With age, diminishes the flexibility of our body. Older people are more prone to stiffness and orthopedic injury than younger people because of physical inactivity. Over time, muscles become stiffer and joints degenerate, producing less joint-lubricating synovial fluid. Connective tissues gradually lose their elasticity and muscle fibers shorten. This loss in flexibility can make common daily tasks such as bending over, a chore and fool the mind and body into thinking that it is unable to embark on any exercise. However, about eighty percent of all lower back pain results from poorly conditioned muscles. A simple exercise program can help strengthen the back and eliminate most of these pains, even after a few weeks. By strengthening these joints and muscles, you may eventually be able to participate in other activities and reduce your risk of injury.
As studies have shown again and again, older people begin to lose certain physical and mental abilities because they are not using them. In fact, scientists believe that the decline in strength and muscular endurance is due more to disuse of neuromuscular system than to aging. Small, gradual decreases in strength take place because of a loss in muscle fiber until about age sixty, when a more marked decline occurs. Yet, elderly people who are put on a program of strength training produce increases in strength, and suffer a loss of strength with age is considered ‘hardly noticeable’.
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