By Carole Anne Elliott
Anyone over the age of 40 should read this blog and hopefully understand why it is SO important to be fit as you age! The reality is that we can, to a great extent, influence how we age by the choices we make in our daily lifestyle.
What we eat, how we move and the lifestyle choices we make contribute to slowly or quickly we age.
10,000 North Americans are turning 65 every day and will continue to do so for the next 17 years.
62% of the Canadian population is now overweight or obese.
As a personal trainer, I have seen a huge spike in requests from the “older” population to assist with nutrition / training needs. I have learned over the years through my own education and training experience is that individual “program design” is essential and that age groups are inherently different with their needs. The workouts you see in magazines are models, and often you can’t even see how much weight they are lifting. They are not specific to just anyone….Just like snowflakes, no two people are alike!
Everyone needs Aerobic exercise – a minimal accumulation of 4 hours of moderate intensity aerobic exercise each week. 4 hours ? Doesn’t seem like much does it?? BUT that’s the minimum! I am telling you now….you CANNOT get away with NO cardio and a bad diet! It catches up with you!
“Functional Exercise” is the new “go-to” for many people that are over 40. These are people that generally “hate” exercise and don’t want to go to a gym but still want to “turn back the clock”. Functional exercise has been used to describe exercises and programs that mimic everyday activities like lifting/bending. These movements require co-ordination of muscle groups and joints of two or more limbs of the body. Pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, lunging and twisting are all incorporated in everyday programs you can use to keep “limber”. And the important thing is “they are fun!”
Functional Exercise is life enhancing, convenient, time and cost effective. All you need is your own body weight, a repertoire of movements and movement patterns to functionally train your mind and body. Learn to use your body as your tool for great health!
The use of small equipment like dumbbell’s, resistance bands, stability balls, kettle bells and a mat add variety and challenge and there are literally hundreds of different exercises you can do!
Regular exercise and how it relates to your everyday health is vitally important to preserve your brain, heart and lean muscle, hormones, bone density metabolism, and body composition.
FIVE AGE RELATED BENEFITS OF RESISTANCE TRAINING
1. Triggers a temporary boost in the hormone testosterone, a hormone necessary to protect bones and maintain muscle mass. The natural aging process in addition to high stress levels, may lower testosterone levels in both men and women.
2. Supports a healthy heart muscle and helps lower risk of all heart and health related diseases including heart disease. Heart disease remains the #1 disease that results in early death.
3. Reduces the stress response that is responsible for the dangerous weight gain around the belly and, boosts levels of “happy endorphins and hormones that improve mood and general well-being.
4. Preserves lean muscle tissue which is the key to managing metabolism and body weight, promoting tissue repair and serving as building blocks for the hormones that help regulate your biochemistry.
5. Helps to preserve immune heath. Ever notice some people seem to be immune to colds, flus etc.? Guess why? They have strong immune systems due to healthy lifestyle. Your immune system weakens with age and improper lifestyle. The environment is also a stress on our immune system. Keeping strong keeps you healthy!
You CAN begin at any age! It’s never too late! What are YOU waiting for? Pass up that next donut and fries and fruity cocktail. Take control of your health and live longer today!
‘Peace, Love and Fitness’