Aging and the physical exercise

El envejecimiento y el ejercicio físico


*Acadêmico do Curso de Educação Física da Universidade Regional de Blumenau. FURB

**Professor Doutor do Curso de Educação Física da Universidade Regional de Blumenau, FURB

Professor do Curso de Educação Física e História do Centro Universitário

para o Desenvolvimento do Alto Vale do Itajaí – UNIDAVI


Leonardo Bianchine Farias*


Eduardo Cartier**







          Aging is a phenomenon inherent in human beings. Ageing quality is still a challenge for most individuals. In this sense, the exercise comes as an opportunity to offer the best conditions of human experience, and in turn, changing your entire way of understanding health.

          Keywords: Aging. Physical exercise. Physical Education.


EFDeportes.com, Revista Digital. Buenos Aires, Año 16, Nº 163, Diciembre de 2011. http://www.efdeportes.com/

1 / 1

Initial considerations

    One of the issues that most concern currently is the third age. As a result, there are issues of concern directly related to this social group, such as caring for the body and improves the quality of life. Helping the body to age harmoniously, making old age more than one stage of life where we can find a natural way seems a big challenge in technological times.

    The body ages, and will become progressively losing his faculties. Given all of these possible changes, physical activity acts positively or as a means of prevention, either as a form of maintenance. It is important that every one knows your body, your chances of movement, their ability to perform an exercise correctly (PONT GEIS, 2003).

    Aging is a process that involves variables such as genetics, lifestyle and chronic disease interact to influence the way we age. Aging can be characterized as a continuous process of remodeling and progressive loss of physiological capacities and with different magnitudes and singularities (RASO, 2007, CORAZZA 2001).

    The world population will be 2 billion people in 2050 sixties, which may correspond to more than 20% of the world, with significant changes in social organization, beginning with the family, understanding to a new architecture of cities and new models health systems and social security (O Estatuto do Idoso, 2008).

    The physical exercises are not sufficient to reduce the risk of disease, however greatly contribute to improved health, increased quality of life and satisfaction in life (BARRETO, 2004).

    From this brief background on this study's main objective is to verify the reasons why elderly women to practice the methods of aerobics and resistance training with weights.

Paths taken

    For this study, we used exploratory qualitative research as a theme of achievement of objectives. This is very subjective in that the worldview of the people varies according to their perceptions (THOMAS, NELSON, SILVERMAN, 2007).

    Intentionally selected the population and the sample, which consisted of elderly women practicing aerobics and resistance training practitioners with weights (TRP) in the city of Blumenau / SC.

    The sample consisted of 24 individuals, 16 practitioners and eight hydro TRP practitioners in the city of Blumenau - Santa Catarina, all females who met the inclusion criteria, namely: consent to participate in, practice the sport of gymnastics and resistance training with weights, be over 50 years and practicing the procedure for at least five months.

    As a research tool, the technique of semi-structured interview, namely:

  1. What reasons led to practice the kind of aerobics or resistance training with weights, and how long you do it?

  2. What benefits do they feel after the class?

  3. Feel that after long-term benefits to the sport?

    The interview is an effective tool in collecting reliable data and to draft a survey, provided it is well designed, well performed and interpreted (ANDRADE, 2005). All individuals signed a consent form.

The manifestation of reality

    We bring this point the considerations that led to observe the investigated data from the interview conducted with research participants. Schematically develop the analysis and discussion in three stages, establishing categories for better understanding of the study.

    First interview question: what are the reasons leading to practice form of aerobics or resistance training with weights, and how long you do it?

    The search for physical exercise takes place in most cases the orientation of other health professionals that indicate the type of exercise without specific knowledge about the mode of exercitation.

    When asked about the reasons why the practice of gymnastics some research subjects responded:

    “o médico prescreveu, depois da alta da fisioterapia pediu para fazer hidroginástica. Fazia fisioterapia por causa de um AVC” (Entrevistado 1)

    “prescrição médica, por causa de artrite, artrose, e por causa do coração. Não teve médico que disse que não fosse bom a hidro, todos recomendaram” (Entrevistado 2).

