Time waits for no man or woman for that matter and the physical changes our bodies go through as we approach our later years can often creep up on us all too quickly. If you are in the 50 years and over category then it is likely the signs of aging have started to make themselves known. Joints feel stiff and less mobile, certain body parts start to lose their tone and simple daily tasks begin to feel much more challenging. The good news is this is all very normal so there is no need to feel bad about yourself. The even better news is that all these physical changes can be managed and often improved with regular exercise. Here are some of the important age related adaptations a well structured exercise program can provide:
- Maintenance/improvement in bone mineral density (this is especially important for post menopausal women)
- Maintenance/improvements in mobility and flexibility (this is one aspect of fitness that will not degrade with age as long as you work on maintaining it)
- Maintenance/improvement in cardiovascular health (heart disease is still the UK’s number 1 cause of death)
- Maintenance/improvements in strength and power
- Maintenance/improvements in balance and coordination (these last two are especially important for limiting the impact and number of falls people may have as they age)
All these physical benefits ultimately add up to one important vital sign of healthy life; the ability to move. As we progress through life many of the movements and physical capabilities we develop throughout childhood can be lost through inactivity, injury and poor lifestyle choices and for many people this can mean the effects of aging take hold much sooner than they should. Without the ability to move in the way nature intended many of the things we wish to do in life become more and more difficult. Thankfully the human body is an amazing organism and with the right stimulus high quality movement can be re-learnt at almost any age and looking at the list above there are a lot of reasons why people should.
But it is more than that. As we grow older our priorities and motivations change. People start to let go of their earlier self image (maybe one that was more concerned with a flat stomach and toned arms) and start seeking personal fulfilment from more meaningful endeavours. The things that matter most start to come into focus and it can be a great time of life to start to find some balance. As an important study by researchers from Harvard has shown, our long term health and happiness is underpinned and often dependant upon our ability to actively seek out and grow meaningful and loving relationships with friends and family. Achieving all of these things as we age is so much more realistic if we stay active. Without a strong, healthy and capable body we run the risk of isolating ourselves and missing out on all of the important things that keep us young and fulfilled.
Here at Matt Roberts we pride ourselves on understanding the importance of good movement and how to help people achieve it regardless of their age. We also understand the importance of building strong and meaningful relationships with our clients and the carry over our work together can have on their lives and relationships outside of the gym.
If you are a more senior member of the population and you would like some help and guidance with staying active and exercising in a safe and effective way then come into one of our London based clubs for a consultation.