Sports equals health. This well-known slogan is true for people at all ages – also in their sixties, who have just retired. Even when joints hurt a bit in the morning and muscles are weaker than three decades ago, we may always find a proper type of workout. What is more, we have to find it – for better condition, well-being and… health.
ACTIVITY IN WATER
Swimming and aqua aerobic are the fields of sports, which may be practiced in the pool. Water activities are especially recommended to elderly people, as practicing them is not related to joint burden, but has positive influence on the whole body. Swimming shapes and slims the silhouette (30 minutes of physical activity in water helps to burn even 350 kcal), strengthens muscles and skeletal system, improves respiratory efficiency. This sport should be literally prescribed to seniors, who have spent their professional career at the desk. Maintaining the body for many hours every day in the sedentary position has negative influence on the spine, weakening and deforming it. The best solution for the problem of backache is strengthening dorsal muscles, which support the spine. With this aim, it would be good to… swim! People who don’t like or simply can’t swim should consider taking part in aqua aerobic activities. This form of activities is especially enjoyed by women. It is worth getting to know if there are such pool sessions with music and with a trainer in the nearest sports center. Water aerobic, similarly to swimming is a form of exercise, which doesn’t burden joints and helps to strengthen muscles, lose weight and additionally – fight cellulite!
Practicing gymnastics helps to make musculoskeletal system more flexible, positively influences motor activity of the body, relaxes back and prevents painful muscle contractions. You may exercise both indoors and outdoors, alone or in the group, in the morning and in the evening – as you like. Regularity of training is the most important (it is good to exercise every day e.g. for 15 minutes) and it is also vital to adjust the exercises to the needs and possibilities of a given person. Therefore, in case of any doubts, before starting gymnastics it is recommended to consult with a specialist – e.g. a qualified personal trainer, who will propose a proper set of exercises and show how to perform them correctly. An alternative to classic gymnastics may be quietening yoga, good not only for the body, but also for the mind or tai chi, called meditation in motion, which puts pressure on balance, coordination and concentration.
WALKING (not only with the poles)
Walking is the most natural form of activity for a human being. It is the simplest sport, available to everyone. It doesn’t require any preparations, specialist equipment or even training clothes. According to the research, 30 minutes of fast walk per day is sufficient to feel the improvement of the state of health – reduce the risk of heart diseases and the whole circulatory system, regulate blood pressure and sugar level and lose weight. During this 30 minute walk with a speed of 6 km/h, we burn ca. 200 kcal. An alternative proposal for walking is Nordic walking, i.e. walking with poles. A person who would like to practice this discipline needs to be equipped in comfortable training shoes, special walking poles and also take at least one lesson with a professional trainer, who will show how to move correctly during Nordic walking. How from the point of view of condition and health is this discipline different from walking without poles? By engaging 90% muscles, it influences their even development and endurance and at the same time it doesn’t burden joints (supporting poles!). Therefore, Nordic walking is recommended especially to elderly people.
A bike makes you independent, allowing to quickly move from one place to another. With proper clothing preparation, cycling may be practiced almost all year round. This type of workout is recommended in various health problems – from heart (cycling strengthens the heart) through excess weight to knee ailments. Pedaling is perfect for elderly people – it forces the organism to moderate effort, doesn’t exhaust too much, stimulates circulation and adds energy. It has positive influence on blood pressure, regulates the level of sugar in the organism, strengthens muscles of legs, back and stomach.
Moving to the rhythm of music makes you happy, practices motor coordination, is conducive to health and maintaining proper weight. However, not everyone has skills to become a master of dance, not everyone has a dance partner and most importantly – proper condition to practice classic or Latin American dance. An alternative, especially recommended to seniors is Zumba. It constitutes a combination of Latino dance with aerobic. In theory it is recommended to people at all ages, but in practice it enjoys popularity among women above the age of 50. Fitness clubs addressed to them organize classes named “Zumba Gold”. Training program is designed in such a way as not to burden the organism of a training person and at the same time to relax muscles, alleviate pain of the musculoskeletal system and strengthen the spine.