HELP! I Can’t Get Off The Toilet! Is This Life As You Age?

We have a training motto here at Fit One Five – Cardio to live a longer life, Strength Train to live a better life. Do both. You know what’s cooler than breaking a Personal Record or finishing a race?

  • Playing with your grandkids.
  • Saving for retirement and actually using the money to live
  • Not worrying that your family is worried about your activities of daily living

How many of us have relatives, parents, mentors that we just watch slowly fade away? Losing their ability to do things on their own. Worrying that if they get sick their life may not get back to the bare minimum that they were already at before.

Why do aging adults end up in assisted-living facilities? It’s right there in the title: It comes down to not being able to get up off of the toilet. It may sound bad, but it’s a very real thing.

More broadly, the reason aging adults go to assisted-living facilities is loss of independence. As adults age, basic life movement can become much more difficult. People retire, they are less active, and they have fewer reasons to get up and out of the house. So they sit all day, and their muscles weaken.

That’s why it’s so important need to stay active as we age. We need to find or stick to an exercise routine to preserve our independence for as long as possible—not just for our own sakes, but also so our children won’t have to take care of us (or pay someone else to).

The exercise needs of the aging population vary by degree, not kind. What is standing up from the toilet? An air squat. What happens when someone falls and gets back up? A burpee. How do groceries get unloaded from the car? With a farmers carry.

Aging adult athletes may not be breaking gym records, but they can certainly perform modified versions of everything the rest of the class is doing—and a good coach will know how to guide them. Intensity is relative for every athlete in the gym, while range of motion and movement goals stay the same. 

Strength training is also critical for aging adults because it helps prevent and reverse osteoporosis (brittle bones). Even minor slips and falls often result in broken bones in aging men and women with low bone density. Lifting heavy objects increases that bone density and reduces risk of injury.

Group fitness classes may or may not be appropriate for all aging adults. At Fit One Five, we have several 50-plus-year-old athletes, and they do great in classes. Others choose to start with private sessions. The point is that they get or remain active.

The simple way to put it: move often, through full ranges of motion, with as heavy a weight as you can reasonably handle. Eat mostly whole foods, and do a lot of low intensity cardio (where you can have a conversation) and occasionally add in some high intensity.

If you would like help learning how to live better, book an intro and we’ll take care of it

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