Exercise needed to help you zip into old age with vigour
WE ALL know exercise is good for us. We are bombarded with this message every day of the week.
But not much is said about the benefits of exercise for seniors.
I'm a senior and I often feel ignored when it comes to talk of training for someone my age.
However, ask any trainer and you will be told people of all ages and physical condition cannot only benefit from exercise, especially resistance training, but they could go into old age with vigour, vitality and suppleness.
When you consider how many of us baby boomers will soon be wandering into old age, this is motivation to get us up and moving.
Sunshine Coast personal trainer Aaron Shedlock says there is no reason seniors can't train well into their 80s and 90s as long as they are not ill.
"I train a 96-year-old woman," he said.
"Strength exercises build older adult muscles and increase your metabolism, which helps to keep your weight down and blood sugar in check.
"Exercise for balance builds leg muscles and can help prevent falls which many older people are frightened of."
According to Aaron Shedlock, one of the major benefits strength exercise brings to the senior is the prevention or halting of osteoporosis.
"As people get older, osteoporoses can be a big problem," he said.
"A lot of doctors recommend calcium or vitamins, but they also recommend resistance training. Age is no limit to resistance training."
However, Mr Shedlock recommends seniors who have been inactive for some time should not rush into a heavy routine.
"Twice a week is enough," he said.
"You must have one or two rest days in between. And you must go somewhere safe, get a safe program prescribed, or go to a personal trainer.
"Functionality is one of the big benefits of regular strength training for seniors. It's no use having lean arms if there is no function and you can't lift anything.
"Resistance training will make you feel a lot more positive throughout your day.
"Posture, alignment and core strength will improve.
"Activities, such as getting in and out of the car, picking up grandchildren, walking up stairs will become a lot easier. And you could lose weight, as long as you look after your nutrition."
Make the training sessions enjoyable and varied is the advice from Mr Shedlock to keep you interested and going back for more.
"Always change the routines," he said. "Make training enjoyable. You will perform better at everything you do as long as you keep your strength up."
For details: shedlock.com.au