Lesson 16: Basic Principles of Sports Physiology (Part 7 of 7)

Coordination, health and aging

Which coordinative processes play a role in the maintenance of functional abilities and conversely, in the development of disorders and degenerative illnesses of the musculoskeletal system? Can the improvement of motor coordination lead to improvements in such ailments, or even prevent them from occurring in the first place?

These and other questions deserve to be addressed in the conception and actualization of sports health-related movement concepts, and are discussed here within a scientific context.

Injuries and pathological changes of the musculoskeletal system are frequently associated with changes in the nature of physical movements (protective postures, compensating movements, reduced range of motion, etc.). Neurological illness presents obvious changes in motor function. Such disorders of muscular function are associated with degeneration of neurophysiological proprioceptive controls. Other studies describe changes in muscular coordination due to back pain, where the spine is shown to play a decisive role in the neuromuscular control of both posture and movements. Because of this, the muscular control of the spine can be included as a risk factor for the development of back pain. Even muscular exhaustion has a decisive influence on the nature of physical movement, leading to evasive movements. In this way, tired flexion- and extension movements of the torso can be shown to cause evasive movements in the transverse and saggital planes, which in turn can increase the risk of spinal injury.Inadequate coordination has been identified in numerous studies as a risk factor for injuries to the musculoskeletal system.

Luckily, good coordination can be a factor in the prevention of injury. This can be seen in a situation where rapid muscular stabilization mitigates the effects of a strain being placed on the joints, thereby aiding in the prevention of injury. Studies have shown that deficits in sensorimotor controls of joint stability are a major cause of knee and ankle injuries. On the other hand, numerous studies have also shown that sensorimotor training can lessen the risk of injury.

The particular value of coordinative skill plays a role of primary importance in relation to the effects of aging.  Coordinative skill gradually begins to deteriorate around age 45, with this deterioration becoming more acute after age 60. The coordinative capability of balance is not only an essential prerequisite for the mastery of everyday physical tasks, but also necessary for independent living. A compromised sense of balance leads to a heightened danger of falling,Neuromuscular changes involved in the control of posture are another factor of the aging process. Degeneration of walking stability and speed, reduced step length and an increased need for support while walking all become more prominent with age and further increase the risk of falling. Sports Exercise programs for older adults are helpful in counteracting age-related degeneration of coordinative capabilities, and can even improve existing coordinative facilities over time.

As has already been mentioned, a comprehensive training program which incorporates conditioning and coordination is  ideally suited for the maintenance and improvement of overall health, while compensating for those deficits associated with the aging process.                        http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/tu/presse/bilder/bildanzeige.php?bild_id=465

Drums Alive ® is not only a motivating, dynamic, fun and diverse program, it also ties all forms of motor skills into a comprehensive physical workout that invites participation primarily through its high fun factor. This fun “ euphoric high” is caused by increases in the brain of certain chemicals. As with any activity, it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides to euphoria, such as decreased awareness of underlying cardiovascular issues. According to studies conducted at TU-Chemnitz (THE DRUM BEAT), this workout also inspires people to challenge themselves further than they might be willing to with other types of physical training. Drums Alive ® has the power to rouse people out of long-term states of physical inactivity and get active again, especially in the area of physical rehabilitation. Add the numerous benefical qualities that drumming has on the body and spirit, and it becomes apparent what sets Drums Alive ® apart from other forms of fitness training.


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