The potential for individuals in the baby boomer generation and beyond to quite literally redefine healthy aging is real. Many of my clients are continuing to do all of their normal daily and recreational activities with ease well into their eighties.
Why You Should Care About Exercise As You Age
Almost all individuals that are age 65 and older that I have worked with have concerns about developing the following issues, or are already exhibiting some or all of these. Below, I outline the most common issues inactive 65+ individuals present when they come to see me.
Age-related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia, is a term utilized to define the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with aging. Sarcopenia is believed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of frailty and functional impairment that occurs with old age.
Any loss of muscle mass is of consequence, because loss of muscle means loss of strength and mobility. Sarcopenia typically accelerates around age 75 – although it may happen in people age 65 or 80 – and is a factor in the occurrence of frailty and the likelihood of falls and fractures in older adults.
Dangers of Falling
To get the scope of the issue, here are some eye-opening statistics*:
- One out of three older adults (those aged 65 or older) falls each year.
- Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries.
- In 2010, 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
- Over 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls. In 2010, there were 258,000 hip fractures and the rate for women was almost twice the rate for men.
Posture and Gait Dysfunction
Although there are various types of spinal abnormalities, the most commonly associated with advanced age is postural kyphosis. Postural kyphosis is characterized by an excessive curvature of the thoracic spine, resulting in a hunchback or slouching posture.
Additional complications can include:*
- Decreased lung capacity
- Disabling back pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Neurological symptoms such as leg weakness
- Increase likelihood of “shuffling” the feet when walking
*Source: National Institute of Health (NIH)
What You Can Do to Increase Quantity and Quality of Life
Our bodies undergo natural changes as we age, but those changes don’t necessarily have to significantly impact our quality of life. Prevention is the best, and least expensive, health care option.
Resistance exercise is a must to include in your fitness regimen, as it is the best way to:
- Increase Muscle Mass
- Adequate muscle mass is known to reduce falling risk, prevent sarcopenia, enhance proper weight maintenance by increasing the metabolism, and leads to an overall increase in quality of life.
- Increase Bone Density
- Resistance training hardens bones, which counters osteoporosis and prevents fractures.
- Improve Glucose Control
- Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Strength training has been shown to be comparable to medication in improving glucose control.
- Improve State of Mind
- As well as enhancing self-confidence, exercise has been shown to be as effective as medication in treating depression.
- Arthritis Relief
- The effectiveness of strength training to ease the pain of osteoarthritis was shown to be just as potent, if not more potent, as medications. Similar effects of strength training have been seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Improve Sleep
- People who exercise fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often, and sleep longer. The sleep benefits obtained as a result of strength training are comparable to treatment with medication but without the side effects or the expense.
The term Functional Training is broad, and includes other disciplines such as: Resistance Training, Balance Training, Bodyweight Training, Corrective Exercise, and more depending on your unique situation.
Functional training is a methodology of exercise for improving your everyday life. Using exercises that mimic the way your body moves in daily activities, this type of training improves practical skills such as balance, coordination, and core strength.
Lifting a child, getting out of a vehicle, or putting luggage into the overhead compartment of a plane. These simple mundane tasks actually require complex complementary actions of your body. The good news is that these tasks can get easier. Both the muscles, and the way the brain communicates with them, can be enhanced through training.
I work with clients whose goals range from improving their golf or tennis game, to more energetically playing with their grandchildren, to mitigating the risk of falling.
Whatever your individual challenges and goals may be, I can guide you through a safe and effective program to ensure that these years are the best they can be!
Read Brooke’s, Joan’s, Jack’s, and Gadi’s stories on the Testimonial page to see how I’ve helped others in your age bracket.
Contact me for a complimentary consultation to review your situation and begin taking control of your health!
Post Rehabilitation training allows a client who is recovering, either from an acute or chronic injury/illness, to achieve their health goals and continued recovery through a carefully developed, customized personal training program.
If your situation leads you to not feel comfortable exercising on your own, my knowledge and experience with a wide variety of conditions can bridge the gap between health care and fitness.
Contact me for a complimentary consultation.
Pre and Post Natal
Anyone who has just experienced the physical sacrifice of a pregnancy is eager to return to normal following the birth of the baby. Between the recovery from the delivery (and sometimes surgery), the hormone fluctuations, calorie needs if nursing, and sleep deprivation, the journey can be tough. I have helped women, including my own wife, safely surpass pre-pregnancy fitness levels.
Contact me for a complimentary consultation.
My beautiful daughter, Aila.
The National Health and Examination Survey states that as of 2010, about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese.
Eat less, move more. It’s that simple…isn’t it?
You will find a plethora of answers from your friends, the internet, and magazines. Some true, some trend.
I will teach you research-based techniques to lose body fat effectively and SAFELY.
No pills, no magic; just hard work and clean eating.
By manipulating certain aspects of your workouts, we can maximize your body’s ability to burn calories and lose body fat, even while you’re at rest (the “after burn”). This method of training can be performed without resistance (body weight only) or with resistance such as dumbbells, barbells, and resistance bands.
I’ll lead you through several weeks of intelligently designed programs that will greatly increase endurance, shed body fat, and increase strength.
As an additional stand-alone option or a supplement to your exercise program, I also run a weekly beach workout that utilizes the principles of metabolic conditioning. Click here for more information on Beach Built Fitness.
“You can’t out-train a poor diet.”
This quote speaks to the heart of TRUE transformation. The perfect exercise program can be utterly sabotaged by a poor diet. When you are able to align proper nutrition with balanced exercise your progress will be truly astounding.
The Standard American Diet (SAD for short, ironic?) consists of a high intake of processed, refined foods, too many grains, and too few nutrients.
The result is a diet high in calories of such poor quality we are actually under-nourished. The goal is to strive towards a simple diet of real whole foods. Many clients are amazed at how fast they lose weight, how much energy they have, and how much better they feel. If it sounds like common sense, that’s because it is.
I can easily recommend foods for you to eat for health and weight loss, however, this is not an intellectual battle. It’s all about behavior change.
I have found over the years that gradual changes in nutritional intake as well as addressing the culture and ritualistic nature of food works wonders. If I were to give a person an example of the perfect diet with instructions to “just do it,” 9 out of 10 people will fall short. Often, many of us set our diet expectations too high, and then when we miss the mark, we are disappointed and lose motivation to continue on the right path.
Our goal together is to create sustainable change in your nutritional lifestyle. I provide my clients with recommended meal plans to maximize progress, given in a step by step approach towards the ideal healthy diet.
Benefits of using a Trainer
Effective and Efficient – Learning and taking advice from a person who has dedicated their life to a field of study is the best way to achieve any goal. You would take music lessons from a musician and learn chemistry from a chemist. Sounds like common sense, I know.
Learning how to exercise safely, effectively, and efficiently from a seasoned professional ensures that you reach your goal and don’t waste your valuable time.
Accountability – Anyone who has tried to stick to a routine knows how difficult changing any behavior habit can be. Every client I’ve trained has eventually uttered the sentiment, “If I didn’t have an appointment, I would not have come in today.” Life gets in the way, you’re having an “off” day, you’d rather be on the couch, etc.
If you don’t put in the effort for one reason or another, you will not get your desired result. Having a trainer will dramatically increase the likelihood that you stick to an exercise program, period.
Variety – Variety in your exercise routine has two primary and overwhelmingly important impacts.
1) Doing the same exercises over and over again is boring. Getting bored will greatly increase the probability that you will stop exercising.
2) If you do the same routine too long, your body will reach a point where it has adapted as much as it can to what you are doing and you will cease to improve (commonly called the ‘plateau’ effect).