Ejercicio aeróbico

Exercise for healthy ageing

Exercise for healthy ageing

This article is an extract from a magnificent conference given by Dr. Hernán Silván, Doctor of Medicine and Surgery and Sports Physician. In addition, I recommend reading the book “Corre con salud, corre por salud” by Dr. Hernán Silván, a work that offers valuable insights on how to maintain health through exercise.

Well-timed physical exercise is essential to prevent various diseases and improve quality of life. In this article, we will explore how exercise can be part of an integrative health plan for healthy ageing.

Exercise at all ages

Benefits of physical exercise

Regular and well-structured exercise helps to prevent:

  • Premature mortality
  • Ischaemic heart disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Arterial hypertension
  • Colon, breast and endometrial cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity, overweight
  • Osteoporosis
  • Functional dependence and falls in the elderly
  • Cognitive impairment

It also strengthens the immune system, improves mental and emotional health, stimulates neurogenesis, mental clarity and memory.

Healthy ageing

Healthy ageing involves maintaining the ability to be active and enjoy life regardless of age. Choosing healthy lifestyles, including physical activity, is key to achieving this goal.

Is there an age to start? It is never too late to adopt healthy habits. Ageing is a continuous process, and it is always a good time to improve our lifestyle.

Aerobic exercise

Components of a healthy lifestyle

  1. Physical activity: keeping active with exercise appropriate to each stage of life.
  2. Emotional well-being: managing stress and maintaining healthy social relationships.
  3. Healthy Eating: eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients.
  4. Avoid tobacco and alcohol: reduce or eliminate the consumption of harmful substances.

Why does exercise work for healthy ageing?

Physical exercise acts on multiple levels to promote health in old age:

  • Releases endorphins: improves mood.
  • Boosts immunity: increases neutrophils, T-cells and B-lymphocytes.
  • Decreases inflammation: reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines.
  • Reduces oxidative stress.
  • Improves fatigue: prevents hypoxia and improves blood flow.
  • Increases NK lymphocytes: strengthens the first line of natural defence.
  • Decreases immunosenescence: maintains the effectiveness of the immune system.
  • Releases catecholamines: improves adaptation to stress.
  • Releases neurogenic factors (BDNF): promotes neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
  • Releases myokines: reduces inflammation.
    Releases myokines: reduces inflammation.

Muscle releases myokines

What type of exercise?

To obtain the above-mentioned benefits, it is important to include different types of exercise:

  • Flexibility : improves joint travel
  • Elasticy improves mobility and prevents injuries.
  • Strength: to gain muscle mass and avoid sarcopenia.
  • Balance: prevents falls and improves stability.
  • Aerobic exercise: improves cardiovascular and metabolic health.

Balance exercise

How much exercise?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends:

  • Aerobic physical activity:
    • 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity per week
    • o 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity per week.
  • In addition, two days a week of muscle-strengthening activities.


How to schedule it?

It is important to adapt the intensity and duration of exercise according to physical condition and age. Using the Borg Scale to measure perceived physical exertion and calculate maximum heart rate.

Example of a standard 50-minute session:

  1. 10 minutes: warm-up with flexibility movements.
  2. 20 minutes: strengthening (light weight) and coordination.
  3. 15 minutes: aerobic work such as exercise bike, rowing…
  4. 5 minutes: stretching ( yoga…)


5 minutes: stretching ( yoga…)Exercise not only improves physical but also mental and emotional capacity, contributing to a better quality of life and preventing deterioration as we age. In addition, it helps maintain muscle mass, strength, lung function, metabolic homeostasis, and cardiovascular function, while reducing fragilty.

In conclusion, physical exercise should be an essential component of any integrative health plan to ensure healthy and active ageing. Adopt these habits and enjoy a fuller, healthier life over the years.

CArrange an orientation appointment with Dr. Carmen Romero to WhatsApp 669 979 939. Start taking care of your well-being today!