Physical activity, movement and sports are an important part of a person’s life at any age. Movement in general is the basis and condition for survival, independence, self-sufficiency, maintaining psychological and social activity, reducing the feeling of loneliness, promoting social integration, a source of fulfillment of personal interests and, in addition, it develops physical condition and fitness and is a prevention of many diseases, slows down the aging process, stimulates nervous system, cardiovascular system and improves the process of metabolism, eliminates the influence of adverse psychological conditions and strengthens the body’s defenses. The mentioned characteristics of movement often become the main motives of seniors leading to regular sports activity, which has a beneficial effect on the whole organism and supports not only the physical but also the psychological health of the individual. All the mentioned advantages and characteristics greatly contribute to the extension of creative work activity, the active old age of a person. Compared to the motivation of university students for sports and exercise, among seniors, motives such as perfect appearance, higher performance, adventure, risk, tension,adrenaline. However, health as a motive is prominently in the foreground for both groups.

 The positive effect of regular exercise is guaranteed by how we appropriately adapt the content, volume and intensity of exercise. Also, when choosing them, it is necessary to take into account the principle of age appropriateness, which will allow people of advanced age to choose physical activity based on their individual requirements and state of health.

Movement belongs to the physical culture of a person, where according to it fulfills an educational function (formation of physical and mental processes – the need for movement), a health function (a favorable response in the individual’s state of health), a social function (interpersonal relationships, self-evaluation, mutual acceptance, environment …), psychological function (improvement of feelings, perceptions, motivation, behavior, actions) and representational function (representation of oneself, team, country, club).

The lack of physical activity gradually transforms into problems related to overweight or obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), the skeletal-muscular system (muscle atrophy, loss of strength, reduced range of motion), fatigue and weakness.

 “Promoting the model of lifelong physical activity of contemporary people can be one of the steps to increase people’s knowledge about the need and importance of regular exercise, leading to the promotion of health, adequate performance and a long active life”.

With all movement activities and physical load on the elderly body, it is important to take into account the reduction of health risk, both when choosing a movement activity and when choosing its intensity. One is never too old to start exercising regularly. With age comes problems arising as a result of wear and tear on the body or leading an incorrect lifestyle. Sport is a chance to change for a better and fulfilling life. The older a person is, the more important physical activity is. Sport delays the signs of aging, helps manage diseases and pain, gives energy and a positive mood.

If people of senior age decide to exercise regularly, they should follow the basic principles when exercising:

  • we can start exercising immediately, but before starting any exercise it is necessary to consult with your doctor
  • not every exercise is suitable for every senior
  • start the exercise slowly and after weeks increase the intensity of the exercises
  • never push yourself
  • several types of exercise are suitable for seniors, there is no need to prefer one common one

Reasons why it is worthwhile to do sports even in adulthood:

  • Regular physical activity reduces the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular system, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
  • Inactivity leads to loss of strength to perform daily activities, to frequent visits doctors, medication use and hospitalization.
  • The fear of injury and falls is not out of place, because a reasonable amount of movement prevents it thinning of the bones and reduces the risk of injuries.
  • Sport is a way to a good mood, vitality and offers the opportunity to spend time to the fullest with similar people.
  • A person is as old as he feels. Movement brings the possibility of feeling and looking younger.
  • Exercise speeds up metabolism and builds muscle mass. Participates in improvement balance, flexibility and coordination.
  • Sport improves the quality of sleep and benefits the brain.

Recently, many studies and researches have proven that regular sports activities support the good health of an individual in various ways. For example, the risks of cardiovascular diseases or stroke and its eventual recurrence will be significantly reduced. Active patients recover faster from various diseases of the heart and blood circulation. It is even said that increasing physical activity reduces the risk of colon or prostate cancer. Active athletes are also less prone to overweight, depression, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and diabetes.

Optimal heart rate for the age category over 60 according to

IntensityHeart rate
1  small        to 96
2  medium105 – 115
3  optimal                 120 – 128
4  large                       135 – 145
5  maximum                160

Exercisers who regularly play sports can also estimate their intensity of body load using a subjective assessment based on basic symptoms.

Average heart rate and its subjective assessment 

IntensitySubjective assessmentAverage heart rate (per minute)
1without shortness of breath and fatigue77
2with slight shortness of breath93
3with an initial sweat 108
4with considerable shortness of breath127
5termination for fatigue abovenad 127

All experts agree on the conclusion that whoever wants to be healthy and fit should regularly do sports at least three times a week for 30 minutes, or even better – a total of 150 minutes of training per week. In addition, they recommend following the rules of a healthy diet, drinking only light alcohol and in moderation, not smoking and avoiding any drugs.

When exercising, you should never overdo it, therefore it is necessary to stick to the principle “the heart would like”, but let the mind decide – how much, what and how. Better to train at 70% all the time and with joy than for two weeks at 100% and then due to an injury to be excluded from any sports for a long time. Exercise at the so-called seniors (we mean above all people over 60), should primarily serve to improve physical and mental condition.

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