Tag Archives: training


Senior couple in winter

If a person leads an active lifestyle, exercises or works out and takes care of health, the onset of winter does not mean for him or her the beginning of “winter slumber”. On the contrary, winter sports are an opportunity to diversify pretty much physical activity and even more – to improve health, and the old age is not at all an obstacle. Frosty fresh air, snow, sparkling in the sun, a company of good friends – what can be better for the pastime! Excellent mood and cheerful spirit will be guaranteed, but not less important is the impact of winter sports on health.

What an elderly person can do in winter

When it’s cold outside and the snow has piled up, then the only desire is to nestle cozily in a warm plaid in front of TV and drink hot tea with homemade pastry. But after a few winter months spent like this, you may suddenly find out that your health has deteriorated: some overweight appeared, your joints and spine start “reminding” constantly about their existence by aching pain, the blood pressure “jumps” from time to time and the heart “cuts didoes”. In order to prevent the progression of chronic diseases, and various degenerative-dystrophic changes in the body, a person, in adulthood as well, should try not to stay at home but to move as much as possible.

Winter provides excellent opportunities for this. This is skiing, sledding, skating, Nordic walking, or just walking in a snow-covered park. For a golden-ager the personal sporting achievements are not important and daily trainings are less needed. It is enough to get adequate physical exertion 1-3 times per week, which will provide a good mood, strengthen the immune system and improve health.

Skiing is traditionally very popular in many countries. Almost every elderly person is capable of taking a short walk at his or her own pace. Skiing is an aerobic kind of sports, i.e. implying the combination of the load on muscles with the intake of large amounts of oxygen. Already the first lesson has a beneficial effect on heart muscle and blood vessels: they are toned up, the blood flow normalizes. This improves performance of other internal organs too, strengthens muscles of legs, arms, abdomen, back. If an elderly person is skiing on a weekly basis, then by spring, he will feel both rejuvenated and healthier.

Sledding is another activity very useful in adulthood. Especially wonderful is when the whole family participates in it. During the down-run, coordination improves; literally every muscle is toned up, breathing quickens and deepens and the release of adrenaline happens.
Skates can be recommended to elderly people, if they previously had an experience of ice-skating, since the possibility of injury is pretty high. This kind of sports trains the muscles of the lower limbs, buttocks and abdomen, and also teaches people to quickly coordinate their movements.

In recent years, such sport as Nordic walking is gaining its popularity. You may be engaged in it both in summer and in winter. It is especially attractive because it does not require the purchase of expensive sports equipment, it is enough to buy just special sticks.

What is needed for winter sports activities?

In advanced age, it is important not to overwork and not to harm your health, so medical consultation before the physical activity is required. If you have a chronic disease, the effects of injuries and surgeries, degenerative disease at any stage, the question of the possibility of any exercise and physical activity is considered individually.

It is very important not to get excessive physical load at the very first activity, it should be increased gradually. Important is also the choice of clothes, always take into account the weather conditions. Sport suit has to be free cut, the fabric – water resistant, breathable and impermeable. You cannot stand on skis or skates right after eating, at least 2 hours should pass after it. On the cross-country skiing or sledding it is recommended to take a thermos of hot tea or mineral water without gas, to avoid dehydration.

Going in for any winter sports, it is important to monitor your health. There is no need to catch up with younger skaters or skiers, since the goal is not sporting achievements but systematic improvement of health. As soon as you feel severe fatigue, palpitations, shortness of breath or pain, you must stop the activity.

With careful attention to yourself any winter sport will bring only benefits, cheerfulness and excellent mood!

Laughter Therapy is Prolonging Our Lives


Not everyone knows that there exists a whole science of laughter and it is called gelotology. It claims that laughter, laughter therapy is able to have a positive impact on human physiology. Laughter therapy is widely used by psychologists worldwide.

Laughter therapy, what is it?
Laughter therapy is one of the methods of psychotherapy, which is practiced by modern psychologists all over the world since the 60s. Gelotology manifests that a person can treat some of his diseases by laughing. Referring also to history, we see that even the great Hippocrates said that laughter is a medicine and that it brings invaluable benefit to our health.

Why laughter is so useful and on what principles the laughter therapy is built? 
William Fry, a professor of Psychology from Stanford University, considered laughter as one of the types of breathing, at which the inhale increases and exhalation is shortened, herewith the intensity of such laughter makes the lungs to get completely rid of air. At this moment the body’s biochemical reactions occur. In particular, the laughter therapy helps to reduce the level of stress hormones – adrenalin and cortisone, and at the same time promotes the release of endorphins, that can reduce the emotional and physical pain, thus a feeling of satisfaction appears.

In addition, laughter therapy helps to cleanse the upper air passages and improve the blood circulation. Therefore laughter therapy can be compared to a walk in the woods or an oxygen cocktail.

By means of laughter therapy, first of all, the accumulated psychological problems can be solved. Laughing, we overcome stress, become more sociable, get rid of hatred, anger and resentment, reset the negative emotions and irritation. Laughter, which began in a state of relative rest, eventually restores our entire body.

But the benefits of laughter therapy do not end thereon. You do not have enough good rest? Laughter therapy for only 5 minutes will replace a 40-minute rest. Therefore, if you suffer the lack of sleep – just laugh and you will immediately feel how the body is filled with cheerfulness and energy.
No time for training in the gym? Also laugh! Laughter therapy helps almost 80 muscle groups to relax. During laughter therapy the heartbeat quickens, blood cholesterol level decreases, and endocrine glands produce substances that contribute to the removal of headaches. It’s hard to believe, but 1 minute of laughter therapy is equal to 30 minutes of aerobics.
Laughter therapy may work as a personal cosmetologist. Laughing involves almost all the facial muscles, thereby increasing their tone and, consequently, improving the appearance.

