I'm just going to come out and say it: I am not a fan of the term "anti-aging." Why? Well, if you are anti-aging, you are anti-living. We're all aging every second of every day--some of us on a faster track, yes, but the point is aging is natural and healthy. Why fight it? I prefer the term "pro-aging" because it connotes a positive approach to birthdays. From what I can see here at the 2014 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute in Seattle, everyone is on the pro-aging path and setting a new standard for the rest of the world.
Driving isn’t a sport for most of us, yet it does require strength, motor skill, joint mobility and fast reaction time. Chances are you aren’t offering functional exercise training for “driving skills,” but if you work with a senior population, you should be.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when plaque accumulates in the arteries of the legs. Reduced blood flow and loss of oxygen in the tissues beyond the obstruction cause localized muscular pain, or claudication, especially during exercise (Bulmer & Coombes 2004; Womack & Gardner 2003).
What makes us weaken with age? The prime culprit is sarcopenia—age-related loss of muscle mass, strength, power and function (Sayer et al. 2013; Morley 2012). Morley (2012) says 5%–13% of 60- to 70-year-olds and 11%–50% of people in their 80s have sarcopenia, which means “poverty of flesh.”
New research from the University of Navarra in Spain shows that exercise can have a significant positive impact on older seniors.
Scientists recruited 24 adults aged 91–96 and divided them into a nonexercise control group and a “multicomponent” exercise group. The primary focus was to learn how exercise would impact “muscle power output, muscle mass, and muscle tissue attenuation; the risk of falls; and functional outcomes in frail nonagenarians.”
What do you think of when you hear “senior fitness”? For some personal trainers, the term might conjure images of gentle exercises performed in a noncompetitive environment. Yet many older athletic adults are not interested in mild “senior” movement, and plenty of them can—and want to—work out pretty intensely or for long durations.
With the Baby Boomer population aging, movement professionals have to become more prepared to meet the needs of older adults. And while it may be tempting to think seniors need less when it comes to program development, clients of advanced age actually need more.
It’s not enough to modify the intensity or safety of their fitness programs. It’s also essential to understand how the mindset that older clients bring to a session—in this case a fear of falling—can influence their exercise needs.