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.
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.
Many men struggle with inflexibility and diminished joint range of motion, especially as they age. Hip tightness, for example, can hinder athletic performance and possibly lead to various injuries. Unfortunately, stretching often takes a back seat to cardiovascular and strength training.
Exercise guidelines call for people with osteoporosis to avoid flexing or twisting the spine (National Osteoporosis Foundation 2015). This makes training the core a little more challenging. Planks (side and prone) and bridges are both great options, but they can get boring. The exercises below safely target the core without spinal flexion or twisting.
Stand sideways to wall, hands centered on stability ball. Arms are straight, at shoulder level. Press hands into ball, and tap each foot back (alternate).
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.
In today’s complicated world, just listening to the evening news on television or radio can raise cortisol rates in the body. High stress levels, combined with current technological advancements, almost unending sensorial bombardment, and the ever-changing dietary habits of many developed countries, can deny the body time for repose and resynthesis.
Encouraging news for those with scoliosis, and valuable information for yoga and Pilates instructors who have clients with scoliosis: Regularly performing a yoga side-plank pose on the convex side of the primary curve can significantly reduce the curve’s angle in people with scoliosis, according to research published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine (2014; 3 , 16–21; doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2013.064).
Fitness professionals strive to help clients enhance their health and reduce the risk of injury; however, they may be missing a large piece of the training puzzle if they aren’t addressing a client’s work-related training needs. While most clients may not be professional athletes, they are in fact “occupational ath- letes,” meaning they spend 40 or more hours a week on the job.
Mr. Brown is a 68-year-old retired postal worker who stays active with golf and tennis, but he complains of severe pain and swelling in his left knee, which he cannot straighten completely. The pain limits his ability to do the things he loves, but he is otherwise comfortable during daily activities. Based on X-rays and a clinical exam, Mr. Brown has symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.