Efectos del envejecimiento en las capacidades físicas: implicaciones en las recomendaciones de ejercicio físico en personas mayores. (Effects of aging on physical fitness: implications in the recommendations of physical activity for older adults).

Ana Carbonell Baeza, Virginia A. Aparicio García- Molina, Manuel Delgado Fernández


El envejecimiento produce una involución de las capacidades físicas que origina un deterioro del estado físico y una reducción de la funcionalidad personal. Conforme avanza la edad se produce una pérdida de fuerza, un descenso de la capacidad aeróbica y una reducción progresiva no lineal y específica por articulación y movimiento articular de la flexibilidad. Además, los desórdenes de equilibrio son frecuentes en las personas mayores, por lo que el trabajo de flexibilidad y equilibrio, secundario en personas adultas, cobra especial protagonismo en las personas mayores. Asociada a la edad se producen modificaciones sustanciales de la composición corporal, con una disminución de la masa libre de grasa, que condiciona un descenso del gasto metabólico basal y un incremento de la masa grasa. La práctica de actividad física ha demostrado ser una herramienta eficaz para atenuar o retardar el envejecimiento, pero sólo si dicho ejercicio es practicado de forma regular y con la intensidad adecuada, contribuirá a mejorar la capacidad funcional global del organismo. Las diferentes recomendaciones de actividad física para personas mayores publicadas hasta la fecha, determinan dichos criterios mínimos de volumen e intensidad, por lo que se deben tener presentes a la hora de realizar una prescripción de ejercicio físico a una persona mayor.

Palabras clave: envejecimiento; personas mayores; recomendaciones; actividad física.


Aging process is associated with progressive declines in physical fitness and functionality. Across age, there is a lost of strength, aerobic capacity (Vo2max) and a progressive but not linear decreasing of specific joint mobility. Furthermore, balance disorders are common in older people. In addition, the flexibility and balance training, which is secondary in adult people, it is of special relevance in old people. Age-related changes occur in body composition: fat free mass decreases and it determines lower energy expenditure and consequent increase in fat mass. Physical activity has showed to be an useful tool for decelerating the aging process; however, benefits only occur when the physical activity is practiced at the appropriate volume and intensity. Different recommendations for frequency, intensity and duration of physical exercise have been published. The current recommendations for elderly people, determine the minimal criteria for volume and intensity, and they must be taken into consideration when prescribing physical exercise in old people.

Key words: aging process; old people; recommendations; physical activity.


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Palabras clave/key words

envejecimiento; personas mayores; recomendaciones; actividad física; aging; old people; recommendations; physical activity.

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RICYDE. Revista Internacional de Ciencias del Deporte

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