Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stay Physically Healthy when old

The most widely accepted definition of health is that of the World Health Organization Constitution. It states: "health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" (World Health Organization, 1946).



In more recent years, this statement has been amplified to include the ability to lead a "socially and economically productive life". The WHO definition is not without criticism, mainly that it is too broad. Some argue that health cannot be defined as a state at all, but must be seen as a dynamic process of continuous adjustment to the changing demands of living. In spite of its limitations, the concept of health as defined by WHO is broad and positive in its implications, in that it sets out a high standard for positive health.
 
The most solid aspects of wellness that fit firmly in the realm of medicine are the environmental health, nutrition, disease prevention, and public health matters that can be investigated and assist in measuring well-being.

Physical fitness has been defined as a set of attributes or characteristics that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity.
 
The above definition from Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General is the most common currently used definition of physical fitness. It was originally used by Caspersen and has been used extensively.

An alternative definition by Howley and Frank that provides additional descriptive information is: Physical fitness is a state of well-being with low risk of premature health problems and energy to participate in a variety of physical activities. While either is a good definition, most experts agree that physical fitness is both multidimensional and hierarchical.


Specific or task-oriented fitness is a person's ability to perform in a specific activity with a reasonable efficiency: for example, sports or military service. Specific training prepares athletes to perform well in their sports.
Examples are:
  • 100 m sprint: in a sprint the athlete must be trained to work anaerobically throughout the race, an example of how to do this would be interval training.
  • Marathon: in this case the athlete must be trained to work aerobically and their endurance must be built-up to a maximum.
  • Many fire fighters and police officers undergo regular fitness testing to determine if they are capable of the physically demanding tasks required of the job.
  • Soldiers of the United States Army must be able to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).
  • Hill sprints, this training requires a level of fitness to begin with, the exercise is particularly good for the leg muscles. The army often trains doing mountain climbing and races.

Menopause and Physical Fitness

The menopausal period in women is frequently associated with many subjective complaints including vasomotor symptoms, sleep disturbance, alteration in mood, lowered libido, and musculoskeletal pain. All of these symptoms could lead to a lower quality of life.

Physical Fitness has the ability to alleviate or even eliminate the effect of most of these. Women experiencing their menopausal period should engage in regular exercise to achieve better physical fitness.



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