Fitness for those over 50: what exercise prolong life?
Competent physical activity not only improves health and wellbeing, but also adds enjoyment of life. Our expert Vlad Isakov tells how fitness after 50 years has a positive effect on longevity.
How to build a workout regime and what kind of physical activity to include to ensure a healthy and active late adulthood and old age.
As exercise affect the body and brain
Strengthening of the cardiovascular system
A strong heart and lungs reduce blood pressure. Exercise increases the production of a number of substances, which in turn affect the blood system. The result is improved blood flow to all parts of the body, reduces the likelihood of clogging of blood vessels.
In addition, when physical activity, the body consumes more nitric oxide. This gas dilates blood vessels, providing better blood flow.
The bloodstream, increasing at moderate and medium-intensive exercise allows you to harden the arteries of the brain. People who have had a stroke and is suffering from Alzheimer’s you can test thinking after a period of moderate physical activity.
Cells sufficiently supplied with energy,
As we age, the level of insulin decreases and glucose becomes harder to penetrate into the cells to fuel them with energy. Then increases the level of sugar and in cells creates free radicals and other unwanted by-products. As a result, the risk of stroke or Alzheimer’s disease.
Exercise increases the content of insulin-like growth factor, which regulates insulin levels.
Victory over obesity
It is known that obesity can lead to lot of serious diseases from cardiovascular to diabetes. But once fat reserves are harmful not only to the cardiovascular system and metabolic processes, but also the brain. For example, obesity doubles the risk of dementia.
Exercise fighting obesity on two fronts: burn calories and reduce appetite.
Regular exercise will help the body to more effectively control the level of cortisol — the «stress hormone».
In General, the release of cortisol is not always bad. This hormone helps the brain and body to react quickly to danger, motivating them to look for food when you experience feelings of hunger, and performs other important survival functions. But modern man rarely faces a real threat to the life, so initially beneficial mechanisms begin to cause us trouble.
Elevated cortisol entails the risk of diabetes, obesity, depression, dementia and other diseases. Training also compensate the destructive effects of excess cortisol.
Workouts lead to the balance of many neurotransmitters that regulate the processes occurring in our brain. These substances largely determine how we are focused, attentive, happy, calm, etc. Your mood really depends on which «cocktail» of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters involved now in your body.
Strengthening the immune system
Stress and age have a negative impact on the immune system. Workout also strengthen it and lead to equilibrium.
Even moderately intensive training increases the production of antibodies and T-lymphocytes. Antibodies fight infections, T-lymphocytes help the body to prevent cancer.
Studies show that the most stable cancer risk is at a constant state. Physically active people, for example, have 50% less risk of cancer of the rectum.
The years from the bones leaches calcium, and at first imperceptible, but in the end the big problem is osteoporosis. This disease primarily affects women, but affects men.
Bone mass in women peaks at age 30 and then decreases approximately 1 % per year until menopause, when the process speed is doubled. As a result, by the age of 60 a woman can lose up to 30 % of the mass of his bones — if not to take calcium and vitamin D and exercise.
In the prevention of osteoporosis help weight training, running, jumping.
Enhancing the neuroplasticity of the brain
Over the years, the thinking will not be as sharp, memory worsens, learning ability will decrease, if you do not exercise the brain and not to create conditions for the production and survival of new neurons. In severe cases the result can be Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
To maintain efficient, healthy brain will help aerobic exercise. They strengthen connections between nerve cells, but also induce stem cells actively divide and become functional neurons.
Types of training and mode
In the case of physical activity has a rule: better moderate load often than rarely a shock. Well, if you have time for activity with moderate intensity every day or at least every other day. People who have retired, experts strongly recommend to do 6-7 days a week. Only it is necessary to understand that it’s not about sweatshop everyday training with «iron» — you need to combine different types of activity and load levels.
Your activity should be divided into four types: aerobic, strength, balance (balance) and gibkosti (stretching and exercises on mobility of joints).
Active exercises without weights that make your heartbeat and your breathing to become more frequent: running, aerobics, brisk walking, swimming, Cycling.
Need to arrange a separate aerobic exercise for 30-60 minutes 3-4 times a week, and add them as warm-up and cool-down for power, gibkosti and balance training: for example, to walk on a treadmill for 10-15 minutes at the beginning and at the end of the lesson.
Intensity — 60-65% of your maximum heart rate. At this level of intensity to burn fat and actively produces chemicals necessary for beneficial changes in the brain and its efficient operation.
To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. That is, for example, for a 60 year old person’s maximum heart rate will be 160. For precise control you can get a chest heart rate monitor. On the performance of the fitness bracelets it is better not to rely, as they give a large error.
Twice a week try to increase the intensity to 70-75% of maximum heart rate for 20-30 minutes. If you feel not comfortable, do not rush, do while 60-65% of those with a regular practice of endurance will definitely increase.
Such exercises include lifting weights, exercises with dumbbells, bodyweight exercises. Strength training usually lasts no longer than 30 minutes. At the beginning is necessary to prepare muscles and the cardiovascular system small cardiopatici (10-15 minutes), and then finish your workout with walking and stretching.
Competent strength training is a useful stress for the body and brain. To be useful, feasible choose the load and be sure to take breaks between workouts that the body has time to recover. In fact, it was during holidays and there are all positive changes, which gives impetus to exercise.
Strength training should be 2-3 times a week. Work with these weights that allow you to perform the exercise in 3 sets of 10-15 times.
Buy gym membership or exercise at home, for example, with dumbbells and elastic band. Unfortunately, it is difficult to increase the load — due to the limitations of the equipment. But at first one pair of dumbbells and your own weight will be enough.
If you have previously had no experience of strength training, it is advisable to start with a trainer to help you master the correct technique and avoid injury.
Strength training stimulates the lymphatic system, supporting the natural cleansing of the body. They also help to prevent osteoporosis and fight with him.
The study group of women 50-70 years showed that those who performed strength training during the year, increased bone density in the hips and spine 1%. Those who led a sedentary lifestyle, bone density in the same areas declined by 2.5%.
Training balance and flexibility
Do them 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to complete a 10-15-minute stretching, strength and aerobic training. This will cause the muscles in a comfortable state will not allow them to hide and to grow, will reduce the likelihood of pain after a workout.
Yoga, Pilates, martial arts, dance — these and similar activity to develop skills in maintaining balance and flexibility, reduce stress and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Scientists from the University of Illinois found that a single 20-minute session of Hatha yoga significantly improved participants ‘ scores on tests of memory. Yoga helped to concentrate, to perceive and use new information. In another study in elderly patients who practiced yoga increased the hippocampus — the part of the brain in which new neurons are formed.
To start an active way of life right now — start doing yoga at home with our course for beginners!
During the week you will learn about the history and basic principles of yoga, try 5 different directions and will be able to choose the perfect for yourself.
Author: Vlad Isakov