In recent years, more and more people over 55 years of age are participating in sports. In addition, sports clubs see many retirees swell their ranks, to stay fit, delay the errors of the passage of time and distraction.
After 55 years, what kind of sport can we do? What are the precautions to be taken to avoid accidents?
Why does aging reduce athletic performance?
Causes of aging too compound Scientists are still working to try to unravel the mysteries. On the other hand, its effects on the body and its consequences for physical abilities are well known.
nervous system aging
Except for a few specific areas, the cells in the brain and Bone marrow Do not renew after the first years of life. number of neurons, nervous cells, is steadily declining. This phenomenon also concerns the cells of the sense organs. Sensory abilities are very important in movement and the sense of the body in space is reduced. The transmission of nerve impulses to muscle cells also loses its efficiency and speed.
Aging of the cardiovascular system
With age, walls Blood vessels It thickens, loses elasticity and hardens, especially due to the deposition of cholesterol and calcium. . number Capillaries (The very tiny vessels that supply the organs) also diminish with age. follow to heart Overworking the proper blood flow. At the same time, the walls of the heart muscle lose elasticity and the ability to effectively contract.
rib cage flexibility and lungs It decreases, and even if the pulmonary alveoli grow, their number decreases, reducing the surface intended for gas exchange (oxygen and carbon dioxide) between air and blood. The movement of the rib cage is also reduced, which reduces the ventilation of the lungs.
All of these changes in the heart, blood vessels, and lungs reduce the supply of nutrients and oxygen to organs (and thus to the muscles). The ability to handle stress is reduced. The Maximum oxygen sampling rate per person (maximum V02) ranges from 44 to 50 ml per minute and per kg of weight at 20 years of age, to 33 ml per minute and per kg of weight at 70 years.
Aging of the musculoskeletal system
With age, muscle atrophy and Their strength decreases. Theoretically, an individual’s maximum strength is between 20 and 30 years old. By the age of 50, it had decreased by 10-20%. After this age, it decreases more rapidly. A young man has, on average, 36 kg of muscle. He is only 23 to 70 years old.
lose bone salts metal At a rate of 2 to 3% per year in postmenopausal women and 0.4% per year in men: this is osteoporosis. The bone becomes more fragile and less able to support efforts.
The articular cartilage It loses part of its ability to hold water as well as its flexibility and ability to resist friction. Lubrication of joints is less effective. Joint ligaments become fibrous. Flexibility decreases significantly: from 30 to 50% between 20 and 60 years.
Is exercise beneficial for the elderly?
Initiating physical activity or sports from the age of 55 offers real health benefits.
The benefits of exercise on the respiratory system of the heart for the elderly
- Improve pulmonary ventilation.
- Improve irrigation and cardio efficiency.
- Prevention of coronary heart disease.
- Fighting arterial hypertension.
- Fight excess weight.
The benefits of exercise on the musculoskeletal system for the elderly
- maintain the tone and muscle mass ;
- Maintaining flexibility of tendons and joints.
- Maintain motor coordination and reflexes.
- maintaining balance and a sense of the body in space (preventing falls);
- Maintain bone mass and density.
The benefits of exercise on the nervous system of the elderly
- maintenance vigilance.
The benefits of exercise on the sexual life of the elderly
- prevention of erectile dysfunction (impotence).
The benefits of exercise on the mental health of the elderly
- sleep regulation
- fight depression and anxiety, improve confidence in one’s own abilities;
- fight isolation.
Elderly: Is it required to undergo a special medical examination before exercising?
If after 40 years it is recommended to have a medical examination before starting a new physical activity, then this examination is even more important after 50 years.
So he shouldn’t be satisfied with being a Examination without contraindications. It is preferable to go to a sports doctor who will conduct a comprehensive examination of the future great athlete: clinical condition, breathing exploration, Electrocardiogram At rest and during exercise, perhaps a bone density measurement to assess the condition of the bones. Thus, it will detect potential motor, cardiac or pulmonary problems. It is recommended to have another examination after three to six months to measure the body’s reaction to the sports stimulus. Then an annual review is scheduled.
in women A gynecological examination can detect a lack of muscle tone perineum Which may lead to incontinence problems. Modified exercises that allow them to restore their tone of voice.