Friday, May 14, 2021


The benefits of sport science

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Dr. Tanatip, Sport science is basically about physical exercise as well as competitive sporting activities. This body of modern scientific knowledge can help people do better and have more fun in various sports, while reducing injuries. Sport science is also helpful in the rehabilitation of patients and has benefits for all age groups.



For children, it can help improve their physical health. This science also benefits adults and professional sports persons as well as senior citizens in terms of revitalizing their lifestyles. They just need appropriate exercises that fit their age and other conditions.


For those who have chronic illnesses, it is also useful. For example, a person’s physical capacity may have dropped from 100 to 80-90 (per cent) due to old age, sport scientists can design a programme to help prevent more illnesses or even reverse the course by improving the patient’s physical performance to, say, 91-92 (per cent). That’s rehabilitation. Next, we will show you the state-of-the-art fitness facilities and equipment at Jin Well Being County of Thonburi Healthcare Group. The facilities have sport scientists working regularly to advice you, covering all age groups from adults to senior citizens or those with chronic illnesses. We will go over there and have a look.


Now I am at Jin Well Being’s fitness centre (in Bangkok’s Rangsit area), with two sport scientists, Khun Bas and Khun Bank, who can give professional advice to the general public as well as sportsmen and senior citizens.

First of all, please talk about the various modes of physical exercise, duration, intensity, and frequency. Generally speaking, we exercise for the strength of body  muscles and for cardiovascular or heart fitness. For muscle strength, we focus on weight training, body weight or cross fit sessions for the benefits of body mass and muscles.


Another is the aerobic or cardio exercise to strengthen the heart and cardio-vascular system. Generally, we should exercise 3-5 days or a total of 150 minutes per week to stay healthy. Each session may vary from 30 minutes to an hour to achieve the total of 150 minutes per week.


Mainly, there are two major types of exercise, one for muscle strength and the other for cardio strength. Right here, what’s the benefit of this machine?


This machine is good for the aerobic exercise or the cardio or heart fitness.


For the general public, what’s your advice on a suitable exercise programme? Basically, there are no special precautions (unless you have some medical conditions). For senior citizens, we need to check if they have chronic diseases and other conditions so that we can recommend a suitable exercise programme covering the appropriate mode, duration and intensity.


Generally, we will go for light and medium exercises for senior citizens such as Tai chi (Chinese-styled exercise)  or an aerobic exercise in the swimming pool. For cardio-exercises on a machine, the intensity is important so they should stay within Zone 2 or Zone 3, meaning their heart rate should range from 120 to 140 per minute. We can also calculate based on age like the formula mentioned by Dr Tanatip.


So we start with the maximum heart rate of 220 per minute, then minus by your age. If you are 50, that’s 170, then we aim to achieve 80 per cent of the max heart rate or about 150 per minute in this case. The machine has sensors to measure the heart while you work out.


If we aim for muscle strength, what’s your advice? First, if you’re already familiar with physical exercise, you can continue as you did before, but if you are a newcomer you need to have a physical therapist or a trainer to guide you. For those with heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, what is your advice?


They will have to consult their physicians before starting an exercise programme.


Afterwards, the doctors will forward cases to sport scientists to help design an suitable exercise programme. We also need to do some tests before we start. For the rehabilitation purpose, we focus on helping senior citizens keep a good physical balance while preventing or minimizing joint and muscle problems. In some cases, we need to do a cardio exercise to strengthen the heart or prevent heart problem or improve the blood pressure.


For senior citizens with a loss of some bone and body mass, we may need some light weight training session.

Published : October 13, 2019