I’M NO LONGER AGED TO EXERCISE
“I’m no longer old enough to exercise” is the phrase most heard by personal trainers when we talk to older people about their sports practice and their physical condition. Often we find an outright refusal to start a physical exercise program for your health.
The older we are, the more we must move , it is the law of life, since our body requires more time and more care to preserve an optimal state of health. Staying in shape is not only health, it means avoiding dependency .
Nobody would like to end up depending on their children, a nurse or a caregiver, right? Coaches are committed to the challenge of reducing dependency rates through physical exercise, since our work tool is one of the keys.
Dependence in the elderly is caused by frailty, which, although not well known among the general population, is a syndrome in which a series of situations converge, such as decreased strength or reduced gait speed.
According to all experts, the most potent medicine for frailty is physical exercise, as improving fitness levels will help increase gait speed and muscle strength.
But, in addition to this, what does fragility imply?
Walking slowly has been associated with an increased risk of falls, and it can also be a condition of low cardiorespiratory fitness. The latter results in a reduced functioning of the capacities of the heart, with which cardiovascular risk is also increased.
On the other hand, lower muscle strength is one of the factors of presarcopenia, which will also finally be added to the reduction of muscle mass, to reach a state of sarcopenia itself. The reduction in muscle mass implies less ability to move under a load. But it also increases the risk of osteoporosis, which takes us back to another state in which the risk of falls is great.
Thus, frailty leads to dependence, and this is the consequence of a series of factors that could have been avoided with the adequate implementation of a safe physical exercise program, focused on increasing cardiorespiratory capacity, but above all with a clear component of strength to preserve and increase muscle mass.
Just walking is not enough … That is why at FAST we emphasize the practice of exercise in the elderly population. In fact, a large part of the scientific evidence on Active Integral Electrostimulation has the target population of older people. This tool has been shown to be a complement, and even an alternative, as Kemmler and colleagues emphasize, for older people.