Info Sharing

2018/08/14 Improve flexibility, coordination and balance

Health Improvement Project

As people age, the Articular capsules, ligaments, and tendons will gradually decline as well, affecting the limbs’ ability to extend. Aging will additionally cause a drop in the ability to respond and limbs coordination balance.
Authoritative publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet and many others have pointed out that, each year, approximately 30-60% of the elderly over the age of 65 experiences at least a fall at some point. Falling over can induce or aggravate the original condition which the elderly people have, causing psychological trauma, lowering agility and independency, which subsequently reduces the independent activities and affects the quality of life. Fall has become one of the main causes of disability, dysfunction and mortality in elderly. Elderly falling and injuries due to falling (such as femoral neck fractures, head injuries) have been one of the chief component of medical expenditures, as well as the main reason for mortality in elderly over 75 years old. In Taiwan, fall is the prime injury cause for elderly over 65 years old.

Recommendations by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM):
Improvements in balance training should be provided for elderly living in the community and with high risk of falling (for instance: frequent falling or disability) in order to minimize the risk of falling.
TURTLE GYM’s combines mechanical isokinetic exercises, vertical and horizontal rhythmic movements in designing fall prevention classes. These methods allow power enhancement, balance, coordination, agility to lower risk of falling and falling-related injuries.

Many studies have provided evidence that vertical rhythmic movements are able to improve elderly people’s postural stability, increase speed of movements, enhance ability to walk, strengthen directional control, reinforce balance abilities and somatic sensory to decrease the risk factors causing falling in elderly. Studies have indicated that the main reason for the decline of balance and gait instability is due to a decrease in muscle power. Such reason is also an important factor in repetitive falling. Hence, muscle power training will allow elderly people to acquire maximum muscle power, and effectively adjust their gait kinematics, such as step velocity, rhythm, and maximum joint mobility.

Flexibility exercises will enable maximization of the large joint range of movements, which are beneficial to elevating bodies’ agility and coordination, especially in cases of body injury prevention in accidents. Flexibility exercises are done through muscle stretching and extension to lower the muscle tonicity, preventing muscle spasms, as well as lowering muscle fatigue. This enhances the muscles and ligament elasticity in conjunction with nutrient supply to these areas to delay aging and slows the declining elasticity of blood vessel walls. Mechanical vertical and horizontal rhythmic movements in agility training enables elderly to maintain daily activity and sports exercise requirements.