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Kinesiology is a discipline that deals with the study of human movements applying the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology and neuroscience. This discipline mainly focuses on the physiological, mechanical and psychological mechanisms that are associated with human movement. Kinesiology is highly applicable in the field of medicine and it has been applied in physical and occupational therapy. In today’s modern world, kinesiologists are playing a key role is researches that are aimed at slowing down the process of aging (Werner, et al. 2009). For many years, scientists have been working very hard to come up with remedies that can counteract the process of aging which have seen kinesiology become one of those of interventions which are highly thought to slow down the process of aging. According to Rowe & Kahn (1998), aging successfully hinges on our ability to avoid disease or disability, maintain a high level of cognitive and physical capacity, and remain actively engaged in life.
The process of aging has been linked to a lot of problems some of which are irreversible. Our bodies change as we age which is at times accompanied by a lot of adverse effects which include: - loss of muscles, loss of cognition, slowing of the bodies metabolic rate which may lead to obesity, reduced mineral contents on bones which makes bone fragile, reduced flexibility which occurs as a result of inelastic ligaments, reduced joint motion, increased cost of medical care due to the high number of aged people just to mention a few.
Due to this many problems brought about by aging, a lot of research have been done on aging and how physical activities can help to slow down the process of aging. Regular physical activity has been shown to be very essential in promoting almost every one’s physical and mental health (Rowe, & Kahn, 1997). Physically active people have been shown to remain healthy throughout their life and to continue doing the things that they enjoy doing. It has also been shown that regular physical activities help to reduce the risk of developing some diseases and disabilities which occur during old age. Physiotherapy been used in the treatment of some chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and persons with difficulties in walking.
One of the most fascinating research that has been carried out recently aimed at determining whether long-term physical activity slows down aging on the cellular level, obtained results that indeed proved that physical activity indeed has a key role in reducing the rate of aging. Scientists have discovered that telomeres which functions to protect the end of the chromosome hold the key as to why we age. They explain that cells become old and die due to the shortening of chromosomal telomeres. Therefore, aging can be controlled by preventing the length of the telomere from changing (Chapman-Novakofski, et al. 2007). In this research, scientists showed that natural mechanism (long-term physical activity) existed which is able to produce an anti-aging effect. The results obtained suggested that prolonged physical activity increased the production the enzyme telomerase which is responsible for reducing telomere shortening in human leukocytes. This was evident in athletes who were exposed to long-term physical activities compared to people who had no exposure to any physical activity and were aging normally.
As more is been done on ways to make people age successfully, study has shown that regular physical activities are responsible for boosting the immune system of the old aged. (Werner, et al. 2009), suggested that physical activities boosted the immune response of the old aged to influenza vaccinations.
Stretching has been found out to be very excellent in maintaining joint flexibility. Muscle mass and strength has also been found to increase when weight training is done regularly which enables people to stay fit and able to do their dairy activities without much exertion. Cases of high blood pressure, heart disease and cancers which are commonly associated with old age can be reduced by moderate exercises (Dimmeler, & Vasa-Nicotera, 2003). Loss of muscle mass and increase in body fat which is associated with old age can be reduced through long term physical activities. The body’s response time, its ability to deliver and utilize oxygen efficiently can be boosted through regular exercises.
In conclusion, from the few points discussed in this paper, there is no doubt that kinesiology holds a very key role in ensuring that individuals age successfully. It would therefore be very important to ensure that institutions offering health services such health promotion industries, rehabilitation centers, disability management centers and medical research institutions have well trained kinesiologists. It would also be of importance to appreciate that, researches that are continually been carried out regarding the process of aging are giving scientists an insight on how people can be made to age successfully. In conclusion, I would recommend that all persons be enlightened on the importance of having regular physical activities for their own well being.