    Regarding to resistance training with weights obtained the following responses as:

    “[...] eu fazia 3 vezes por semana natação e começou a afetar a minha coluna e então optei por fazer musculação e minha coluna melhorou. Fui a vários médicos e muitos me aconselhavam a prática” (Entrevistado 1). “[...] porque tinha problemas na coluna e problemas na marcha, e fui ao massagista e ele pediu para procurar uma academia” (Entrevistado 2).

    Pertaining to above accounts; didactically selected from the frequencies of responses, it is clear that many of these individuals sought by practical indications of health professionals often without specific knowledge to indicate a guided practice.
From the perspective of competencies, Physical Educator fulfills the conditions necessary and fundamental to direct adequate physical exercise to achieve a better state of health, whether it is age.

    The Physical Education professional can help the elderly to grow in an authentic way, discovering their potential and their chances against the world. Should consider the elderly as it is, not to feel threatened by demands not imagine being able to meet (OKUMA, 1998).

    The confidence gained by the teacher of the elderly is a means by which he may call into question the value of their efforts, if the participants do not know how to recognize the dangers of risk factors (MEIRELLES, 1997).

    When we talk about health, we need the notion that there is a vast field of action for all professionals, it is clear that there are phases in which the work of a professional exercise greater importance than another regardless of the condition (STUDART, 2010).

    The search for an exercise program may arise as a result of medical counseling as adjuvant therapy to treatment of diseases or comorbidities, and there are cases of people who adhere to exercise regularly as a preventative (RASO, 2007).

    The hydro has been very popular for its expressive and objective response. This demand is increasingly happening for medical indications, referrals from friends and even by a personal curiosity, being an activity that in addition to "cure" is fun (ROCHA, (s/d)).

    We can observe that the demand for the study of these modalities for the elderly as well as being a statement of some health care professional, is also given by the concern of these individuals with the quality of life observed in the following report:

    “[...] é indispensável nessa idade ficar sem exercício físico e para manter uma saúde estável” (Entrevistado 1) “porque eu pratiquei outras atividades, mas como eu tenho artrose e as atividades me deixava muito doída e a hidroginástica me ajuda, não doe e eu durmo melhor” (Entrevistado 2).

    We observed some reports more than illustrate this concern, in view of the practitioners of resistance training with weights:

    “[...] é bom para a saúde, e o médico indicou por causa da pressão alta” (Entrevistado 1) “[...] antes eu caminhava e depois parei, e resolvi procurar a musculação” (Entrevistado 2).

    Physical activity has positive effects on the body throughout the life of human beings. It helps in maintaining the way of good standards of health, and improve the quality of life (PONT GEIS, 2003).

    With the practice of gymnastics, there is a relaxation column, feeling the decrease in body weight, involves the most muscle groups, balance phases of tension and relaxation. Energy expenditure in water is increased due to the overload that causes the water, freeing the joints of impact or shock, relieving pain and pleasure causing the performer (DELGADO & DELGADO, 2001).

    All ages looking for physical activity, including strength training, returned with the goal of improving quality of life and health (GUEDES, 2003). Muscles are the engines of the body and over the years, the muscles lose size and strength, resulting in physical weakness and various degenerative problems (WESTCOTT & BAECHLE, 2001).

    Signals also the same author above that to avoid muscle loss can be adhered to strength training. Through a simple exercise program of strength training, you can replace a large amount of capacity lost muscle.

    Second interview question: what benefits you feel after the class?

    The concept of physical activity is very broad and should be considered as any voluntary bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure above the baseline, so physical activity is presented through a number of categories according to energy expenditure and occurs while the person works or is in free time and shows a positive correlation with physical fitness, not necessarily associated with health (RASO, 2007).

    Physical activity cultivates friendships, conversations, entertainment. The ideal exercise program for seniors is one that is both pleasurable. The benefits of exercise extend even to the emotional state, from the perception of better physical appearance and greater willingness to perform the tasks of day-to-day (SABA, 2003).

    Physical activity can be an instrument to try to balance or minimize the biological impact of losses, the active way of life should be seen as a way to break the vicious circle of increasing age / inactivity / illness / disability (MATSUDO , 2001).

    The elderly look for the gymnastics, because their practice is contagious and gives a cheer to the elderly, there is an improvement in your body, strengthen muscles and bones making them denser, making it healthier as well. There is a better physical and mental, which helps a lot in self-esteem of the elderly making it stronger and more participatory in their personal life (ROCHA, (s/d)).

