Friday, August 31, 2018

Fit For Life: In Your 80s & 90s

Your body changes with each passing year - and your workout program should, too. "Fitness is a marathon" says trainer Billy Anderson. It's the accumulation of fitness over time that matters. Focusing on strength, coordination, cardiovascular fitness and mobility is vital at every age. Today I continue a series of blogs offering insights on what it takes to stay fit in each decade of life.



In Your 80s, 90s and Beyond (Mary, this is for you!)

EVOLVE   

By this point nearly everyone has aches and pains from previous injuries, arthritis or chronic overuse. You might be tempted to believe you're too old to work out - and, that rest is the best. But too much rest may do more harm than good. Bed rest has been shown to be associated with loss of strength, bone loss, joint disease and high blood pressure. It is one reason falls are a danger for people over 80: the resulting injuries may heal but the health complications from staying in bed for weeks can be irreversible. Rest when you're sick or injured - but get up and move as much as you're able as soon as you're able.

The best way to avoid falling may be regular workouts. A 2016 study showed that exercise can reduce fall frequency by nearly 40 percent. Another study showed that only a few weeks of strength training doubled the power of 85 year olds and reduced the need for walkers and wheelchairs. Exercise also reduces the likelihood of cognitive decline. Your mind and body continue to derive considerable benefits from regular workouts right up to and including the tenth decade.


The key to exercise in this decade is the same as it was in your 20s: find an enjoyable activity that challenges you without risking injury. This might be the time to substitute cycling for running, swimming for jumping, and machine-based strength training for free weights. Remember that your muscles, joints and bones remain adaptable. If you exercise consistently, an activity that you thought was impossible months ago may become possible again.


In your 80s and 90s, rest wisely but move often, strength train to prevent falls, and choose challenging but safe movement.

Stay Active (in your 80s & beyond), Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, August 24, 2018

Fall Group Interval Training

Fall Group Interval Training dates are available now! New for Fall 2018,  I'm blocking out four Saturdays in a row. Contact me to register for one or all of the dates. Choose the early 7:30 time slot or sleep in a bit and choose the 9:00am. The sessions are limited to eight participants so you'll want to reserve your spot soon. Hope to see you there!




Friday, August 17, 2018

Fit For Life: Your 70s

Your body changes with each passing year - and your workout program should, too. "Fitness is a marathon" says trainer Billy Anderson. It's the accumulation of fitness over time that matters. Focusing on strength, coordination, cardiovascular fitness and mobility is vital at every age. Today I continue a series of blogs offering insights on what it takes to stay fit in each decade of life.


In Your 70s

SLOW & STEADY

You can continue to strength train, do cardio, stretch, hike and even pursue-high impact activities - as long as you take your time, monitor your response, and adjust accordingly.

Chronological age is not a good indicator of biological age. Some people who are in their 80s are as agile & vibrant as some in their 60s. Physical activity could be one of the factors that contributes to the difference. The body deteriorates with time, yet how quickly and drastically those changes happen can be up to you.

If you haven't strength trained regularly, muscle loss may now reach critical levels, interfering with balance, gait and other daily activities. But if you take up strength training in this decade, those changes are reversible.  A number of studies including adults in their 70s have found that progressive strength training can lead to increased muscle mass, more ease with activities like climbing stairs and carrying groceries, better balance and reduced joint pain. Most exercisers in this group find strength training empowering. People get excited when they see and feel the results of their hard work. It may take a little longer, but septuagenarians can reach really impressive results.
You may need to do a longer warm-up and incorporate more rest between sets by the time you reach your 70s. Monitor your heart rate and muscle soreness to determine how fast to progress with your chosen activity. If you are just starting out, recruit a pro who can help you develop appropriate workout strategies. The price you pay is negligible compared to the benefits for life.


 Slow & steady wins the race in your 70s. You can pursue all types of exercise - just spend a bit more time warming up, then monitor your response and adjust as needed. Remember: strength training is the key to maintaining balance.

Stay Active (in your 70s), Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, August 10, 2018

Fit For Life: Your 60s

Your body changes with each passing year - and your workout program should, too. "Fitness is a marathon" says trainer Billy Anderson. It's the accumulation of fitness over time that matters. Focusing on strength, coordination, cardiovascular fitness and mobility is vital at every age. Today I continue a series of blogs offering insights on what it takes to stay fit in each decade of life.



In Your 60s

CHALLENGE YOURSELF

You may be tempted to put less effort into your workouts in this decade, but strenuous workouts now will pay more dividends than ever. Almost every age-related illness - be it cardiovascular, metabolic, psychiatric, neurological, pulmonary or cancer - has been shown to benefit from exercise in the form of improving quality of life, lowering the risk of disease, and decreasing mortality.

One near constant at this age is stiffer joints.  Movement of any kind floods the joints with oxygenated blood. Mobility and flexibility exercises that involve large, controlled range of motion in the ankles, hips, shoulders and upper back can be particularly effective. Try a yoga class and work mobility into your daily routine.



Balance exercises are as important as strength training & endurance when you are over 60. Try single-leg balancing or walking a "tightrope". Walk, jog or run on uneven surfaces.

Training for power as well as strength becomes increasingly important in this decade. (Check out this blog for info on the difference between power & strength.) Power training is a safeguard against falling and other declines in function that are common later in life.

Try this power squat: choose a medium-heavy weight. Slowly lower into the squat, then push up to standing as fast as possible. You can even jump both feet off the floor, if desired. For a power bench press, slowly lower the weight toward your chest, then push up as though you were punching the weight into the ceiling.


Whatever physical movement or exercise you choose - tennis, rock climbing, ballroom dancing - strike a balance between respecting your limitations and challenging yourself. Muscle responds the same way to exercise regardless of age. Your body remains adaptable all your life.

In your 60s, it's all about maintaining range of motion, balance & power moves. 

Stay Active (in your 60s), Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Monday, August 6, 2018

Fit For Life: Your 50s

Your body changes with each passing year - and your workout program should, too. "Fitness is a marathon" says trainer Billy Anderson. It's the accumulation of fitness over time that matters. Focusing on strength, coordination, cardiovascular fitness and mobility is vital at every age. Today I continue a series of blogs offering insights on what it takes to stay fit in each decade of life.



In Your 50s

DIAL IT UP

At 50, you may feel your active days are behind you, but telling yourself you're over the hill may hurt you more than the activities you're avoiding. Leisurely pursuits have their place, but there's no substitute for the intensity of intervals, strength training and plyometrics. 

When you reduce the intensity of your workout, athletic performance declines, cardiovascular fitness is reduced and bone density suffers, especially in women. In short, when you stop pushing yourself, you become less fit and less healthy. 

When people in their 50s include high-intensity intervals, their cardio health remains high. With the right stimuli, bone density improves as well. Research has shown that even women with very low bone density can tolerate the high loading required to increase bone mineral density as long as it was introduced gradually and with good technique.


One major change many exercisers experience is a need for more recovery time between rigorous workouts. A college athlete might be able to handle five sessions of hard sprints a week, whereas someone in their 50s might be able to handle only one such workout a week.


In your 50s, it's all about maintaining the intensity of your workouts. In addition, pay attention to clues like soreness and fatigue to choose the right number of recovery days in your workout week.

Stay Active (in your 50s), Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food