ADULT AND AGED ATHLETES
By exercising regularly and maintaining our aerobic endurance, flexibility and muscular endurance and strength, we can decrease the likelihood of illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and CVD.
An area of significant concern for adults and aged athletes, is knowing any pre-existing health conditions.
Before exercise is undertaken, medical health checks and screening must be done to ensure that the athlete or elderly person is able to actually take part in the exercise without fear of a negative effect on their health.
Activities such as yoga, walking groups or aqua aerobics are generally recommended. More serious athletes should work under the guidance of a trained coach.
– Heart Conditions
A person with a heart condition is generally known as someone who has had heart attacks, high blood pressure or any other heart problems.
It is important that people continue to exercise, even if they have been diagnosed with a heart condition, to improve their cardiovascular health.
It is also equally important that anyone who has a family history of this illness conduct health checks and pre-screening, but also create a program of regular exercise and a healthy diet free of fat and excess salt to prevent a heart condition from occurring.
People who have been diagnosed with a heart condition should initially seek medical clearance before exercising and seek out the help of a professional to design a program that is tailored to suit their needs.
It should include aerobic activity such as walking, swimming, jogging and be no more than 30 – 45 minutes in duration and 3 -4 sessions a week. A moderate intensity is sufficient enough for this age group. Strength training programs can also be of benefit, however, they should only be completed with light training loads as heavier loads can increase a athlete’s blood pressure to an unsafe level.
– Fractures and Bone Density
Older people are encouraged to exercise to build strength in their bones and also to combat the rate of bone degeneration and the onset of osteoporosis (which is deterioration of the bone making it weak and brittle leading to greater risk of fractures).
It is even more important to exercise for older women as when they get older and are post menopausal, there is a significant increase in the likelihood of bone density loss. Injuries that can occur from this can cause a loss of independence.
All activities need to be safe and need to focus on balance, strength and coordination to limit the potential for injuries and falls to occur.
Different activities that are available include:
– Walking, swimming
– Low impact activities such as water aerobics. This helps to build joint strength and mobility
– Low resistance strengthening exercises of the core muscle groups
– Flexibility and Joint Mobility
It is important that older people and aged athletes continue to maintain regular stretching activities prior to and after any physical activity. Some common problems that older people suffer from, such as arthritis and aching muscles, respond really well to exercise and physical activity.
Activities such as walking, yoga, pilates and swimming are all designed to increase flexibility, strength, and balance which essentially lead to a better quality of life as a person ages.
Full Written Notes
Critical question 2: How does sports medicine address the demands of specific athletes?
Adult and Aged Athletes
It is important that people continue to exercise, as they get older. As people age onset of lifestyle diseases becomes more likely. Exercising regularly, maintaining aerobic health, flexibility, muscular endurance and strength, can decrease the likelihood of illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and CVD developing.
Exercise is not just essential for physical health; it also has a positive impact on social and mental health as well.
Pre-existing health conditions can impact the performance capability of adults and aged athletes. Before exercise is undertaken, athletes should undergo medical health checks and screening ensure they are able to the participate in the planned activity or exercise, without risking their health or safety.
All exercise programs should start off at a level that is comfortable for the athlete and progress slowly to a moderate level. Activities such as yoga, walking groups or aqua aerobics are generally recommended for beginners. More serious athletes should work under the guidance of a trained coach.
Common heart conditions include heart attacks, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. It is important that people continue to exercise, even after they have been diagnosed with a heart condition, to improve their overall cardiovascular health. People with a family history of cardiovascular illness should undergo regular health checks and pre-screening. They can also decrease the risk of developing a heart condition by following a program of regular exercise and consuming a healthy diet free of fat and excess salt.
People who have been diagnosed with a heart condition should seek medical clearance before exercising. They should also work with a professional to design a program that is tailored to suit their needs. It should incorporate aerobic activities, such as walking, swimming, jogging, and be no longer than 30-45 minutes in duration, with 3-4 sessions planned per week.
A moderate intensity is sufficient for this age group. Strength training programs may also be beneficial, however, they should only be completed with light training loads as heavier loads can raise an athlete’s blood pressure to an unsafe level.
Athletes and aged individuals need to carefully monitor feelings of dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath and chest pain. If these occur, they should cease exercise immediately.
Fractures and Bone Density
As people age, their bones become fragile and less dense. Exercise can help combat this degeneration by building bone strength and reducing the risk of conditions like osteoporosis, a degenerative disease where bones become brittle and are more likely to fracture.
Exercise is particularly important for athletes who are post-menopausal, as this process results in a significant loss of bone density. Hard tissue injuries are particular hard to recovr from for older athletes and can lead to a loss of independence.
Sport and exercise are positive activities which encourage older people socialise, whilst also improving their physical health. Older athletes should participate in safe exercises, which focus on balance, strength and coordination to reduce the risk of injury. All new activities should be approved by a doctor and actively supervised to ensure that there is a low risk of injury.
Aged athletes can, and should, participate in a range of activities, including:
– Low impact activities like water aerobics, which build joint strength and mobility
– Low resistance strengthening exercises, which focus on the core muscle groups
Flexibility and Joint Mobility
The level of flexibility and joint mobility decrease as people age. This can make it harder to complete everyday tasks such as housework and gardening without feeling some level of discomfort. It is important that older people and aged athletes continue to stretch before and after any physical activity. Regular exercise and physical activity can help relieve the symptoms of common conditions older people suffer from, like arthritis and muscle aches.
Training programs should incorporate low impact exercises, which take into account any medical conditions which may limit mobility. Activities such as walking, yoga, pilates and swimming are designed to increase flexibility, strength, and balance. Gentle, low impact exercises like these can help older athletes improve the quality of their lives.