    Older people who adhere to exercise with weights tend to improve many aspects of psychosocial and behavioral factors, such as reduction of depressive symptoms, improved well-being and daily physical activity, and many others (RASO, 2007).

    For the elderly in addition to physical activity to benefit physically, socially also benefits, especially group activities as well as water aerobics that provides healthy and pleasurable moments of relaxation and as can be seen in the reports of the interviews, more willing.

    Activities such as TRP, despite being seen by some as directed at men or athletes, elderly has gained many supporters, this practice helps a lot especially in the prevention and muscle strength, where the population is affected with the aging process and in accordance with the participants in the sample of this work the practice of TRP also provides relaxation and gives more available for day-to-day old.

    Something that can be observed in an interview two groups of participants in this study are the fact that these practices provide the older, more available and well-being, suggesting that this population which leads to practice these activities beyond the physical and mental health, also gives the feeling of pleasure, as reported by the interviewees available, we believe that practitioners need to be in direct contact with these activities, despite the physical benefits they achieve what attracts them most is that the welfare activities provide.

    We observed these views in the interviews with practitioners of gymnastics, namely:

    “sinto-me ótimo, porque consigo fazer meu serviço de casa sozinha e não preciso mais de empregada. Sinto-me tão bem, e é isso que está me fazendo parar de fumar” (Entrevistado 1) “me sinto ótima, me sinto mais aliviada, quando fico muito tempo sem fazer me sinto muito doída” (Entrevistado 2).

    We also observed in reports from practitioners of resistance training:

    “sinto uma diferença muita grande, me sinto melhor” (Entrevistado 1) “fico mais disposta e quando faço de manhã é melhor ainda, dá uma relaxada” (Entrevistado 2).

    Third interview question: what benefits they feel after a long period with the sport?

    Aging with a better quality usually associated with a longer life too. Among the factors that threaten the welfare of the elderly, there is the loss of independence, the Lack of a social support network and financial issues (RASO, 2007).

    Aging is a complex that results from the mutual dependence between the biological, psychological and sociocultural factors interact that in humans. In old age, these different Aspects are needed. Like any human situation, old age has an existential dimension, which modifies the individual's relationship with oneself, with others, with the world and over time (OKUMA, 1998).

    In aging outwardly manifest certain traits, such as gray hair, wrinkles on the hands and face, sagging, among others. The agencies are also beginning to show signs of fatigue or inattention. Each fabric, each engine on their own ages and with different speed and rhythm of others, can not speak of a point and a specific moment of human life that becomes involution evolution (PONT GEIS, 2003).

    Asked about the benefits of exercise in the long-term, stand out:

    “melhorou tudo, a fala e principalmente a caminhada, porque antes eu não andava me arrastava, o braço também melhorou, antes demorava para passar roupa, hoje passo bem rápido, até para atender o telefone era difícil e agora atendo com mais rapidez, antes dependia totalmente de outra pessoa e agora não dependo mais de ninguém, só para algumas coisas como pintar cabelo, arrumar sobrancelha, mas agora consigo limpar minha casa sozinha, durmo sozinha” (Entrevistado 1) “me dá mais pique, energia, axo que a gente se alimenta melhor, respira melhor e dorme melhor, e acho que traz alegria, qualquer coisa que a gente faz e gosta traz alegria, eu sou uma pessoa de grupo, não consigo me isolar, sou muito comunicativa preciso de gente ao meu redor” (Entrevistado 2).

    The practitioners of resistance training with weights describe their practices as follows:

    “melhorou! Mais disposição, vontade de viver” (Entrevistado 1) “melhorou, não ando mais cruzando os pés e minha postura também melhorou. Logo que comecei os amigos da dança perceberam a mudança e pediam para que os outros me olhassem e percebessem a diferença na minha postura” (Entrevistado 2).

    The aging phenomenon will appear as a subordinate. Both laboratory and in nature, biological changes occur that will lead to inevitable death, which should be attributed to aging. The biological manifestations of the expression will depend largely on the medium, the morphological and functional changes associated with aging. It is impossible to differentiate phenomena that are consequences of processes intrinsic (genetic) or extrinsic (environmental, psychosocial environment, diseases). Aging is a common phenomenon inherent to all individuals (PONT GEIS, 2003).

