University of Niš, Serbia
Physical activity is one of the main public health problems in both developing and developed countries. Up to now we have strong evidence that physical activity is associated with aging process and level of physical activity decreases during lifespan. At the other side age related changes in neuromuscular and sensorimotor system negatively affect all health related physical fitness components (Milanovic et al., 2013). Low level of overall fitness represents high risk for many acute and chronicle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, etc. (Milanovic et al., 2015).
It is well known that improving or maintaining physical fitness reduces the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular diseases if general recommendations are implemented during training programme. However, conclusions from different studies have shown contradictory results regarding health-related physical fitness components in elderly population. Some of the studies confirmed positive effects of strength and resistance training on body composition and muscle fitness (Nader, 2006) with minimal effect on other components. In additional, moderate intensity continuous running, high-intensity interval running as well as brisk walking are efficient interventions for improving cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition regarding age, gender or training status (Milanović et al., 2015). Despite that, which training programme simultaneously improve all health-related physical fitness components is still unclear. Obviously we need more studies which will investigate complex training programme and its effect on body composition, muscle fitness, cardiorespiratory fitness and flexibility.
Effective approaches to help older people maintain a healthy and active life are urgently needed, as the elderly have twice as many disabilities and four times as many physical limitations as people less than 60 years of age (Milanovic et al., 2013). In respect to the implications for maintaining level of physical activity and independence, quality of life and functional fitness as a function of age should be investigated in more details (Jorgic et al., 2011). Z. Milanović et al. (2014) concluded that quality of life depend on physical activity level in both men and women. Also, quality of life is strongly associated with independence and non-assisted care which are determined by high level of overall fitness status.
The present findings provide strong evidence that chronic inactivity and degenerative changes could be prevented by regular physical activity in elderly population. In additional, even short term trainings lead to significant improvements but broad-spectrum effect of these interventions are limited to only few components. Obviously, complex training method may be suggested as activity which consisting of different movement patterns that stimulate both aerobic and strength performance. In that case we could expect broad spectrum effect and impact on all health-related physical fitness components.