Exercise is an essential component of healthy aging; it reduces medical complications, the risk of falls, and improves our mobility.
In order to positively benefit our health, fitness and quality of life, exercise is an essential component of everyday life across the world, especially for the aging population. Exercise is an essential component of healthy aging; it reduces medical complications, the risk of falls, and improves our mobility.
As we age, we experience significant changes, such as:
Psychological change: this refers to a change within the cardiovascular system. It results in a decrease in maximal heart rate, a decrease in SV due to loss of elasticity in the ventricular wall, decreased maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 mas) and aerobic capacity.
Musculoskeletal system changes: this results in decreased bone mass and density, such as Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. As well as this, it can result in reduced fluid content of bones and soft tissues; reduced strength and elasticity of ligaments and tendons; increased impact on joints and cartilage (wearing and thinning); decreased motor coordination and control of movements; and loss of balance.
The benefits of exercise are endless, including:
Helping to improve our quality of life.
Maintaining an individual’s independence and greater capacity to perform daily activities.
Improving sleep, which is especially important for older adults who suffer from insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns.
Reducing the risk of falling – seniors take much longer to recover from falls, so anything that helps avoid them in the first place is critical.
Improving cognitive function and fine-tuned motor skills, lowering the risk of dementia.
Studies have shown that regular strength training and other exercises for seniors not only builds up bone and muscle, but counteracts the weakness and frailty that usually comes with aging.
Exercising your muscles will increase not only your muscular strength but also your muscular endurance, which is the ability to repeat movements.
It is recommended to train two or three times per week to gain the maximum benefit. The two most common resistance training for seniors include isometric exercise and progressive resistance exercise.
Isometric exercises are exercises that involve contracting your muscles, without moving the surrounding joints.
These exercises strengthen and stabilize your muscles, resulting in improved physical endurance and posture. Examples of isometric exercises include wall sits, plank holds, squats, and glute bridges.
Progressive resistance exercise
Progressive resistance exercise is a form of strength training where exercises are done against a type of resistance that is progressively increased. These exercises result in building muscle and increasing your strength.
Resistance training increases muscle strength by making your muscles work against a weight or force. The use of dumbbells is also one of the most effective ways to increase range of motion. For example, progressively adding higher weights whilst doing lunges increases your muscle strength.
You don’t need to go to a gym to exercise and achieve these positive results. It is becoming increasingly popular to do workouts from the comfort of our homes, and there are many benefits of doing so:
At home workouts are cheaper than a gym membership. My courses have a range of exercises for strength, balance and mobility and you can access 50+ workouts. The classes are held twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday at 10 am – I recommend doing two classes a week to allow muscles to recover after an intense workout to avoid the risk of injury. My classes are priced at a low cost of $15 for one class. Alternatively, you can access four classes for $45 – this package means one class is free!
There are many great options for home exercises that will also give you a good workout with no need to access a large selection of machines and equipment that regular gyms have.
You have probably heard that gym machines are better for working out. This is one of the biggest myths about at-home fitness you should question. With so many exercises being available to contribute towards your goals, machines are not the only good options. Truthfully, machines are not required and you can follow proper form and techniques at home.
At home workouts are just as intense as gym workouts and provide you with the same benefits. Warm-up your body before every workout and remember to stretch properly after every workout – this will help your muscles recover faster.
Don, one of my regular attendees who is 80 years of age, approached me to help build strength with his upper body as he has a frozen shoulder (stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint).
I designed a fitness program for Don to exercise with me twice a week. The exercise is a split resistance training program working the upper body and legs. Through consistency and hard work, from starting out with just 4 kg dumbbells, Don is now using a 7 kg dumbbell to do a dumbbell row and he has increased his plank hold time to 1 minute and 35 seconds!
With my at home workouts you can achieve great results – the key to this is starting an exercise routine, maintaining consistency and hard work.
Fitness with Tash was born out of my own fitness journey. Now, I share my passion for fitness by coaching the senior community as well as those seeking to start or regain their own fitness journeys.
So, what are you waiting for? Book a class with Tash and start your fitness journey with me today.
Meet Natasha O'Reilly.
Your online Fitness teacher.