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Old Age - How Exercising Will Help You?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Akhlaq Ahmed 85% (80 ratings)
Diploma In Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedic Doctor, Gurgaon  •  50 years experience
Old Age - How Exercising Will Help You?

Age is a major factor that leads to degeneration of muscles and bones of the body. The muscles lose their elasticity and are unable to support several daily activities, causing intense pain and discomfort. The synovial liquid between the joints that maintain flexibility recedes and makes every movement a nightmare.

Things to be considered in order to choose the correct exercise regime for elderly people:
1. You must consult your physician before starting any form of exercise if you have a history of fractured bones, tissue damage, muscle rupture or any other traumatic forms of injury.
2. In case you have a heart condition or chest pain, you have to carefully choose your exercise schedule. It is most recommended to seek the opinion of a doctor or therapist.
3. Another major consideration should be if you are on medications for any respiratory trouble, blood pressure or nerve condition.

Benefits of exercise in older people:
1. Stretching exercises for elderly people can be very effective in reducing the normal degeneration of the muscles.
2. They help to maintain flexibility and range of motion.
3. Stretching exercises are beneficial to the respiratory system as well and can be extremely relaxing.
4. Stretching can help to reduce back pain which is common among elderly people.
5. Exercises reduce any joint stiffness and difficulties as well in upper body movements.
6. Exercises can provide relief from arthritis pain that hinders activities.
7. Joint exercise can also help to reduce the chances of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Some of the exercises advised for healthy joints:
1. Ankle and wrist circles
2. Knee flexion and extension
3. Calf raises
4. Heel stands
5. Side, forward and backward bending
6. Neck exercises

How to exercise if you are a late beginner:
1. Warm-up is of utmost necessity for stretching exercises to prevent muscle pull, trauma or other injuries.
2. Start with light yoga and brisk walking.
3. Relax before you begin your regimen. Breath deeply. Think of pleasant things.
4. Set small achievable goals. If you are walking for 5 minutes, increase it 8 or 10 minutes the next day. You will be surprised at your own improvement.
5. Make exercise enjoyable. Listen to your favourite music to boost yourself.
6. Buy comfortable exercises shoes and clothes.
7. Do not exercise in extremely cold weather conditions. Also, remember not to spend hours under the sweltering sun.
8. Find yourself a registered or licensed trainer and train under proper guidance.
9. Do not overexert yourself with hardcore cardio and weightlifting. It is not suited for elderly people and can cause you intense pain or discomfort. Your motto should be to attain and maintain flexibility of joints, an optimum body weight, good posture, general fitness and freedom from diseases.

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