How to maintain your fitness & motor skills into old age

Simple, daily exercises for the postural muscles make it possible to maintain good functional fitness in old age. These exercises are, for example, the conscious stretching of certain muscle parts in everyday housework. There are even more ways to become independent in old age. The embroidery, for example, allows you to maintain a good dexterity.

Aging (an evolutionary process) is a gradual reduction in the reserves of the functioning of the body. It affects all institutions and systems. In particular, the functional efficiency that allows independence in the exercise of everyday activities – basic, such as maintaining personal hygiene, dressing, using the toilet, controlling physiological activities, eating, movement and complexes, such as preparing meals, shopping, cleaning, taking medicines, using means of transport.

Functional efficiency depends not only on health. Socio-demographic factors such as age, gender and place of residence are also important for his behavior or loss. Nevertheless, we are to a large extent the forge of our own destiny: many scientific studies in different regions of the world have shown that it is possible to effectively counteract the loss of functional performance through daily physical activity. In combination with proper nutrition, exercise is a powerful weapon in the fight for good motor and manual fitness to function independently for as long as possible. As a result, seniors can be protected longer from the need to use everyday aids.

Activation of the postural muscles in the everyday life of seniors

Good motor performance depends on the strength of the postural muscles, which are responsible for maintaining the figure in the vertical and performing the individual steps (see also: motor change in old age) . These include groups of leg, abdominal and back muscles. In order for these structures to fulfil their role, they must be systematically activated, i.e. trained daily.

This is not difficult. Exercises to maintain a good condition of the postural muscles can be carried out independently at home, e.B. during conversations and games with the grandchildren or when cleaning the apartment. It is enough to take some time to consciously tense selected muscle groups and keep this tension in safe positions for a while.

As research shows, such a daily, short but systematic series of exercises to strengthen the postural muscles (stretching of the abdominal, thigh and back muscles) leads to better movement efficiency and thus to a longer independence of older people. For good motor performance, the physical condition of the seniors is also important, i.e. a powerful respiratory and circulatory system. Therefore, daily exercise in the form of a walk with an adapted walking pace is an important part of the work on the motor skills and general fitness of seniors.

Dexterity – a friend of the accuracy and precision of movement

No less important for functional efficiency is manual dexterity, which is very much related to the ability of the hands to perform activities such as writing, lace tying or the use of various tools. It is therefore important to carry out this type of activity on a daily basis. Recommended are exercise groups that involve the forearm and wrist, e.B. move small objects from hand to hand, screw nuts up and down, hand knitted as well as hand and finger exercises – collect small objects with your fingers or thread beads.

Exercises that maintain manual dexterity can be successfully performed in the form of games with grandchildren or in everyday household activities. The family plays a very important role in motivating the work on manual dexterity, which should make it possible to carry out these small and inconspicuous activities for as long as possible, encouraging the elderly to dress themselves and prepare meals.

The participation of seniors in the activities of everyday life is the basis for maintaining good general fitness into old age. The maintenance of muscle strength, especially the postural muscles ( back and abdominalmuscles),especially in old age, effectively reduces the frequency of functional impairments and thus ensures a good quality of life.

Efficiency of locomotion and freedom of movement

Motor performance as a fundamental determinant of independence includes activities such as walking, i.e. moving, maintaining the balance of the body, changing the position of the body in space (rotation, rotation). Disorders of this ability not only lead to great limitations in the life of the elderly, but also increase the risk of falls. The efficiency of locomotion determines the possibility of independent movement at home, but especially outdoors, where one often encounters obstacles, such as: uneven pavement surface or steps that must be overcome to reach a goal.

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