Have you ever wondered why aging adults end up in assisted-living facilities? It’s right there in the title: It comes down to not being able to perform the basic movements in a day that we all take for granted, like getting off the toilet.
Aging adults go to assisted-living facilities due to loss of independence. As we age, basic movement become more and more difficult.
People retire, they become less active, and they have fewer reasons to get up and out of the house. Resulting in sitting more and becoming more sedentary and their muscles atrophy. Granted some stay active with walking and that is great for your overall health, but it is not a strength training exercise.
That’s why we need to stay active as we age and seek out and stick to some type of exercise routine to preserve our independence for as long as possible—not just for our own sakes, but also so our children won’t have to take care of us (or pay someone else to).
The exercise needs of the aging population vary by degree, not kind. What is standing up from the toilet? An air squat. What happens when someone is gets out of bed? A sit up. What if someone needs to get up from the floor? A sit up and a lunge. How do groceries get unloaded from the car? With a farmers carry.
Aging adults may not be breaking gym records, but they can certainly perform functional movements and simple strength training exercises to build their strength bank account and maintain quality of life as they age.
Our coaches know how to guide them and carefully work with them to ensure they are moving safely and effectively. Intensity is relative for every member in the gym, while range of motion and movement goals stay the same. You may see our strongest athletes squatting over 400lbs, but others can be starting with an unweighted squat to a box or by simply holding a light dumbbell.
Strength training is critical for aging adults because it helps prevent and reverse osteoporosis (brittle bones) and sarcopenia (loss of muscle, strength and function). Even minor slips and falls often result in broken bones in aging men and women with low bone density. Lifting heavy objects increases that bone density and reduces risk of injury.
Did you know that the rate of accidental deaths is close to the same in our young population as it is in our older population? The difference is, overdoses and motor vehicular accidents make up the majority of accidental deaths in young adults while in the older population, accidental deaths are primarily caused by falls.
Many assume a fall happen and a bone breaks, but often, a bone breaks and then a fall happens. It is important that we create stimulus through resistance training to build strong bones and bank up as much muscle mass we can.
It’s never too late to start.
At Fitness Lair, we have several 50-plus-year-old athletes, and they do great in classes. Some love the CrossFit classes, some prefer the Women’s Only Resistance Training Class, and others choose to start with private sessions. The point is that they get or remain active. It’s also a great social outing as well 🙂
I worry for our upcoming aging population starting out more overweight and with less muscle mass due to being less physically active than ever before. I work out for many reasons, but one big one is so that I can stay out of a nursing home and have the best quality of life as possible while I am here—and so I’ll never be trapped on the toilet.
Wanting to build up your strength bank account? Book your Free No Sweat Intro here.
Our Ladies Resistance Training class will be back in full swing in September!
Interested in group functional fitness? Any time is a great time to start in our group classes by taking our Foundations Course first to learn the movements and get acquainted before joining the rest!