We all dread it. Either going to visit or the glimpse into the future. What is to become of us as we age? Will we have to put our parents in an assisted living facility and even worse will we end up there one day as well? How do we avoid that grim future? It comes down to not being able to get up off of the toilet. It may sound crass, but I assure you it is a very real thing.
As we age we tend to neglect the very basic needs of our bodies to survive and thrive. It comes down to losing our independence. Basic movements, such as sitting and standing become much more difficult. As People retire, they become less active, lose their drive to get up and out of the house and so they sit all day. Essentially letting their bodies decay.
The saying goes, ‘If you don’t use it… you LOSE it!’
Kids run around all day! We take them to parks, we take them to the school yard. They run, climb, jump, skip for hours while we sit there and watch. It is so important that as we get older we stay active and do these things as well. We need an exercise routine to preserve our youth, our independence for as long as possible– not just for our own health and wellness, but to keep up with our children and grand children. To ensure that as we get older and they get older we won’t become a burden to them either.
Consistent exercise and staying active is like having a life insurance policy and a health savings account. At the end you want to be able to do what you want when you want so that you don’t have to pay someone else to do it for you. The healthier you are the more money you’ll save in the long run.
Now this exercise routine doesn’t need to be extreme. We call it functional fitness for a reason. We want to keep you functional! What is standing up from the toilet? An air squat. What happens when someone falls and gets back up? A burpee. How do groceries get unloaded from the car? With a farmers carry. There are so many ways we mirror everyday life in our facility to ensure safe and effective results.
Aging adult athletes may not be breaking gym records, but they can certainly commit to self improvement and perform any number of exercises modified for their ability or get one on one time with a Coach to make sure they are getting exactly what they need. A good coach will know how to guide them. Intensity varies athlete to athlete, but the movement goals and range of motion remain the same. We want everyone to hit full range of motion on an Air Squat, Push up and be able to get up from the floor without the assistance from anybody or anything.
Strength training becomes more important as we age as it helps prevent and reverse osteoporosis (brittle bones). People may scoff when they hear grandma is out there deadlifting at the gym down the street. They may even say, ‘Grandma, aren’t you worried you’re going to hurt yourself?’ her response should and always will be, ‘Yes! That’s why I’m training!’
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.
Group fitness classes may or may not be appropriate for all aging adults. At Dark Athletics, we have several 50-plus-year-old athletes. We start everyone with private sessions to ensure they have proper movements and get the most effective workout for their desired goals. The point is that they get or remain active.
I am not an elite athlete. I may or may not win any competitions. I am definitely not breaking any records, but that’s not why I work out. I work out every day so that I can stay out of a nursing home—and so I’ll never be trapped on the toilet.