GYMNASTICS OF THE THIRD AGE
After a "normal" winter and a rather rainy spring, he confides in a conciliatory summer from a climatic point of view, such as to entice everyone, including elderly people, to resume healthy activity physics that reactivate all organic functions.
Here we are, then, in front of the age-old dilemma related to which "gymnastics" advise people in old age. Often we hear the term "sweet" add to a physical activity aimed at those who, chronologically and not only, fall within the range of third Age. Perhaps, we are facing a good opportunity to express our point of view on this.First of all, do "gymnastics" means doing a series of movements and exercises for the well - being of your body, for the recovery of "physical form" (fitness in Anglo-Saxon terminology). There are many types of gymnastics and new methods and exercises are proposed each year. The subject is constantly evolving and currently the offer is remarkable: a person may have difficulty in identifying the area suited to their needs.
At the end gymnastics are attributed many meanings, from rehabilitative to that aimed at muscle strengthening, from corrective to the one that borders on a real sport-specific activity.
Furthermore, there is also a physical activity based on targeted exercises to some parts of the body, hardly reproducible for other body districts.
Gymnastics for the elderly, whatever it is, must be designed specifically for the elderly, in order to promote musculoskeletal "flexibility", motor skills and global postural correctness in people who, due to their advanced age, are less "loose" in their movements.
Thus, it is important to say that the correctly performed movement is good for any age; it is always good to practice it, at every stage of life, naturally respecting the rhythms and the appropriate physical needs. physical activity extends life, keeps the intellect alive, promotes the proper functioning of organs and systems. It is an excellent antidepressant.
Gymnastics for the elderly must favor some main aspects, such as breathing, relaxation and muscle lengthening, a better posture and greater mastery of one's body. The target prosecutable in the elderly is to make it safer in the movements, so that it may be less fearful in moving unaccompanied.
The gymnastics for the elderly will have to provide many stretching exercises, ie stretching
muscle, involving the upper and lower limbs, the vertebral column (including cervical spine), the abdomen.
These exercises must always be performed taking care of the synchrony with respiratory acts,
fundamental for a correct psycho-physical balance.
Gymnastics for the elderly includes both free body exercises, is the use of specific tools.
Eg, the exercise bike it can be traditional or horizontal (in technical jargon, recline) or, for older people, it can consist of a pedal board to be used in front of an armchair.
There are now many studies that have shown how much physical activity is a excellent means to slow down
and make the aging process less problematic.Some of these highlight how a moderate training, protracted throughout life, can delay the onset of pathologies linked to the physiological aging process for several years.
It is not true that the more we advance the less we must move; rather you have to move following precise guidelines. It is essential to propose a plan of "training" as personalized as possible.
It should be emphasized that physical activity has multiple benefits on the elderly: it acts as a social aggregator and is healthy already from the first sessions (some of them say, for example: "I can put my socks on my own, after a few stretching sessions", " I can carry the shopping bags by myself "), modifies the body mass optimizing the lean mass
and reducing fat mass.
Exercise, rational and constant, acts as already said on the respiratory system, increasing the functionality of the respiratory muscles and the articularity between the vertebrae and ribs / sternum (rib cage),
increasing or maintaining the tissue elasticity of the lungs.
Furthermore, it acts logically on the musculoskeletal system, removing the evolution towards muscular hypotrophy, osteoporosis, arthrosis. It stimulates the peripheral nervous system and also the central nervous system, increasing attention and critical capacity. Furthermore, it optimizes the function of the immune system, counteracts the onset of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
We must never forget that the elderly do not have to go to the Olympics but should not even be considered as a desperate and irrecoverable case. Therefore, specific courses are useful and indispensable, at appropriate times (mid-morning or mid-afternoon),
perhaps with adequate background music, without having around "uncomfortable" characters (super athletes or models / models with dresses that can not be used by an elderly person).Furthermore, the elderly people constitute an important "reservoir of humanity" also for the teacher of physical education: they can tell interesting stories related to their experience, with a considerable wealth of experience that often teaches us something. This makes them feel useful and consequently well.
Physical activity in the elderly must be functional, it must, in other words, make the person capable of carrying out and dealing with any movement, to be repeated autonomously and automatically in everyday life, stimulating him to acquire a more ready and effective body and motor system.
Too often the technicians and the preparers have as their goal the strengthening of a muscular district, sometimes neglecting the physiological aspect linked to the aging of the muscles itself: with the advancing age, the muscle decrement takes place mainly on the fast muscle fibers.
Thus, the development of global coordination skills, respect for the integrity of the person and prevention of injuries are the three requirements of functional training (or "global functional gymnastics"),which must have as basic elements the proprioception and district stabilization. The latter is obtained through a progression path, through unstable and / or destabilized exercises (for example using the medical balls),
in such a way as to improve the stabilizing capacity, and subsequently global, of the body and of the movement. Furthermore, doing a barefoot exercise allows to increase proprioceptivity.
In conclusion, the functional training aims to create exercises that respect the daily movement, based on some essential pillars in the research and development of each muscle exercise: balance, reactivity, increase in muscle stenosis (= strength).
Let us remember that a person of advanced age does not have the same skills as a younger one. However, it can be observed that an "adult" person, adequately trained, is able to perform movements and gestures that in an untrained youth may seem impractical. We leave you with a spot: training makes young and slows down the normal body decline. Let's think about it for a while.