Why Senior Training? What is the point?
The goal in senior training is to stall the “aging process”. Many of the physiological changes we used to think were just part of aging are actually the result of de-conditioning. Not age at all.
How do we train?
Strength and conditioning programs for seniors need to challenge the body but with appropriate modifications for the older individual’s fitness level.
Where to start?
Bottom line: we choose to do exercise that we are good at. “It’s fun. I can do it.” However, those are rarely what we NEED to be doing to truly benefit our lives.
We tend to take classes that don’t really hit that areas we need to work on thus “wasting” our exercise time and being disappointed with the results.
Our trainers themselves on average spend 30-60 minutes exercising. So even with all those recommendations which seem daunting, exercise should not take all day! My slogan? Get in, get it done and go enjoy your life!
What are the senior recommendations? Notice a few say AT LEAST. (That would be the minimum in case the meaning didn’t quite sink in!)
Strength at least 2x a week all muscle groups
Balance at least 3x a week, daily is better
Cardio at least 4-6x a week 30-60 minutes sessions – disconnected time is fine but remember cardio is not just movement. It is pushing that heart rate a bit (meds and conditions MUST be taken into consideration when choosing an exercise class or workout).
OMG Mary! WHY SO MUCH?? And what about flexibility? And core training? I need my core training and I don’t even know what it is!
Keep reading 🙂
All these things can be included in one well designed workout session! They do not have to be completely separate events. Balance, Strength, Cardio, “Core” work and flexibility can be in one session. It’s really not that scary. Your workouts do not need to be more than an hour.
First! What is Strength Training anyway? Strength, power, agility and quickness
Strength training is not just lifting weights – it’s controlling that weight in movement: getting the clothes out of the washer, groceries in the house, garbage out!
Power – picking up laundry basket or grandchild, carrying cat litter or dog food bags
Agility – maneuvering a shopping cart, walking the dog or through a crowded mall
Quickness – rushing to answer phone, crossing the street, running to the stove/oven when things are burning!
What is Core Training?
It is your stability during movement and/or preventing movement. It keeps you from being a wet noodle!
It is Posture – so you can stay upright!
It is Breathing – Love the breathing programs but you need incorporate that into ALL aspects of movement. Connect it to balance, movement and strength programs.
It is joint stabilization – so your arms don’t fall off when you pick something up!
Energy Transfer – connecting movement through the whole body – non robotic movement.
All of this is called neuromuscular coordination and strength.
It should be included as part of your regular strength workout.
Flexibility and balance should also be part of your regular workout session. They don’t have to be an another event or even another class. A few stretches and balance exercises for your trouble areas can easily be incorporated into everyday life so it doesn’t take up any measurable time!