● According to a recent study, people over 50 should only engage in vigorous physical activity to prevent musculoskeletal pain.
● Even while all exercise is healthy, increasing the intensity as you become older might have additional benefits including improved bone density and mobility.
Aging increases the likelihood of experiencing pain, particularly chronic musculoskeletal pain that impacts joints and muscles. A recent study published in the journal PLoS ONE1 suggests that increasing your level of activity is one strategy to strengthen your preventative efforts. What you need to know about increasing exercise intensity as you get older is provided below.
More than 5,800 adults over 50 who participated in a significant, extensive, and ongoing study on ageing in England were examined by researchers. Over the course of a 10-year period, participants reported their levels of physical activity as well as whether they experienced any kind of chronic pain; almost half of them did so.
There were four categories in which the activity was divided. These groups comprised:
● inactive or sedentary
● mild, like household chores
● moderate exercises like stretching, walking, and gardening
● vigorous activities including tennis, riding, swimming, and running
Lower Risk of Musculoskeletal Pain
The only degree of physical activity that was linked to a lower risk of musculoskeletal pain compared to a sedentary lifestyle, which was linked to a higher likelihood of chronic pain, was the highest level of physical activity.
According to lead author Nils Niederstrasser, PhD, senior lecturer in the psychology department at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, where his research focuses on pain, injury, rehabilitation.
The Key Is Consistency
Dr. Niederstrasser continues, “We also found that intermittent strenuous exercise was not effective in reducing pain.” The study found that participants who engaged in this form of exercise at least once a week—and ideally several times a week—were the least likely to experience musculoskeletal pain during the course of the 10-year trial. Even after taking age, weight, and gender into account, this was still the case.
According to Dr. Niederstrasser, there may be a number of factors contributing to the substantial association between high physical activity and decreased pain occurrence. High levels of physical activity, for instance, may enhance health, reduce weight gain, and promote improved muscular function.
Additionally, it may result in increased bone density and a decreased incidence of injuries, notably falls. Increased physical exercise can have an impact on mood and stress levels as well.
Maintaining muscle mass also frequently necessitates additional effort. Similar to this most recent study, a 2011 study emphasised the necessity of intense exercise in order to lessen or eliminate musculoskeletal discomfort.
Naturally, it’s beneficial to gain muscle mass when you’re younger so you can maintain it as you become older, according to Dr. Pereira. But honestly, there are advantages to beginning exercising at any age.