Older people often do not do sports. However, this is exactly the wrong way to protect the joints. Because especially after a certain age, the muscles break down rapidly. That can be dangerous. But with simple training you can maintain your strength well into old age.
If you rest, you rust. There is a lot of truth in this banal wisdom – especially when it comes to muscles and joints. Those who are young have often integrated sport into everyday life as a matter of course. But with age, people often give up. That is fatal.
Because it is precisely at the age of three that there is a significant drop in performance, explains Karl-Dieter Heller, chief physician at the Orthopedic Clinic Duchess Elisabeth Hospital. The muscles begin to break down. Right here it is called to hold against.
The orthopedic surgeon is certain: “With good training, even as a 70-year-old, I can still have the muscles of a moderately trained 30-year-old. Because the healthy old person reacts to stimuli just like the healthy young person. “
If you don’t do anything, you lose your muscles. But: It can also be trained back quickly.
Muscles break down rapidly
From the age of 55 the muscles break down faster than before, from the age of 70 very quickly. “That means that by the age of 70, around 40 percent of muscle mass is lost if you do nothing,” explains Heller. Consequently, people lose strength, endurance and speed. A lack of mobility, coordination and balance increases the risk of falling.
That’s how much sport people should do in old age
An optimal exercise program in old age would be a combination of 60 percent endurance training , 30 percent training in flexibility and agility and 10 percent strength and endurance training (a combination of strength and endurance that trains the various muscle groups with little weight and a lot of repetitions.
“The prerequisite for intensive sporting activity is of course that it is safe for the doctor to stress the circulatory system,” adds the joint expert. The pulse should not exceed certain limits. This is especially true for the untrained.
For muscle building Heller recommends an exercise program. Flexibility training is important to keep the joints flexible. For example, do swing, twist, or pendulum exercises three times a day for 15 minutes. The coordination can be trained through games, dancing or similar sports.
Nobody is too old to train
The skeletal muscles can be trained at any age, so that specific exercises can stop and reverse the loss of muscles. Heller knows experiments that have shown: Even those older than 90 can build up muscles again – even if they no longer achieve the status of a 50-year-old.
“It is essential that the elderly remain active,” emphasizes the orthopedic surgeon. Regular exercise is no longer essential, but everyone should exercise.
At least avoid these inactivity traps, like
- Elevators and
- Better to go shopping on foot.
- Use your bike instead of driving your car.
- Practice demanding hobbies: hiking, swimming, dancing and gardening.
“That is what every old person can do excellently and he should do without technical aids,” explains Heller. If at all possible, the lawn mower should be pushed and it does not have to be a ride-on mower.
Strengthen muscles and joints to prevent falls
Sport and exercise in old age not only keep you fit, but also make a decisive contribution to falling prevention. Because older people in particular often fall down. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that your joints are no longer as stable. On the other hand, the muscles lose their strength.
When that all comes together and people also see and hear worse, it becomes dangerous. That means, according to Heller: “For this reason, training and sport are of inestimable value, especially for stopping aging.”