Coordination, balance or flexibility are skills that are progressively lost with advancing age. However, when we remain active we can reduce these effects and enjoy healthy aging.
Practicing physical exercise on a regular basis is just as important as keeping the mind active. Older adults need to perform a physical activity according to their possibilities, with the aim of staying active, preventing diseases or curbing their symptoms.
One way to avoid falls, injuries and problems such as osteoarthritis of the knee, is to keep the young body as long as possible training flexibility, coordination and balance.
Benefits of practicing sports in old age
Sport is healthy for all ages. When we are children, it helps us and benefits us to grow and develop. When we are adults, sport keeps us fit and healthy. When we reach more advanced ages, we must continue active, since that is when we will need it the most.
- Increase welfare
- Helps maintain weight
- Strengthens the musculature
- Increase agility, reducing the risk of falls.
- Reduces the risk of diseases such as heart, respiratory, hypertension…
- It keeps the brain oxygenated, delays brain aging and cognitive deterioration.
- Promotes the release of endorphins, the hormone of happiness
- Help to sleep better
Benefits at the mental level
One of the greatest benefits of doing a physical activity is mentally and emotionally. Not only for older adults, will any person, regardless of age, notice emotional benefits with sports practice. In the case of the older ones, practicing a sport or physical activity will give them a more optimistic way of looking at life, as well as socializing with other people in the event that the activity is collective, something highly recommended.
The physical activity also helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. There are studies where being checked that the physical exercise and the activity in advanced ages delays the aging of the brain.
What sports to practice?
What are the best sports to practice when we are older? As we get older, sports should adapt to the physical shape of each one. If a sport has been practiced since always, it is possible to practice it until old age, although surely reducing the intensity or adapting the way of training.
If you have never done any exercise, it is never too late to start. Sedentary is a great enemy and even more when we are older. When choosing a sport to practice, it is important to take into account the starting point, that is, what is our physical form. Low-impact sports or those in which the muscles are stretched are a great option for those who have not practiced anything, as for those who continue to train with their usual routines.
Low-intensity aerobic sports are a great option to stay active and healthy. Some of them are: active walking, swimming, hiking, and elliptical or stationary bicycle, to give some examples. It is always advisable to consult a doctor before doing any sports practice.
In the same way that there are some more indicated sports, there are also some contraindicated for elderly people, such as those of high intensity, exercise that require a lot of muscular strength or those with high risk of falling.