Keep Moving with Exercise –Be active as much as possible:
Guidelines from ACSM, the American College of Sports Medicine
Cardiorespiratory fitness is an important goal of an exercise program for mature adults, as low cardiorespiratory fitness may contribute to premature mortality in middle aged and older adults as well as reduced functional capacity.
- Minimum of 5 days / week of moderate aerobic exercise
- 3 days / week of vigorous aerobic exercise
- Moderate: 30 minutes a day, short bouts of at least 10 minutes count
- Vigorous: At least 20 minutes a day
Focus on Weight Bearing Activities such as walking, hiking, dancing, stair climbing, T’ai chi. You want to do closed chain exercises rather than activities such as biking or swimming. It also needs to be low impact activity.
Cross training is very important to keep challenging muscles in different ways so that you are not setting yourself up for repetitive stress injuries.
Walking is a great way to stay in shape and get your daily dose of cardio. Walking compliments all the exercises performed in Noelle’s DVD’s and is great weight bearing to do for osteoporosis. It is also excellent for your stamina and overall endurance. So walk whenever or wherever you can and feel your vitality and energy soar.
Start in small increments and work up. Start with 10 minutes then 15 minutes, and work up to 20 or 30 minutes.
Lifting weights or doing any kind of resistance training with bands is not only good for increasing muscle mass but also good for increasing strength of bones. Aging is associated with a reduction in muscle mass, which contributes to decreased muscle strength and a decline in functional capacity. (Balance impairments, mobility problems, and lack of independence)
- Minimum 2 days / week, 8 to 10 exercises to cover major muscle groups
- 8 to 12 reps per exercise
- If you have a bone health issue such as Osteopenia or Osteoporosis:
- Bump it up to 2 – 3 days / week
Helpful Safety Tips:
- When working with weights, start with light dumbbells and gradually work up to using heavier weights if needed.
- Avoid hyper-extending or locking your joints. Always perform exercises in a pain free range of motion with controlled joint movements.
- Workout at your own pace and rest when needed. Stop exercising and rest if you are short of breath or dizzy.
- Exercise should not be painful. If you feel any pain, stop exercising and consult your physician.
- If any exercise is ever too difficult, skip it and join in when you are ready. Start with a few reps and work up t o doing the whole amount.
- Remember to breathe during each workout and try to avoid holding your breath. Also take time to transition between exercises.
Focus on back strengthening exercises to improve posture especially for those with Osteoporosis. The name of the game is to maintain good posture and help prevent fractures. Many older people have a hunched, kyphotic posture which usually leads to poor gait mechanics. This poor posture control increases the risk of falling and makes people less stable and unable to see safety hazards. Not to mention those with poor posture are more likely to have poor self image and less self confidence.
Fexibility / Balance
Flexibility decreases with age and physical inactivity. Guidelines are now recognizing the importance of flexibility and balance. Flexibility training is important to prevent injury and improve balance.
- Minimum of 2 days / week of flexibility training
- For those at risk for falls, INCLUDE BALANCE TRAINING
- A special emphasis on balance training should be included to prevent falls for those with Osteoporosis.
- Older Adults (65 and over): Daily flexibility and balance activities for fall prevention.
- Overall, you want to focus on all activities that improve strength, balance, flexibility, agility, coordination and endurance. (The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons)
T’ai Chi: T’ai Chi has been endorsed by the American Medical Association as it helps older people retain better balance, avoiding the injuries of falling. T’ai Chi improves strength and balance with very limited risk of injury. The moves are also perfect to do as a “cool down’ to help you calm down, get centered, reduce stress and be present. T’ai Chi is also know to improve coordination and balance while calming the mind through this moving meditation. My simplified format called Flow Motion is a follow along format consisting of simplified T’ai Chi moves. It is easy to follow and eliminates the complexity of traditional T’ai Chi solo forms. There is limited footwork so it is an excellent format for beginners, the deconditioned and seniors. Flow Motion helps you to alleviate tension, let go of worries and ultimately enjoy life more.