But too much rest may do more harm than good. Once prescribed almost universally for back pain, illness, and discomfort of all kinds, bed rest has been shown in studies to be associated with loss of strength and endurance, changes in soft tissue, bone loss, joint disease, high blood pressure, and weakening of the cardiovascular system. It’s one reason falls are a danger for people over 80: The resulting injuries may heal, but the health complications from staying in bed for weeks can be irreversible.
Around 1900, Tasmanian-born Australian professional reciter and theatrical producer Frederick Alexander developed a novel methodology to harmonize full-body functional movements. As a child, Alexander suffered respiratory ailments, leading to the initial purpose of developing the method – to normalize his personal voice function in order to materialize a stage performance dream. In 1902, Alexander established the Sydney Dramatic and Operatic Conservatorium and in 1904, moved to London to spread his teaching method. During the first years, Alexander focused on teaching ‘full chest breathing’ techniques mainly to stage artists and people with breathing pathologies.19 Staring J. Frederick Matthias Alexander 1869-1955. The Origins and History of the Alexander Technique. A medical historical analysis of F.M. Alexander’s life, work, technique, and writings. Nijmegen: Radboud Universiteit; 2005. [Google Scholar] However, he soon discovered that retrieving the natural ‘conscious control’ via mindful postures and movements resulted in benefits not only for the vocal health and performance but also the health and performance of the whole body and mind.20 Alexander FM. Man's supreme inheritance. London: Methuen; 1910. [Google Scholar] This holistic evolvement transformed the newly formed ‘Alexander Technique’ into a general remedy and preventative tool suitable for all populations. Alexander explained in his 1910 book ‘Man’s Supreme Inheritance:’20 Alexander FM. Man's supreme inheritance. London: Methuen; 1910. [Google Scholar]
The beneficial effect of exercise on the cardiovascular system is well documented. There is a direct correlation between physical inactivity and cardiovascular mortality, and physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease. Low levels of physical exercise increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases mortality.
2) Another critique related to safety (and one that betrays my affection for yoga) is the BREATH is not emphasized nearly enough. Breath and movement go hand in hand with yoga. This helps give much needed oxygen to the tissues when their demands are the highest, but it also helps the person move with the body instead of jerking the body into cranked up positions. I believe this is another spot that could contribute to injuries.
Cardio-wise, there's no need to completely abandon what you love. Just tweak it. "At least one day a week, do a different activity than usual," Dixon advises. "If you're a walker, hit the pool. If you're a cyclist, get to know the rowing machine." Increase intensity during your second cardio workout of the week, and up your workout time during the third session. "Those three changes will keep your body guessing," she says.
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.