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Therefore, elderly people should exercise their muscles – Full house when an expert in Älvdalen-Dallabegden lectures

Therefore, elderly people should exercise their muscles – Full house when an expert in Älvdalen-Dallabegden lectures

One of Sweden's leading experts and researchers in the field of physical training and health, Michael Tonkonogy, can recently be found on stage at the Älvdalen cinema. He gave lectures to the village elders, and the interest was so great that they had to change their place of work. His message: Lift heavy things once a week and you'll prevent common diseases.

It was Atletklubb and RF-SISU Dalarna from Älvdalen who invited us to attend the lecture “How should we train in old age?”. From the beginning, the lecture was scheduled to take place at the Älvdalen Hotel, but due to great interest, the lecture was moved to the Älvdalen Cinema, where 100 elderly people sat on the seats.

– There is more and more knowledge about how important it is to stretch your muscles to their maximum at some point in the week. It doesn't have to be four hours a day, but 30 minutes a week can be enough to avoid common illnesses and stay strong and healthy longer, says Michael.

One of the country's leading experts

Michael is a professor of medical sciences specializing in sports physiology and one of Sweden's leading experts and researchers in the field of physical training and health. Michael is primarily a physical education teacher and coach. He believes that strength training can combat many of our common diseases.

– If we do not exercise, we lose muscle mass and strength and as a result this can lead to several general diseases such as diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, dementia and osteoporosis. Even in old age, you need to make an effort. Our bodies are designed to conserve energy. If you never signal to the body that you need muscle, it will naturally grab muscle and then the risk of disease is high, says Michael.

Hormones that come from muscles control most things in the body. The thyroid gland produces two different hormones – our thousands of muscles. They are the ones who control the appearance of wrinkles, gray hair, the immune system and fatty tissue.

– In Sweden, we focus a lot on walking, and this is a good and very important thing, but it does not meet all the needs of the elderly. You should stress the body at least once a week, preferably in different ways.

– We are also number one in the world in osteoporosis, and Norway is in second place, and there is only one way to prevent it, so walking does not only help. We also need more vitamin D, but lifting weights until we can't handle it anymore is the most important. You can make it easier for yourself, you can remove a few cartons of milk if you want. As long as you do it in different ways and until you can't stand it anymore.

“Equally trainable regardless of age”

The lecture at Älvdalens Biograf was greatly appreciated and Michael received a very positive response afterwards.

– It turns out well, there are probably a lot of people who have recognized themselves when you describe the body as it ages. It doesn't always work out the way you want. You may not be able to tie your shoes or climb stairs as much as before, and the body adapts.

-But the positive thing is that it doesn't matter how old you are. You're as fit as you were when you were 20 years old. But for many, coming to the gym may be a high threshold. However, it's also a good idea to do strength training at home using what you have. Lift some rocks, chairs, milk cartons, or use rubber bands. The important thing is to do it, concludes Michael.

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