osteoporosis is more frequently associated with other endocrine, gastrointestinal, haematological or rheumatic diseases.

Does osteoporosis affect only elderly people?

Osteoporosis hardly affects young people, although in some cases it may occur. It is known as idiopathic osteoporosis and its determinants are not yet known. What is strange is that younger people generally don’t have low levels of hormones and vitamins, so it is not easy to diagnose this disease. In some cases it may be associated with other diseases such as hormonal imbalances or kidney failure.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Read An introduction to stay young
Read How to stay young effectively
Read The benefits of staying young