Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Forever Young

As we all get older, age starts to take a toll on our bodies. For most of us this is a pessimistic outlook that we do not want, therefore we need to take action. Quality of life is just as important as quantity, training is necessary for health and longevity.

Exercise suggestions:
  • When going to the gym, a workout should not be focused on a specific area of the body. Most people that work out solely their arms or legs are not trying to improve the muscle’s function but rather how they look. It is okay to train for aesthetics, however as we age our bodies naturally lose strength and size (sarcopenia).  Therefore it is important to keep the whole body in mind, functioning as a well oiled machine.
  • The most important thing to remember is not to train the muscle but rather to train the movement. Some ideal exercises include squats, over head presses and dead lifts. These may sound like hardcore power lifts, however it is not about how much weight is used but rather applying the proper technique.
  • The average human spends 9 hours sitting a day. Overtime, this will take a toll on an individual’s posture. In order to help with hyperkyphosis or a rounded upper back, rowing type movements will strengthen the core. Having poor posture can also make you appear much older.
  • As we age, along with poor posture, our muscles and joints tend to stiffen, reducing flexibility. The condition associated with muscle becoming worn is called osteoarthritis. This can affect our balance and ability to move smoothly. Contrary to popular belief, strength training and weight bearing exercise decreases, not increases, joint pain. Studies show that people suffering from arthritis have reduced knee pains after performing squats regularly.
Before walking through those gym doors it is important to set a workout plan that considers your medical needs. Personal trainers may come at a cost but they are highly qualified and can be very beneficial.     

Source from the SIRC Collection:
Dale, P. (2011) Anti-Aging Strategies. Ultra- fit. 21(6), 112- 113.

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