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).
New research is shedding light on a potential relationship between insomnia and chronic pain. Norwegian Institute of Public Health researchers were motivated to determine whether any association exists between sleep difficulties and higher levels of pain sensi- tivity, since both sleep problems and chronic pain are public health issues. They conducted a study with more than 10,400 adults from a large ongoing Norwegian general-popu- lation health study and found that people with insomnia had a height- ened reaction to pain.
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
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.
Knee osteoarthritis (OA)—a progressive disease that destroys articular tissues and cartilage—affects about 13% of women aged 60 and older. According to a report published in the Caspian Journal of Internal Medicine (2011; 2 , 205–12), the percentage of the overall population affected by OA is expected to increase owing to the growth of the older-adult segment and to high overweight and obesity rates. However, this study shows there may a solution for women with mild knee OA: progressive-impact exercise.