Throughout my coaching and training in the last few weeks, I have had a few friends tell me that they’re getting too old to keep doing the things they enjoy. These friends didn’t have any injuries to hold them back, they just felt that they were getting too old to keep enjoying their hobbies.
My goal is to dispel the mainstream belief that aging equals weakness, a less active lifestyle, and an acceptance of a life that is “less than” when compared to our younger years.
Age alone should never hold one back from living the life you want or giving up activities you enjoy.
Staying active and training for functional movements that are a part of everyday life will help to keep you both independent in day-to-day activities and involved in the leisure activities you enjoy.
People may modify their preferred activities, but there is no reason a seventy-year-old can’t enjoy tennis, running, golf, or any other sport they have enjoyed throughout their life.
The core value and structure of my training and my clients’ training is functional strength and movement. The definition of functional strength is resistance or strength training with the goal that individuals’ activities of daily living are easier to perform.
The focus of my training and instruction is to maintain and improve my client’s ability to be independent and continue to enjoy their passions.
Here are 3 functional strength exercises and their purpose of them:
The Farmers Carry replicates carrying two buckets of water. While most of us don’t have to do this in real life, we do carry groceries in from the car, carry out the trash, or carry in the dreaded bags of water softener salt. This exercise also builds grip strength and requires us to bear a large amount of weight on our bones, hips, and spine. This weight also helps keep our bones dense and our joints mobile.
A second exercise is overhead presses. This exercise replicates putting items on shelves above your head. Loss of shoulder mobility and strength is a common problem with most of my clients over 65. Doing this exercise not only promotes independence but prevents injury.
A final example is squats. Squats help us to stay independent in many of the activities of daily living. I focus on squats that help us get out of a chair, get up easily from sitting on the floor, and, one of the most basic activities, getting off of the toilet.
These are just three examples of basic and effective exercises to keep us independent and active well throughout our lifespan. A dedicated weight training program adds additional exercises to maintain strength, balance, and flexibility which are all components of an effective exercise routine.
Weight-bearing exercises help keep our bones dense and maintain muscle mass, which in turn regulates blood sugars and prevents weight gain.
This summer we visited my wife’s aunt who recently turned 100. While she was braiding my 31-year-old daughter‘s hair just like she did 25 years ago, my daughter Katie asked her what she would attribute most to living to 100. She replied, “Always keep moving.”
I am privileged to work with many middle-aged and beyond clients at Performance Health and Fitness. As a senior health certified trainer, as well as a man who is nearing sixty himself, I have both the life experience and the training to help the middle-aged and beyond, set themselves up for a vibrant and active retirement and beyond.
If you’re interested in learning more about functional strength or want to add strength training to your routine, please set up an appointment with me at Performance Health and Fitness.
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