You have arrived here because you want your loved one to be able to physically do things easier or better in their daily life. Maybe you see them going down an inactivity path. Perhaps you know that fall prevention is important for them to be doing now, but you are unsure what that looks like. Or they are in PT right now from surgery and you are worried about what they can do after PT is over. It can be likely that you have tried to get them to check out your gym but they are not really feeling it or is in general not that excited about exercise. Overall you want them to move better and be as fit as possible. I want to highlight the benefits of movement for older adults.
Everyday life activities demand movement.
Life takes strength to pull things. There are things we all take for granted like pulling a refrigerator open, car door or raking leaves. They should be able to do these everyday live activities with confidence.
In the grocery store, they push a shopping cart. At home it could be moving furniture, pushing a wheelbarrow or other housework. Often when pushing things we are also using our core strength and stability. It is more than arms. Our bodies are
Mobility & Flexibility
Instead of trying to parse about the textbook definition of the difference between mobility and flexiblity let’s condense it to movements. You want them to be able to reach things so they can get them off the shelf or closet. Clothing ourselves and stepping in the shower and washing takes a level of ability that is easy to get accustomed to until individuals find it a challenge.
This word can often raise objections as to what someone cannot do. That is because they often have certain expectations of depth or perfect form in their heads. Or honestly, they may not how to really perform a squat in the most optimal way that does not cause pain in their knees. Yet they still find a way to go to the bathroom and sit down in a chair.
Picking Things Up
In the fitness arena, there is a more fancy word for this…deadlifts. They don’t have to be a powerlifter to do deadlifts or pick things up off the ground. However, they should learn how to do it in a way that puts their hamstrings and glutes to work instead of targeting the back.
I describe balance as something that is running in the background. Every day they move and do things balance is an integral part of that act. Falls may be high on your list of concerns either because it has happened in the past, you are afraid of it happening now or have read about the risks of falls especially with low bone density.
How can all of these and other important ways of moving to be improved?
Gentle seated exercises for older adults are not the answer. (Especially if they were able to walk into the gym!) On the other hand, unsafe movements that put people in positions that can lead to injury are on the other end of the spectrum. The sweet spot is to challenge them the gym in ways that make everyday life less of a challenge. More often then not when they see how they can improve in the gym they start seeing how they move better in everyday life. Words like independence, confidence, or strong can describe any individual regardless of their age.
If you are in San Diego reach out. I would be happy to work with your loved one & also you to help you move better in life. You can either shoot me a message through the contact form below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.