As one ages, many physiological changes take place. This is a natural part of the process, but many of the physical changes (biomarkers) that negatively affect personal wellness can be minimized with physical activity. One key biomarker is loss of muscle. As an individual ages, muscle is lost and has a profound impact on an older adults well-being.
Exercise can have a definite positive impact on maintaining a high quality of life. Weight bearing, muscle strengthening and balance exercise help reduce the risk of falls and fractures, and improve bone density. It is of utmost importance that fitness professionals know how to appropriately counsel participants in regard to exercise order, as well as how to improve or maintain agility, strength, posture and balance capabilities.
When older adults begin an exercise program, slow progression and quality of movement is the number one predictor of success. Many trainers or group fitness instructors, well intentioned, will progress too fast and give exercises to participants where the risk outweighs any potential benefit. This is why I say, Start low and go slow.
By selecting exercises that strengthen all muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the joints, instructors can help make clients more stable and able to react to a changing environment. These exercises should focus on the muscles needed to perform the activities of daily living (ADL).
Before you start consider this
Many older adults are fearful, and rightly so, that they can get hurt when starting a new exercise program. Clients must be progressed so that each move is performed safely. This means the participant needs to perfect the exercise and maintain body control while performing on a stable surface before progressing to an unstable surface. Transitioning to a more complex or challenging exercise should not be done until the client feels secure with moving to a new progression that may or may not utilize a new piece of equipment.
Reactive training, or having a capability to respond to changing, unpredictable demands of real life, is a very important component of fitness for this age group. The BOSUŽ Balance Trainer (BT), when used properly, is a great tool to train this key element of fitness.
Trainers and group instructors are always looking for new and exciting training methodologies to keep workouts fresh and results coming. While we do not want to baby this population, it is critical to use a proper progression or regression to assist the older adult in being simultaneously successful and safe.
While exercises may seem simple to instructors, the opposite might be true for the new participant. Do not lose sight of the age, and more importantly, the fitness level of the client or participant. Older adults tell us that young instructors have little understanding of how they feel, and unfortunately, fail to ask or understand the challenges that face an older population with a number of health issues. Constant communication is encouraged and fosters greater empathy and trust for the instructor.
Following the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines and Basic Recommendations for Adults Over 65 (2007):
Click here for the full article, including BOSUŽ Balance Trainer exercises, images and descriptions.
- Chose 8 to 10 strength exercises.
- Perform 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise per workout.
- Do strength workout 2 to 3 times per week.
- Allow 24 to 48 hours of rest between sessions.
CLASSES AT CALIFORNIA MANIA:
BOSUŽ PLAYGROUND CHALLENGE With Julz Arney & Jay Blahnik
FR2C Friday, 9:30am-11:00am
BOSUŽ HIT ATHLETIC CARDIO With Keli Roberts
FR5E Friday, 4:00pm-5:30pm
BOSUŽ AMPED! With Amy Dixon
SA1E Saturday, 7:30am-9:00am
BOSUŽ PILATES 3D With Stacey Lei Krauss
SA2G Saturday, 10:00am-11:30am
BOSUŽ XPLODE With Mindy Mylrea
SA4E Saturday, 2:15pm-3:45pm
BOSUŽ PLYO PROGRESSIONS With Douglas Brooks, MS
SA5E Saturday, 4:00pm-5:30pm
CLASSES AT FLORIDA MANIA:
BOSUŽ Amped! With Lawrence Biscontini, MA
FR1E Friday, 7:30am-9:00am
BOSUŽ Playground Challenge with Julz Arney & Jay Blahnik
FR2E Friday, 7:30am-9:00am
BOSUŽ HIT Athletic Cardio with Keli Roberts
FR4E Friday, 2:15pm-3:45pm
BOSUŽ Plyo Progressions with Douglas Brooks, MS
SA1G Saturday, 7:30am-9:00am
BOSUŽ Xplode! With Mindy Mylrea
SA3C Saturday, 11:45am-1:15pm
BOSUŽ Pilates 3D with Stacey Lei Krauss
SU1E Sunday, 7:00am-8:30am