Workout routines for seniors are on the minds of many Baby Boomers who are watching their parents getting older and less able to manage their activities of daily living. Although exercise can't turn back time, it is just about the best fountain of youth we have available.
Fitness Over 40
You've probably heard by now that physical inactivity is associated with an increase in risk for a wide range of illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers among others. Unfortunately, the rates of inactivity go up the older you get. According to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2008 32.7%--almost a third--of adults 65 and over reported NO leisure-time physical activity within the prior month.
For me, one of the best things about getting older is getting your priorities straight. You begin to know from experience what you really value and how important it is to act on those values. When it comes to my fitness routines, I'm happy to report that the older I get, the less I care about the size of my clothes, the number on the scale or how hot I look (I'm afraid that horse has left the barn).
You may have heard about functional fitness, a relatively new trend in fitness training, but you likely still have questions. Here’s a round-up of all the essential information you need to understand this fitness trend and determine if it’s a good choice for you.
Getting older is not for sissies. If you neglected to take fanatical care of your body and your health in your 20s, 30s and 40s, all heck starts to break loose once you hit your 50s and 60s. Joints ache, muscles stiffen and stamina wanes. If you’re like 68% of adults in America, you’re also overweight or obese. It seems unfair that just when your kids go off to school or you start looking forward to retirement your body stops cooperating.
By the time most of us get into our 40s, 50s or 60s, we start to have achey, creaky, painful joints. The pains can result from injuries we've sustained, health conditions like arthritis, or just poor movement patterns and muscle instability that we've developed over the years. The knees in particular are a common source of pain, because they get used with every step we take.
I just read an article in the New York Times about accidents in the bathroom. According to Centers for Disease Control records, 235,000 adults per year visit an emergency room because of injuries they sustained in the bathroom.
Functional Fitness is a term you hear more often in recent years, especially in reference to fitness training for older adults. But don't worry, just because it's a new term, doesn't mean it's one more thing you have to make time for in your day. Functional fitness is all about training your body for life, rather than for a specific sport or for a certain esthetic appearance. It's especially helpful for older adults because it addresses muscle imbalances and asymmetries, and it trains your body to move in the ways we move in everyday life.