Emilio Jofré S. Msc.1,3,*; Álvaro Villalobos G. Msc.4; Paloma Ferrero H. Msc.5; Claudio Farías V. Msc.2,6; Gemma Gea G. PhD.3,7

  1. Instituto del Deporte, Universidad de las Américas, Escuela Licenciatura en Ciencias de la Actividad Física, Santiago, Chile.
  2. Laboratorio de Ciencias de la Actividad Física, el Deporte y la Salud, Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH), Santiago, Chile.
  3. Departamento de Ciencias del Deporte, Facultad de Ciencias del Deporte, Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia, Murcia, España.
  4. Programa de Fisiología y Biofísica, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas (ICBM), Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
  5. Facultad de Educación y Cultura, Universidad SEK, Santiago, Chile.
  6. Departamento de Didáctica de la Expresión Musical, Plástica y Corporal, Facultad de Educación, Universidad de Granada, Granada, España.
  7. Grupo de Investigación en Salud, Actividad Física, Fitness y Comportamiento Motor (GISAFFCOM), Departamento de Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del Deporte, Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia, Murcia, España.

* Correspondence to: Emilio Eduardo Jofré Saldía, Universidad de las Américas, Avenida 5 de Abril, 0620 Maipú, RegiónMetropolitana, Chile. E-mail: emiliojofre@me.com Telephone: 56 9 9701 0666

ABSTRACT

Aging is an inherent process to living beings that involves a deterioration of homeostatic regulation and functional reserve. Currently, the aging population has high levels of physical inactivity that aggravates muscle disuse, which in turn drastically affects functional capacity and quality of life. The aim of this narrative review is to present aging conditions and the protective role of physical exercise in functional reserve and capacity in relation to how we currently age. The regular practice of physical exercise provokes several favorable responses to the preservation of neuromuscular and cardiorespiratory function, which has a direct impact on physical capacity, even benefiting cognitive function. Physical exercise has been shown to have a protective effect on different systems, apart from contributing to the preservation of functionality and self-efficacy, which is why it is essential for healthy aging, since it favors a better resolution to stressful events such as falls and/or diseases. In conclusion, even though physical exercise does not prevent the deleterious conditions of aging, its effects are positively related to the maintenance of systemic functional reserve and capacity, which translates into greater autonomy, independence and quality of life related to health in the last stage of the life cycle.

Keywords: Aging, functional capacity, physical exercise, quality of life.

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