The arrival of summer and high temperatures often cause a decrease in physical activity, especially in the case of older people. The effort required for these to continue with their daily exercises at a time when the appearance of fatigue is more evident makes it necessary to change the routine and adapt it to the summer season. However, it is necessary to bear in mind that staying active in summer is also possible and very beneficial to improve your quality of life and not lose the habit during this period.
It is scientifically proven that sport promotes well-being and helps prevent diseases of all kinds. According to the health recommendations of the Ministry of Health, older people who practice physical activity strengthen their muscles, improving functional capacity and reducing the risk of falling.
In addition, it reduces the risk of developing some chronic diseases such as diabetes or of improving its evolution since it helps control sugar levels. It also controls hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular diseases and obesity, among others.
“In addition to the multiple health benefits that physical activity entails for the elderly, it is worth noting how sport improves the social and emotional well-being of those who practice it. Thus, self-esteem will be comforted by feeling more agile and autonomous in carrying out their daily activities”, explains David, Curto, Medical Director, Quality and Innovation at Sanitas Mayores.
In this sense, the experts at Sanitas Mayores recommend carrying out the following activities with the elderly during the summer:
Walking, the simplest activity to maintain active circulation. If during the year the dynamics of walking have been taken to activate the circulation and strengthen the leg muscles, now it is advisable to continue with the dynamics, but during the first or last hours of the day. This will reduce the risk of heat stroke.
Stretches to exercise the muscles. There are exercises that, although they do not involve great effort, in the long run provide enormous health benefits. This is the case of outdoor gyms where machines are available to stretch different parts of the body, walk at greater or lesser intensity or train localized parts of the body. It is also recommended to go at certain times of the day where the heat is not intense.
Dances and activities in gyms. Another option is to go to an acclimatized gym to play sports. It is common for these to be equipped with specific machines for the elderly and have activities such as dancing, yoga or pilates.
Water sports. Swimming or aqua aerobics are very beneficial since the whole body is exercised and they have the advantage that being practiced in the water prevents sweating in times of heat.
“Sport is one of the activities that brings the greatest benefits. Therefore, it is important not to stop practicing it in summer, but to be aware of the environment and not to overdo it at any time. We must take advantage of the times when the sun is less strong and always carry water and fruit with us to be well hydrated and nourished at all times, especially in the case of the elderly”, concludes David Curto, medical director, Quality and Innovation of Sanitas Mayores.