Physical fitness may do more than preserve a more youthful body; it may also impact the brain’s activity and function, preserving more youthful mental capabilities, according to findings published in NeuroImage (2015; doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.062).
University of Tsukuba researchers in Japan found that fitter older men performed better mentally than less fit older men, by solving problems in the same way younger brains would do.
Have you noticed an increase in postural deviations among your students? In today’s society, “tech neck” is becoming more common—we all spend too much time looking down at our devices. This requires rounding the shoulders (rather than keeping them back and down, with chest open) and jutting the head forward. The position is becoming so habitual for a lot of people that it feels fixed and “natural” to them. Help participants become more aware of this uncomfortable trend and empower them to make better choices.
Use a three-pronged approach to help frail participants move better, get
stronger and improve their balance.
Did you know that more than 45% of Americans experience pain on a
regular basis? Are you one of them? Unfortunately, people tend to fall
into bad habits as the body adapts to, and becomes familiar with,
persistent pain (Duhigg 2012).
If you’re suffering from chronic pain, you may want to begin a yoga or meditation practice. In addition to increasing the risk of depression and anxiety, chronic pain changes brain anatomy by reducing gray matter and adversely affecting white matter, according to the American Pain Society (APS). As many as 19% of adult Americans suffer from chronic pain.
At the APS 2015 annual
meeting in Palm Springs, California, M. Catherine Bushnell, PhD, presented research showing that mind-body practices may be helpful to this population.
After working with an older adult (aged 82–92) for 10 years, I was troubled to discover that she had begun having difficulty getting out of the waiting room chair before embarking on our weekly Pilates session. What was I missing? She had faithfully completed Reformer Footwork, Eve’s Lunge and Side Splits, as well as Standing Leg Pumps on the Wunda chair, each week. Why was she continuing to lose leg strength?
“Hey, keep your knees behind your toes when you squat!” “Deep squats are bad
for the knees!” “My doctor told me I should not squat anymore.” “You
should never let the knees cave in or out during a squat.” Chances are
you’ve heard this advice and maybe even given it to your clients. I know
that for many years in my career I’ve been guilty of making similar
recommendations to clients from all walks of life. The problem is, where
Suspension exercise combines body weight and anchored, seatbelt-like straps to provide an alternative to free weights and machines. The question on a lot of trainers's minds is whether these strap-based training systems work as well as more traditional resistance training tools. Though research into this question has been somewhat sparse, studies are starting to paint a picture of effective ways to integrate suspension exercise into a workout program.
Kelleher, A.R., et al. 2010. The metabolic costs of reciprocal supersets vs. traditional resistance exercise in young recreationally active adults. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24 (4), 1043–51.
Did you know it’s important to take care of the fascia—or connective tissue—in your body? The health of connective tissue is a serious concern for older people, as movement restrictions can make it hard for them to perform simple activities of daily living. The condition of our connective tissue depends on two factors—how old we are and what we have done in our lives to keep our tissue healthy, hydrated and flexible.