Physical exercise is of major importance. The proof? It is now tested as the real medicine, which allows knowing a little more about its mode of action and its effects.
Being active is good for your health
“Physical activity accelerates the synthesis of somewhat miracle molecules, trophic factors, which increase the size of muscle fibers and their renewal, explains Professor Jean Mariani, neurobiologist doctor. She also acts on the ships. At the level of the brain, it has several beneficial effects: it stimulates it because any motor act involves cognitive preparation, it promotes the synthesis of neuroprotective factors; finally, it makes it possible to oxygenate the neurons, and by the same token, to maintain its intellectual activity. ”
“Muscle maintenance allows for harmonious movements, with good coordination in space”, continues Dr. Linda Benattar, geriatrician. To remain independent as to ward off illnesses, there is no better solution.
Physical activity maintains reflexes, balance and breath. It reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke (stroke), even in the presence of risk factors. It decreases the risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancers and prevents their recurrence. For all these reasons, it saves years of life.
How much time per week of physical exercise?
WHO encourages us to start with 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.
“We move through our muscles, our heart, and our vessels which provide them with oxygen. By maintaining physical activity for 40 to 60 minutes, three times a week minimum, we manage to maintain the ejection power of the heart and good tissue oxygenation ”, specifies Dr. Christian Bénézis, a sports doctor.
The problem is that we don’t always know what to choose, how to do it, where to find time … ” The most recent studies indicate that these 150 minutes can be divided into 10-minute increments ”, emphasizes Laurence Clémente, medico-sports educator.
Do you lack motivation? Note that, under these conditions, each minute of exercise can save you 7 minutes of life (Plos medicine, November 2012).
4 questions to choose the right sport activity
The choice of physical activity depends on your physical condition. Its evaluation can be done in a sports medicine center or in a hospital physiology department. This is a must for having an exercise EKG and knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
A questionnaire developed by Dr. Bénézis already gives some indications.
- 1. Are you able to climb, at a good pace and without stopping, twenty or so steps without feeling short of breath? Yes, it’s good! No: you have to start with endurance activities.
- 2. Is your waistline less than 88cm if you are female, 98cm if you are male? Yes: you may have metabolic risk factors to assess with your doctor to tailor activity. No it’s OK !
- 3. Lying down with legs bent in a hook, can you straighten your shoulders and chest to touch your knees 20 to 30 times in 1 minute? Yes, it’s good! No: you must first rebuild your abs and your glutes before embarking on a program.
- 4. Sitting on a chair, can you stand up and then sit down without leaning, 15 to 30 times in 1 minute? Yes: more than 20 times is fine. No: you need to work your thigh and calf muscles.
What intensity should you reach?
“For exercise to be good for health, you must reach the threshold of shortness of breath, that is to say, the very beginning of shortness of breath”, indicates Laurence Clémente. This happens when you put all of your muscles into operation because an oxygen debt begins to occur.
“Walking is always cited as an example, but in the city, it very rarely makes it possible to reach this threshold,” she regrets. Depending on their weight and physical condition, some will have to walk very fast in a park, others jog, and still, others, because they are already athletic, run.
“The common mistake is to want to run too fast for your condition”, observes the specialist. If you can no longer speak, if you are unable to carry on a conversation or make a phone call throughout the exercise, you are going too fast. And your heart may ache.
It’s true, the good physical condition has to be earned! The more sedentary one has been, the longer the benefits are to come. “It takes at least six months to find your balance”, said Dr. Bénézis.
Good news, there is no age to start. And we are sure to have a result if we are consistent. One study showed that after age 60, walking for 30 to 45 minutes three times a week stimulates the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with memory.
The list of anti-aging sports
They fight against the aging of the heart, lungs, muscles, joints, bones, or maintain coordination of movements.
- Very fast walk, or uphill, without stopping: endurance activity that slows down the aging of the heart and lungs. Reduces fat mass.
- Jogging: idem, on condition of not having osteoarthritis of the knee or pain in its internal compartment, or pinched intervertebral disc.
- Bike : ditto, on condition of not having a problem with the kneecap or knees in x (valgus).
- Swimming : Same. Also read: What type of swimming for what benefits?
- Step : excellent for building muscle and maintaining the heart.
- Qi gong, tai chi : excellent for building muscle and maintaining the heart. Also read Seniors: stay healthy with Chinese gyms!
- Dance: one of the most beautiful activities to maintain your bone capital and tone your thigh and calf muscles.