Every once in a while a client will share something so interesting that it inspires me to write about it. I love being inspired and a few days ago, a new client did just that - she inspired me. Out of respect and confidentiality for her, I will call this client "wonder woman."
Wonder woman came in for an initial personal training consultation the other day. During the consultation, I asked wonder woman several questions about her fitness goals, health history, diet, invisible jet (just kidding about the jet), etc. The last question I asked is, “What do you expect from me as your trainer?”
Wonder woman said something like… Just because I have gray hair, I don’t want to be treated old. The difference between growing old and aging gracefully is having an interest in learning new things and actively participating in them. Learning new things keeps you young and that’s important because no matter what limitations you experience with age, you can always learn something new to enjoy life.”
As Wonder woman spoke, the energy of her words penetrated right through me. "Wow, I thought to myself. How cool is this woman?"
Of course, I couldn’t just sit with it and enjoy it, I had to get up and write about Wonder woman's words of inspiration and add something to it. So putting on my "trainer hat", here’s the message….
You’re never too old! Keep active in learning as you age and make exercise part of our life. I say this because everyone has heard that exercise is good for you. But, did you know that it’s as true for older people as it is for any age group?
You’re never too old to get moving, get stronger and improve your health.
Fitting exercise and physical activity into your day can enhance your life in so many ways. Regular physical activity can improve your balance and boost or maintain your strength and fitness. It may also improve your mood and help you manage or lessen the impact of conditions like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and depression.
Despite these proven benefits, exercise and physical activity rates among older people are surprisingly low. According to the National Institutes of Health, only about 30% of people ages 45 to 64 say they engage in regular leisure-time physical activity. This falls to 25% of those between the ages of 65 and 74 and 11% of people age 85 and older.
I usually recommend a personalized approach to fitness that includes four types of exercises for my older adult clients: endurance, balance, strength and flexibility.
Endurance exercises like brisk walking, dancing and other exercises improve the health of your heart, lungs and circulatory system. These exercises can make it easier for you to mow the lawn, climb stairs and do other daily activities.
Strength exercises include lifting weights or using resistance bands. They can increase muscle strength to help with activities such as carrying groceries or lifting grandchildren.
Balance exercises can help prevent falls—a major health risk for older adults.
Stretching, or flexibility exercises, can give you more freedom of movement for bending to tie your shoes or looking over your shoulder as you back out of the driveway.
For more information on a personalized fitness program in a private studio setting, contact True Health Unlimited in Tolland, CT.