If you are at the leading edge of the Baby Boom, you are now part of the Silver Tsunami, and you can either catch a wave and be riding on top of the world, or be swept out to sea and become shark fodder. It’s your choice.
Nursing home and long-term health-care facilities are rubbing their hands with glee as they are gearing up for a huge wave of old folk whose bodies have let them down and are no longer able to function without help. On the flip side, those whose bodies are still healthy may be suffering from some form of dementia where seniors no longer know where they are, what they are doing, and have no recollection of close family members. Neither scenario is desirable, and, indeed both are preventable.
It all starts with movement or ends with lack thereof. Check out your friends, and see how the ones who participate in some form of movement are doing. Some routinely go for long walks, other dance regularly, while still others play sports like lawn bowling, tennis, or golf. Their posture is upright and their attitude is upbeat. No rocking chairs for these folks.
Once movement has been achieved, and all joints are operating through a wider range of motion, the next logical step is to make the muscles stronger for better function. Strength training is simple and easy to gauge. That does not mean easy to do. It requires hard work, but each week, you should be able to lift, push, or press against a greater resistance than the week before. Anyone can become stronger regardless of their age, sex, size, and handicap. Workouts may be performed at a commercial gym, garage gym, or in the comfort of your living room. Little to no equipment is required, although a pair of dumbbells and/or some rubber bands will add to the variety of the training regime. Functional exercises, like squats and push-ups, done three times per week, will enable you to perform everyday chores as simple as getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, and dressing yourself without falling over.
As muscles are revived, the next step could be venturing out and applying your new-found strength to some outdoor recreational activity. Kayaking, horseback riding, and participating in sports are now possible, as opposed to watching twelve hours of television.
Fat loss in North America is a multi-billion dollar industry. Obesity accounts for too many diseases to list, from minor to life-threatening. A huge demand has developed for a solution to this crisis, resulting in an endless array of diet books and diet organizations, exercise videos, and a vast number of fitness clubs. Each of these entities promises big results in a very short time (i.e., lose 30 pounds in 30 days), and there is almost always an endless list of client testimonials from people endorsing their product. The problem is that far fewer than 10% of a given population will get their desired results, and there is almost never a follow-up to see how or if those individuals maintained their results.
Fat loss requires desire, discipline, and dedication – not to mention planning and preparation of correct food choices that you can sustain for the rest of your life. Although it is never too late, changing your life in your senior years is a very difficult task. Many seniors have grown content with the way they are, and many have accepted their body’s shape and limitations.
If fat loss is a concern for you, though, strength training will help reduce fat and produce strong muscles in place of your current fat. Strength training will build strong bones and more powerful muscles, which will in turn burn calories and reduce fat, even while you sleep. Small, weak, dormant muscles will come alive and begin to function as nature intended. Loose, flabby skin around the arms and legs will fill out with new muscle growth and become solid once again, and more aesthetically pleasing.
As an added benefit, strength training can help improve brain function and may well stave off various forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. You must keep your brain waves turned on, or they will shorten and die off. The goal is to keep active and thrive, and strength is an essential component of movement. The stronger you become, the more your body can move.
You must take a prominent role in your well-being. In fact, all seniors should in order to remain a major dominant force in the world.
BABY BOOMERS, RULE THE WAVES!
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