If I asked you what you wish for – or how you envision – your future, what would you picture in your mind?
How does it make you feel? Anxious? Excited? Wary? Hopeful?
Our priorities shift as we get older. Our workouts should follow suit.
Aging well doesn’t just happen. We need a plan.
I’m a strong believer that, just as we have a financial plan for retirement, we should also have a physical plan in order to enjoy it. Regular deposits into both are crucial to quality of life as we age.
Here are 4 pillars that build upon each other in order to help create or keep independence:
BALANCE: Multi-faceted and can incorporate many variables such as core strength and stability, as well as gait training and proprioception. As we get older, BALANCE training should be regularly integrated into your exercise sessions and becomes as important as cardio or strength training.
POWER: Moving weight faster. We lose power faster than strength as we age. Power is strongly correlated with reaction time (which, as we know, slows as we age). This could very well prevent a fall. There is a right and wrong way to incorporate power training for older adults into sessions. Power training increases functional capacity.
STRENGTH TRAINING: Working on gaining leg strength is one of my top priorities with my clients. Leg strength enables us to go up and downstairs, get in and out of a car or chair, and other activities of daily living.
MULTI-TASKING DRILLS: Walking upstairs carrying a load of laundry, bringing groceries in from the car, unloading the dishwasher while watching TV, or having a conversation – these are examples of everyday multitasking. Functional training in the gym translates to everyday life. Furthermore, recent research has indicated that pairing a cognitive task with a physical task is the best way to slow cognitive decline.