Active aging, being physically active, exercising regularly and staying engaged in life are important in the maintaining our function, health, fitness and perfomance. But, face it, when we get older, the body is changing and the exercise program we have been doing may not be appropriate when to maxizing function and fitness is the goal.
Staying healthy and free of injury is essential for older adults who desire to stay independent for as long as possible. It takes good strength, balance and mobility to protect our independence from falls and related injuries. One-third of people 65 and older falls annually, and 1 out of 5 falls causes a serious injury such as head trauma, hip or other bone fracture. More than two-thirds of deaths from falls were at home and 40% of older adults receiving chronic or long-term care are due to fall injuries.
Early 2015 it was suggested to me by a Geriatric Care Manager(GCM) to prepare a proposal to speak at the Western Regional Geriatric Care Manager's Conference November 5-7, 2015 for the first time offered in Portland Oregon. The GCM mentioned that the targeted exercise training that I had provided for her father in law provided him with the opportunity to stay at home with the strength and mobility to live out his life at home longer rather than having to move to a care facility.
As we get older we may come to realize that we don’t bounce back or recover as quickly from an injury, or that the ‘spring in our step’ is not there any longer. Regular exercise definitely has a lot to do with how fast we recover, how vital we feel, and how we perform all those daily tasks and recreational activities. Just like financial planning for retirement, planning for a strong healthy body that can pull us through old age, living independent with a high quality of life also takes planning. And we need to be SMART about it.
Dr. Wayne Westcott Ph.D. states that it is important to realize that muscles are the engines of our bodie . He explains that our muscles are where combustion occurs, where energy is released, where power is produced, and where movement originates.Muscles have long been recognized as key factors in physical performance and athletic achievement, however strength training has a much greater application by having a major influence on both our physical and mental health.
I was excited to read another article this month by Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., in the 2nd. Quarter issue of ACSM Certified News about the benefits of resistance exercise for older adults and elderly individuals.