Unique Health Benefits of Exercise Training for Older Adults. Essay Example

Published: 2023-07-12
Unique Health Benefits of Exercise Training for Older Adults. Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Sport Healthcare Community health Lifespan development
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1036 words
9 min read

Regular physical activity encourages growth and development and has many advantages, which certainly lead to success in physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Physical activity directly decreases the risk of cardiac disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, obesity, and metabolic disease; Besides, physical activity enhances various other health and fitness aspects, including cardiovascular capacities, the strength of your muscles and your bones; flexibility; insulin sensitivity; and lowers stress, anxiety, and depression. Different forms of physical activity help with varying health conditions and provide a distinctive contribution to older adults' well-being. This means that the greatest gain is achievable from a range of interventions, including aerobic and resistance training, organized in unstructured opportunities, and both prolonged and shorter sessions (Guertin et al., 2017). While the health advantages of a physical exercise program for improved functional ability and well-being among the elderly are well known, it is necessary to remember that not all of them can engage in these activities.

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There are various physical activities that all healthy older adults can perform unless otherwise indicated by specific medical conditions. However, most of the recommendations also extend to people of this age with medical disorders not linked to mobility like hypertension or diabetes. Cardiac patients might need additional precautions and advice before trying to get the physical activity levels recommended for this age group. A clear link is known between physical activity and cardiorespiratory health. A healthy lifestyle improves cardiorespiratory fitness. Kell & Rula (2019) suggest that, the dose-reaction relationship between strength, frequency, length, and volume is direct for improved well-being. Risk reductions are consistently realized at rates of moderate operation of at least 150 minutes per week. Whereby, a clear correlation exists between physical activity and metabolic health, including reduced risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Data suggest that 150 minutes of mild- to vigorous-intensity physical exercise a week offers substantially lower risks. Aerobic exercise has a positive and continuous impact on weight management. For achieving energy balance, the accumulation of energy expenditure through physical activity is necessary. In short, several bursts of at least 10 minutes or one long term period of physical activity can be done to reach physical activity weight maintenance goals (Kell & Rula, 2019).

The evidence for resistance training is less consistent partly as lean mass increases are compensated, and exercise volumes decreased. The risk of hip or vertebral fracture in physically active older adults is possibly lower. Increased exercise will reduce the mineral density of the spine and hip bone to a minimum. Changes in fitness performance improve lean muscle density, energy, and innate control of the neuromuscular (Guillon & Dupont, 2018). Overall, useful data suggests that the incidence of all-cause death, coronary heart attack, elevated blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular syndrome, lung cancer, breast cancer, and depression are relatively lower relative to active older adults. Also, compared to the physically inactive older adults, moderately active older adults provide a higher degree of cardiorespiratory and muscle activity, a better body mass and structure, and a more desirable biomarker profile to reduce cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and boosted bone health (Wertman & Mitchell, 2016).

When selecting exercises for older people, the emphasis should be on strengthening lower body muscles. According to Guertin et al. (2017), the age-related decline in strength and muscle mass in the lower and top limbs is more pronounced. When lower limbs weaken, it can jeopardize daily activities, leading to loss of functional independence and an increased risk of injury from falling. The squat is a predominant closed kinetic chain movement among the lower limb exercises and can help to enhance mobility in elderly adults. As much as the conventional free-bar squat has many fitness-related advantages, it involves dynamic movement. As such, not every older individual should perform the exercise since advancing age compromises flexibility and coordination. Hamstring-specific practices like the leg curl and the stiff-legged deadlift should be included in resistance training programs to improve the functionality of the elderly. If the lower body muscles are essential to the specific ambulatory aspects of everyday living in an elderly community, the upper body muscles are equally necessary for washing, eating, drinking, sweeping, preparing, and other instrumental lifestyle tasks.

Therefore, reduced handgrip strength can increase the chances of an older person developing functional restrictions in eating, walking, swimming, dressing, moving, and toileting, hence associated with higher mortality risk. Research also shows that cardiovascular events are predicted by the muscle endurance of the upper body. Aging can cause changes in the alignment of spine sagittal, including increased kyphotic curvature and lower lumbar lordosis. Maintaining the muscles involved in these instrumental activities is, therefore, necessary to retain functional capacity when aging. Specific movements like pushing, pulling, lifting, holding, bending, trunk flexion, rotation, and stabilization are essential for these necessary daily tasks (Guillon & Dupont, 2018).

In conclusion, while the health advantages of a physical exercise program for improved functional ability and well-being among the elderly are well known, it is necessary to remember that not all of them can engage in these activities. Decisions on the selection of exercises for older persons should be focused on individual requirements, health, and effectiveness. To direct the exercise prescription of an older population, the guidelines given herein should be used and personalized according to each person. Generally, an older adult should do a program with a combination of resistance training, cardiovascular and flexibility exercises if there are no significant musculoskeletal problems present.


Guertin, C., Pelletier, L. G., Emond, C., & Lalande, G. (2017). Change in physical and psychological health over time in patients with cardiovascular disease: On the benefits of being self-determined, physically active, and eating well. Motivation and Emotion, 41(3), 294-307. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11031-017-9608-8

Guillon, M., Rochaix, L., & Dupont, J. K. (2018). COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF INTERVENTIONS BASED ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC CONDITIONS: A SYSTEMATIC LITERATURE REVIEW. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 34(5), 481-497. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0266462318000533

Kell, K. P., & Rula, E. Y. (2019). Increasing exercise frequency is associated with health and quality-of-life benefits for older adults. Quality of Life Research, 28(12), 3267-3272. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11136-019-02264-z

Wertman, A., Wister, A. V., & Mitchell, B. A. (2016). On and off the mat: Yoga experiences of middle-aged and older adults. Canadian Journal on Aging, 35(2), 190-205. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0714980816000155

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