Importance of Gymnastics

The term Gymnastics lends itself to multiple interpretations and certainly makes us fly with the mind to “clichés” derived from this very ancient term.

Starting right from the Greek Gymnos, immediately imagine the torch held by the torch bearer and the Olympic games of Olympia; or to record: – hop, hop, hop – given by our professor of Physical Education at school; or even, in the parades of the 1930s, where the symbol of the physical power of a nation was represented.

All “clichés” that trace an idea of gymnastics based on physicality, or the conception that gymnastics is a complex of exercises that puts into motion our body made of bones, tendons and muscles.

Doing gymnastics means instead making movement, that is, putting our body into action; this concept involves not only physical movement but also education of the mind.

The human being is an inseparable unit and every physical, moral and intellectual part is integrated.

CONI, through its multimedia programs for sports operators, tells us that the main functions of the movement are:

  • conservation of the organism;
  • the development of the organism itself and in particular of the brain;
  • increasing the amount of information for the brain;

the increase in the expressive potential of the individual such as: language, motor culture, motor intelligence, motor expression.

To move means to grow, to store more and more new and different information that leads to increase the knowledge of ourselves, of the space that surrounds us, of the relationship between our body, space and others. …

In short: evolve.

No form of education should be partial; therefore the physical one can not be understood only as a simple development of the muscles and training of the body, but must also participate in the formation of the character and the intellect.

The body is a marvelous instrument integrated in all its functions, driven by the intelligence and the will of the individual; the instrument is not always perfect or fine-tuned: we must therefore improve it and bring it to its proper performance. Getting around, doing Gymnastics is the right way.

Gymnastic activities and modern life

The living conditions of individuals in today’s society have drastically changed compared to the past. Advances in technology and the widespread use of consumer goods have forced the individual to slow down the frequency of physical activity by neglecting its importance.

By now, in the population centers above 100,000 inhabitants, an average of two hours per person is spent on public or private means of transport for daily commuting; two individuals in three spend about 7-8 hours sitting in front of a desk or behind a public desk; in the home, from 3 to 4 hours are used to eat meals daily and sitting in front of the TV; finally, we lay down on the bed to sleep an average of 6-7 hours per night.

In total we spend “statically” about 20 hours of the 24 of which is composed one day, that is 4/5 of the day.

Even the external environment does not help us to live in the best way.

The first disturbing data is the degree of atmospheric pollution. You breathe air polluted by emissions from the exhaust pipes of cars. In UK, on average, each family owns two cars.

The second disturbing data is food pollution. The consumption of precooked, frozen foods, fruits and vegetables containing additives, preservatives and dyes is now common; eating habits have affected our organism especially in regards to its immune defenses.

These alterations, due to the lack of some of the essential elements for the basic metabolism, have lowered the defenses of the human organism; one of the most obvious causes is the number of food allergies and intolerances that is constantly growing. Fleeting breakfasts and “snacks” are the main suspects of this situation. The individual passively undergoes all the situations described above, thus falling into a real pathology that determines the illness of the century: hypokinesis.

Lack of physical activity: IPOCINESI

The hypokinetic disease manifests itself in a sedentary individual due to the lack of physical activity, bad habits of life and accumulation of psychophysical stress, delineating a subject of asthenic, hypotonic and, in most cases, overweight.

This disease acts on all the systems and systems of our body weakening them and putting them at risk of some diseases typical of senile age (heart disease, respiratory insufficiency, metabolic and hormonal alterations, bone diseases and neuro-psychological).

The muscle-ligamentous system loses its tone, strength and muscular endurance, and reduces the elasticity of muscle tissue and tendon structures. The cardiovascular system has low blood circulation in all the muscular regions and a heart fatigue due to the lack of muscle pump delivery for venous return, with a consequent increase in resting heart rate and the appearance of tachycardia.

In the respiratory tract the first symptom is the reduced vital capacity due to poor stimulation of the lungs; consequently there is an increase in the residual volume.

The bone structure is affected by the reduction of density and a more rapid demolition of cells with the appearance of degenerative phenomena such as osteoporosis.

From the endocrine and metabolic point of view, there is a general slowing of the basal metabolism with an increase in total cholesterol, in particular of “LDL” (bad cholesterol) to the detriment of “HDL” (the good one); there is a reduced ability to use glucose, all with a consequent imbalance of body mass (fatter and less lean) bringing the subject overweight.

Last but not least, the neuro-sensory system causes hypokinetic disease to modify the “humoral” tone of the person, causing it to fall into states of anxiety and depression.

The benefits of gymnastics

The physical form of an individual is established according to the degree of physiological response of his organic systems and the ability to adapt to various levels of training.

A fundamental condition for having a good level of fitness is to stimulate the cardiorespiratory system.

The activity of the heart and the lungs causes the apparatuses of which they are part to guarantee to the muscles and tissues a blood and oxygen supply always proportional to the effort exerted and for as long as possible, such as to allow an individual to face the multiple situations in which the body finds itself during the day.

The “aerobic” element, ie the constant presence of oxygen as a primary energy source for the achievement of physical well-being, has led some authors to define this type of training as “aerobic fitness and Cardio-fitness”.

The “aerobic” mechanism allows you to make an effort for a long time and uses fat as the main source of energy, which, with the aid of oxygen, produce energy for muscle work, thus characterizing aerobic training (running, cycling, etc.).

The “anaerobic” system, on the other hand, is able to produce more energy with less duration, and immediately depleting the presence of oxygen, causes a rapid muscle fatigue that induces a concentration of lactic acid.

The anaerobic mechanism is able to work both in the absence of oxygen – anaerobic alactacid – and with the presence of the acids produced by the combustion of the same – lactic anaerobiosis.

These two types of energy systems are present in man when he needs an immediate availability of energy (lift a weight, climb a flight of stairs, etc.) and therefore the physical capacity that benefits most is certainly use of muscle strength in all its forms.

In reality, the human body does not work in watertight compartments and very often the method used to produce energy is a combination of the various mechanisms.

In general, however, it is possible to consider aerobic training as the best training for the cardiovascular supply, while the anaerobic system is more indicated for the strengthening of bones, tendons and muscles.

The physiological responses to this type of training produce benefits that allow the body to reduce the risk of contracting numerous diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, infarction, cholesteromia), and to prevent overweight phenomena such as obesity and psychosomatic illnesses like insomnia, stress and anxiety.

Aerobic exercise is used for clinical therapies such as diabetes, psychiatric disorders and for pre- and post-pregnancy treatment.

The benefits obtained with aerobic training are:

  • reduction of blood pressure with lowering of the resting heartbeat;
  • increase in heart volume and cardiac output;
  • greater blood flow to the capillaries and muscle tissues with increased total blood volume;
  • increase in vital capacity and oxygen consumption;
  • decrease in fat storage;
  • decrease in total cholesterol and increase in HDL (“good cholesterol”);
  • decrease in anxiety, stress and tension;
  • reduction of heart disease (heart attack, tachycardia, etc.).

Anaerobic training, as we have already mentioned, is an excellent exercise to train Strength. Fitness can be achieved with aerobic training, practicing sports that use aerobic systems.