The human body is created for physical activity. In primitive society only the most hardy survived. The human body adapts very easily to changing environmental conditions.
Therefore, when constant demands are made on him, he adapts. Young men and women who, in childhood, played a lot of tennis and held a racket in their right hand, became stronger and their bones wider than on their left hand. A ballet dancer who performs stretching exercises daily becomes more flexible than other people. Long-distance running training strengthens joints and muscles, helps to achieve more efficient work of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
But adaptation may be the opposite. With a sedentary, inactive lifestyle, the muscles atrophy, the bones soften, and the heart and lungs weaken and even walking 90-100 meters on flat ground causes shortness of breath.
In medicine, the term “athlete’s heart” means a large and strong heart that allows the body to function as a well-tuned automobile motor with a large supply of power. But science also knows the “loose heart” of a 70-80-year-old person – small, weak, characteristic of people leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Physical exercises are necessary for the development and normal functioning of the body throughout life. The influence of motor activity on people of any age is diverse, the most important advantages of physical education are as follows.
Improving physical performance.
Regular exercise makes the body more resilient and efficient. A person discovers that he can complete a task that was previously beyond his power. Just as a trained athlete is able to lift more weight or maintain a high running speed for a long time, so an elderly person engaged in physical education can carry a heavy bag, walk a considerable distance on foot, without panting and without feeling tired. This means that the supply of vitality and the level of development of endurance have increased.
As a result of the use of long-term physical activities in the classroom, any task becomes easier and is performed with less energy. Therefore, when fatigue occurs, the body recovers faster.
Improving the efficiency of the cardiovascular system.
Diseases of the cardiovascular system, mainly angina and stroke, in 50% of cases are the cause of death of people of any age. Exercise has a positive effect on the performance of this system. Under the influence of physical education, the heart first of all becomes much more efficient. In young people, as a result of regular training, the amount of blood ejected by the heart with each beat increases and, accordingly, the size of the heart increases. In people over 40, the size of the heart from regular exercise does not increase, but the blood is ejected more vigorously due to improved work and strengthen the heart muscle. When performing any load, the heart of a trained person beats more slowly. The maximum working capacity of such a person is also higher, since a trained heart has great reserve capabilities. Exercise is not useful for the entire circulatory system. Blood enters the muscles enriched with oxygen, which also improves performance.
Improving the respiratory system.
The activity of the respiratory system means not just inhaling and exhaling, but also the efficiency of the use of oxygen by the tissues of the body. Exercise contributes to a more active course of these processes. With age, the lungs become less elastic, and therefore now with each breath less air enters them than before. Regular physical activity slows down this process and allows you to more actively use most of the lung tissue.
The efficiency of muscle tissues of the body, which more effectively use oxygen in the process of oxygen metabolism, or “tissue respiration”, is also increasing. As a result, the body is able to do the job with less effort.
Improving the metabolic process.
Regular physical exercises have a significant effect on metabolism (metabolism), i.e., on chemical processes in the body. Everyone probably noticed how training changes the face of a person – the figure becomes slimmer, the fullness gradually disappears. Blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and other substances that contribute to the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases are changing for the better. The metabolism of sugar from food improves, and diabetes (a common problem of the elderly), which is closely associated with the occurrence of obesity , develops less frequently . Persons suffering from diabetes, but performing adequate physical exertion, need lower doses of medication.
Improving the mental attitude.
Exercise has a noticeable positive effect on the human psyche. No wonder the ancient Romans believed that “in a healthy body – a healthy mind.” This statement of two thousand years ago is relevant in our days.
Physical education activates the mental activity of both young and old. Many elderly people have poor memory, but this is not at all because the memory supposedly has to deteriorate over the years. The memory remains the same, but the ability to reproduce, that is, the time required to extract information from the memory storage, increases with age. Regular exercise helps pause the process.
In middle and old age, a state of depression is especially common. Everyone who has reached the age of 40–45 is well aware of the inexplicable feeling of sadness and self-doubt, which sets in without any apparent reason and sometimes accompanied by unjustified outbursts of irritation. Those who regularly exercise are convinced of the beneficial effects of exercise on mood. They, as a rule, are more collected , restrained, confident, friendly, tolerant of other people’s shortcomings, better self-control. This is also evidenced by the data of psychological tests.
Anyone who is constantly engaged in jogging knows that after about twenty minutes all the worries of the day recede to the side. The state of anxiety, tension is replaced by a rainbow mood, satisfaction, increased interest in the outside world. Many, while jogging, retain the possibility of creative thinking, since the body is focused on performing a purely mechanical task. The state of high spirits also arises when practicing other types of cyclic exercises, when large muscle groups are involved in the work. A person who is constantly engaged in physical education will continue to feel the need for regular classes.
One of the protective reactions of the body to the occurrence of anxiety, anxiety is increased secretion of the hormone – adrenaline. It stands out in the event of an unexpected strong fright. It is because of this that with a sudden shock or fright, the fur rises up on the dogs, and people get goosebumps, they are shaken from anger and indignation, their blood pressure rises. Usually, the developed additional adrenaline “burns out” during physical exertion. If it’s not enough to move, then it gradually undermines health. For those who regularly engage in physical education, adrenaline is not so easily produced, but worked out, it decomposes faster and is excreted from the body.
Since jogging has a positive effect on the psyche, psychiatrists and neuropathologists often use a variety of physical exercises, and above all jogging, as one of the treatments for nervous diseases, especially depression.
Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease .
“Cause and effect” – this is the relationship between physical inactivity and cardiovascular disease. The risk of cardiovascular disease in people engaged in manual labor is half that of people with a sedentary lifestyle. This does not mean at all that all middle-aged employees should immediately change their professions and do physical labor: unusual work is just as risky for them. Fortunately, vigorous activity during rest and vacation is a good preventive measure for people in sedentary professions, and the sooner they start it, the better. Although physical exercise helps prevent cardiovascular disease and reduces the severity of an already existing disease, they cannot completely eliminate their occurrence. Currently, dosed physical activity programs are widely used throughout the world for the rehabilitation of patients who have had heart diseases, helping them return to a full, active life.
Reducing the number of typical diseases of the elderly.
Some diseases related to age, which are favorably influenced by physical education classes, have already been mentioned. To these should be added diseases of muscles, joints, ligaments: rheumatism and arthritis, fibrosis, lumbago, sciatica, etc. The strength of joints and bones depends, in turn, on the elasticity of ligaments and tendons, which improves exercise. Poor posture limits joint mobility due to loss of elasticity in muscles and ligaments. All this significantly reduces motor activity.
Maintaining independence in everyday life depends primarily on mobility, which, in turn, is determined by the performance of muscles, bones and joints, despite an injury or illness. It has always been believed that with a disease in the muscle or nervous system of a young person, training healthy muscle groups can greatly compensate for disability. This provision applies to people of any age.
Extension of active life.
It is necessary to distinguish between the concepts of “life expectancy” and “aging”. There are many cases when people lived to 120, 130 years and felt good. Some were lucky to be born into the families of long-livers. The problems of longevity are especially interesting for experimental biology, however, the means of prolonging active life are of the greatest interest. In recent years, millions of inert people all over the world began at 40-50 years old to engage in regular physical education and now, after a decade, they remain healthy and creative.
Often, you can meet 50-60-year-old men and women in good shape, retaining high physical performance, lungs and heart whose work fine, blood pressure is normal. They are less susceptible to mental and physical disorders than other people with poor health 20-30 years younger.