    One of the main reasons for finding physical activities for the elderly is the issue of health, the onset of degenerative diseases. With aging, the human being goes through many changes, biological, psychological and socio-cultural changes that individuals are not always prepared, but with the increase in life expectancy of the world population people are gradually turning their attention to this aspect of quality of life, and this has shown that practice with awareness activities.

    The concept of health for the subjects of stress that health has a range that goes beyond the biological dimension. It shows that the groups are concerned primarily with the quality of life and the result observed with the practices of these activities by practitioners has benefited physically and provided many moments of pleasure and well-being.

Final considerations

    The aging process is something that should be closely monitored and supported by individual, so the elderly feel left out and useless in this case physical activity also aids in the physical well-being improves self-esteem of the elderly, which reports can be seen in the elderly, to be in contact with the activity they feel good with people and follow them, as seen most quoted and well-being available as a result of physical activities and water aerobics in this case resistance training with weights.

    The demand for this population practice some physical activity is through pleasure that these practices provide the fact that in large groups such as aerobics, provides moments of pleasure and be in direct contact with water provides more available and relaxation.

    There is still prejudice against the practice of resistance training with weights primarily by the elderly population, but today we can see a great demand for this practice by the elderly, plus all the benefits that physical activity provides the interviewees also causes the second welfare and available.

    Given this we believe that all these resulting mainly mental and physical benefits is the fact of being in direct contact with some type of physical activity, although the elderly are aware of the physical benefits provided by these practices what really attracts this population is and welfare provision activities they cause by being in contact with other people and the environment where they practice.


  • PONT GEIS, Pilar. Atividade física e saúde na terceira idade: teoria e prática. 5ª ed. Porto Alegre: Artmed, 2003.

  • RASO, Vagner. Envelhecimento saudável. 1ª ed. São Paulo, 2007.

  • CORAZZA, Maria Alice. Terceira idade & atividade física. São Paulo: Phorte Editora, 2001.

  • O Estatuto do Idoso e outros atos legais. – Brasília: Secretaria Especial dos Direitos Humanos. Subsecretaria de Promoção e Defesa dos Direitos Humanos, 2008.

  • BARRETO, Sidirley de Jesus, SILVA, Carlos Alberto. Gerontomotricidade. Blumenau: Acadêmica, 2004.

  • THOMAS, Jerry R. NELSON, Jack K. SILVERMAN, Stephen J. Métodos de pesquisa em atividade física. Tradução: Denise Regine de Sales, Márcia dos Santos Dornelles. 5ª ed. Porto Alegre: Artemed, 2007.

  • ANDRADE, Maria Margarida de. Introdução à metodologia do trabalho científico: elaboração de trabalhos na graduação. 7ª ed. São Paulo: Atlas, 2005.

  • OKUMA, Silene Sumire. O idoso e a atividade física: Fundamentos e pesquisa. Campinas, SP: Papirus, 1998.

  • MEIRELLES, Morgana A. E. Atividade física na terceira idade: uma abordagem sistêmica. Rio de Janeiro: Sprint, 1997.

  • STUDART, Bernardo. A intervenção do Profissional de Educação Física na SAÚDE! Revista EF, Rio de Janeiro, Ano IX, Número 36, junho 2010.

  • ROCHA, Júlio Cezar Chaves. Hidroginástica teoria e prática. Rio de Janeiro: Sprint, s/d.

  • DELGADO, Cesar Augusto; DELGADO, Shirley de Jesus Gomes Nogueira. A prática da hidroginástica. Rio de Janeiro: Sprint, 2001.

  • GUEDES, Dilmar Pinto. Musculação: estética e saúde feminina. São Paulo: Phorte, 2003.

  • WESTCOTT, Wayne, BAECHLE, Thomas. Treinamento de força para a terceira idade. Tradução: Carlos David Szlak. São Paulo: Manole, 2001.

  • SABA, Fabio. Mexa-se: atividade física, saúde e bem-estar. São Paulo: Takano Editora, 2003.

  • MATSUDO, Sandra Marcela Mahecha. Envelhecimento e atividade física. Londrina: Midiograf, 2001.

Another articles in English

Búsqueda personalizada

EFDeportes.com, Revista Digital · Año 16 · N° 163 | Buenos Aires, Diciembre de 2011
© 1997-2011 Derechos reservados