PHYSIOLOGY OF AGING
Today we will be dealing with physical activity. Physical activity and especially physical exercise adapted to the personality affects several aspects:
- Musculoskeletal system and posture
- Cardiovascular system
- Respiratory system
- Metabolic-endocrine system
The aging process of the body’s musculoskeletal system causes phenomena such as osteoporosis, arthrosis (degeneration of joints, hips, lumbar spine, cervical spine…), laxity of vertebrae, physiologically occurring discopathy, hernias, muscle and ligament shortening and stiffness, inflammation of the back or large joints and subsequently, gradually less freedom of movement to pain when moving.
The muscular system weakens and weakens, muscle mass decreases, so posture is also affected. Activities that previously required moderate energy expenditure may now be more strenuous or performed over a longer period of time.
All of this has a faster onset and progression, the more sedentary a person is, the more prone to postural and emotional closure or a pluripathological state. On the other hand, pain and reduced mobility, if not managed, inhibit the tendency for daily movement and facilitate a sedentary lifestyle.
From a cardiovascular point of view, although not everyone has symptoms, the vessels tend to be stiffer, venous return loses efficiency, blood pressure increases, and cardiovascular adaptability to exercise decreases. If the supply of tissues (muscles, organs, etc.) is not optimal with nutrients and oxygen, the tissue loses health and its function is impaired to a greater or lesser extent over the years.
The lungs, but especially the ribcage and diaphragm, become stiffer with a decrease in ventilatory capacity (filling and emptying of the lungs) and a decreased capacity to oxygenate the blood.
Finally, with regard to the endocrine-metabolic system, in general, changes in hormonal levels and a greater fragility of the metabolic system are observed during aging. One of the most classic examples we could observe is diabetes mellitus, now a pathological categorization. Countless studies confirm that constant physical exercise is an indispensable helper for diabetics in addition to nutrition.
The macroscopic consequences of all this can be summarized as:
- Insufficient energy availability
- Restriction of usual activities
- More slowness in the way
- Muscle weakness and early fatigue
- Sleep disorders
- Pains of the locomotor apparatus and joints (sometimes also of neuropathic compressive origin by the locomotor tissue)
- Slow or difficult digestion
- Short or labored breathing
- Cardiac pathology
REMEDIES: CONSERVATIVE THERAPY IN AGING
In summary: the ability of body tissues to receive “new” (oxygenated) blood determines health, therefore maintaining the good function of the tissue itself, whether it is an organ (liver, kidney, heart…) or a muscle.
Motor activity “activates” the heart pump and activates the thoracic respiratory system, creates vasodilation supporting peripheral blood circulation and thus nourishes different parts of the body, lubricates the joints and prevents their appearance or improves stiffness and pain.
Constant aerobic activity is a real daily benefit, especially if properly managed by professional staff.
Targeted exercise designed by a professional kinesiologist in combination with aerobic activity gradually increases the ability, dexterity and overall elasticity of the body, significantly improves posture and postural positions taken during the day (walking, upright position, sitting position, use of limbs in relation to the trunk…), increases the strength of body parts, increases resistance to stress, improves breathing capacity.