As we get older, our bodies change dramatically (just letting you know in case you haven’t noticed already). The reality is, our muscle mass and strength decreases from 30 years and on. We tend to store body fat more easily. Our joints just don’t function like they used to.
Unless we do regular strength exercises, we lose over five pounds of muscle and significant amounts of bone mass every decade of our adult lives.
This isn’t a threat – It’s a fact.
All of this means that our metabolism slows and is associated with lots of degenerative diseases and issues such as diabetes, chronic low back pain, heart disease, obesity, and various forms of cancer.
THE GREAT NEWS is a smart strength training program can help mitigate against these impending threats.
This doesn’t mean you have to lift like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger or that you’ll turn into the incredible hulk.
It doesn’t even have to take a lot of your time.
The National Institute on Ageing in America has stated that, “when older people lose their ability to do things on their own, it doesn’t happen just because they have aged. More likely it is because they have become inactive.” (Exercise: A Guide from the National Institute on Ageing)
How can Cross Functional Fitness help you stay fit and healthy?
In the past 2 years I’ve been privileged to work with a number of older clients. Training older clients is very different from training other age categories and my approach is tailored to suit you as an individual, from complete beginner to someone who already is or used to be active.
A number of clients have reported that since training with me their back pain doesn’t bother them anymore, Others have said their knees and hips feel stronger and experience fewer aches.
For other clients, their blood pressure and cholesterol has been reduced to a healthier level and their cardiovascular health has improved.
What will we work on?
This largely depends on:
1) Your main goals
2) Your training history (or maybe lack of)
3) Your injury history
4) Your preferences
However, in order to properly address the needs of an older body, it’s necessary to focus on the following areas:
- Balance: Every year, hospitals see thousands of older patients with broken hips due to falls. Simple balancing exercises can help you avoid injuries from falls and keep you more mobile and independent.
- Flexibility: Our joints change with age which can lead to stiffness, reduced range of motion and higher risk of injury. Resistance training and stretching can improve range of motion and flexibility
- Light Cardio: As we get older, we often lose our aerobic fitness and many experts believe this contributes to significantly reduced mobility in our daily life.
- Strength training has incredible benefits for everyone, but especially as we get older. Many experts believe that “resistance exercise may forestall declines in strength and muscle mass for decades.” (Decreased Mobility in the Elderly: The Exercise Antidote)
You’re never too old to start
No matter how old you are, exercise can undoubtedly improve your quality of life and you don’t have to spend a long time before you see and feel the benefits. Every exercise can be adapted to you and your level of ability, no matter what age you are or how old you feel.
Like everyone, older people need to engage in cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises to stay healthy and maintain as much strength and mobility as possible.
“Every exercise can be adapted to you and your level of ability.”
Check out our Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire to see if you’re ready for exercise now. If you aren’t sure, be sure to get checked out by your doctor. If you have any conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, or heart disease, you’ll need to get advice on the types of exercises you can and can’t do.