Thus today there are three subtypes of laughter therapy:
• Classical laughter therapy – conducting psychological trainings in groups and individually;
• Laughter Yoga – Indian technique of correct, natural and light laughter;
• Medical clownery – employees of medical institutions make some performances for the patients.

During special trainings, under the guidance of an experienced specialist, people learn to laugh properly. To laugh in such a way that laughter will bring maximum benefit to their health. They learn such laughter with the help of special exercises – breathing and physical, autotrainings, yoga, and special games. Medical studies have shown that the cerebral cortex contains areas that are responsible for the overall physical condition of a person and their proper work cause a sense of happiness.
Laughter can influence these “areas of happiness”! When a person laughs, the intensity of the blood flow to the brain increases, and the cells of the gray matter of the brain receive a large dose of oxygen. As a result, the weariness and headaches go away, the blood circulation in the vessels improves, the upper respiratory tract is cleared, endorphins are produced – the hormones of happiness, depression and other mental illnesses disappear. Shakespeare said, “A merry heart lives long.” Here you have the principle of the laughter therapy.

Wise nature has given the human laughter not in vain. It releases vast amounts of energy, rejuvenates and heals us, makes it possible to throw off the heaviness of accumulated thoughts, problems. But how to use laughter to fight for our health teaches the laughter therapy. Laughter therapy is a great healer. So laugh more often and be healthy!


Elderly people, especially women, fall quite often. And even a simple fall may cause serious injuries and fractures, which can seriously turn their life, lead to disability, immobility, dependence on others.

The sad statistics is the following!
• 60% of people older than 65 years have to stay in hospital as a result of the fall;
• 15-20% of them have fractures;
• 5-20% die from complications;
• 40% after discharging from the hospital lose their independence and become dependent on others;
But falls shouldn’t be regarded as something accidental and inevitable; we should try to prevent them.
Where the falls are most likely to occur?
50% of the cases happen at home, most often in bathrooms and bedrooms.
Nearly 80% of seniors fall without any witnesses, which deprives them of quick help.
Outside the house the falls of seniors are more likely to happen on icy sidewalks, wet pavements, while walking on icy pathways. Falling down outside the house without any witnesses of this, especially in the cold season, may lead not only to injuries, but also to hypothermia, and as a consequences of this – later development of pneumonia, urinary tract infections and other diseases.
One of the most serious and dangerous traumas caused by a fall of a senior is hip fracture. 20% of all hip fracture cases result in death from complications. Half of the seniors become incapacitated, requiring constant care.
A large portion of injuries after falling in seniors accrues to wrist fractures. The healing process takes up a lot of time, lasting from 6 weeks up to 3-6 months, and significantly restricts the ability of a person to self-maintenance.
The causes of falls among seniors may be divided into two large groups.
External causes.
External causes are related to improper organization of safe movement.
- uncomfortable shoes;
- inappropriate glasses;
- lack of mobility aids (canes, walkers);
- low home security.
Weather factors also play a significant part.
- icy or slippery pavement in winter, uneven surface of sidewalks, poor lighting, etc.
Internal causes.
The gait disorders arise at elderly and senile age, affected by neurologic and blood vessel diseases, the eyesight worsens, dementia develops. Taking some medication changes the state of vasomotor tone. The risk of falling especially increases when taking several medications simultaneously.
The risk of falling is high in people who stay in upright position less than 4 hours a day, as well as those who are unsteady when standing, who are overinhibited and depressed and those who are unable to stand up from a chair without using their hands. Age-related impaired visual acuity requires proper lens fitting.
Seniors, who often fall, should go through medical examination for exception of the following possible diseases:
- arrhythmia,
- seizure disorder,
- Parkinson disease,
- anemia,
- Weiss-Baker syndrome,
- transient ischemic attack.
Fall prevention should be performed in three main directions:
- arrangement of safe mode of life and housing;
- regular exercise to improve your muscle tone;
- checking for the side effects of the medicines you take and osteoporosis treatment.

Regardless of the factors causing the fall here are some tips helping to prevent it:
- regular physical exercises to strengthen muscles, bones and joints
- take away the things in the house, which may be conductive to falling
- keep necessary items in easily accessible places
- use non-slip flooring
- use bathroom handles and grab bars
- keep stairs and hallways well lit
- using medication, don’t forget to ask your doctor of its possible effect on the bones (if it can cause bones fragility)
- wear only comfortable shoes with non-slip sole.
And remember: it’s always easier to prevent the fall than to treat its consequences!


What is Resistance Training for Seniors?

As people grow older, the risk of falls and injuries is increasing; their muscles and joints can break down. However, there is a special training that can decrease the risk of falling. Resistance training is a special type of exercises that help seniors to build up muscles slowly, to regain muscle mass and protect joints from breaking.

Resistance training can also be called strength training. During this training seniors work their muscles through lifting weight or using exercise bands – let me put it into other words – every object that can produce resistance in the muscles is good for such trainings. For example, if your loved ones do not want to go to the gym, you can help them by training them at home, using usual gallons of milk or usual cans.

Training specialists agree that in order to get results, your loved ones should work out at least two or three days a week.

Resistance training is a great way not only to keep muscles and joints strong, but it also helps your loved ones to lose extra weight. This sport program makes the whole body strong.

Different studies have shown that resistance training positively influences not only seniors, but also people of different ages. For example, seniors over 80 years old still can gain muscle mass if they add resistance training into their daily activities. As for the women of all ages, this sport program can help to increase their bone mass that will prevent breaks.

Experts also say that resistance training influences not only physical body, but plays an important role for the inner world, world of emotions and feeling. Seniors who go info sports tend to suffer from depression less than those who do not stay active.

Encourage your loved ones to exercise regularly in order to stay healthy.