By: Chris Parchmann, MS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
Vast evidence demonstrates there is a trajectory of decline in functional ability as we age, especially after the age of thirty. Physical decline varies based on the peak attained earlier in life, which is why it is so important to take care of your body and stay in shape. Working with an Ageility Personal Fitness Trainer is a great way to start.
Aging has been linked to a progressive decrease in aerobic fitness, strength, and lean body mass. These decrements have been related to a prevalence of conditions such as osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and risk of injury from falls. All are interrelated and contribute to losses in fitness levels that are important factors for competing in the National Senior Games, and affect the non-athletic older adult in that degenerative conditions impair autonomy and functional capacity. Leading an active and healthy life is extremely important to preserve attainted levels of fitness in conjunction with independence as you age.
Skeletal changes with age involve bone loss beginning to exceed bone formation known as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a chronic disease that greatly affects older adults due to a reduction in bone mineral density and bone quality. Bones become brittle and accumulate a greater number of microfractures with this disease. Lack of loading activities is also a huge factor as to why bone degenerates over time. Women have been shown to lose more bone than men because of menopause. Ageility strength training programs using weights are a great way to combat changes to an aging skeletal system.
Joints are affected by the aging process in several ways. Lack of strength causes joints to become weak and more susceptible to injury. Joints grow stiff and inelastic. In addition, they become less stable and mobile causing common movements to be far more difficult. Mobility and flexibility programs offered by Ageility can improve balance that may be lost with unstable joints.
Body fat increases and total body water decreases with age. This becomes especially pronounced at ages 40 – 50 when muscle mass begins to decline. Substantial loss in muscle mass known as sarcopenia negatively influences strength and aerobic capacity. Type I muscle fibers inclined to endurance capability are preserved while type II muscle fibers important for strength and power output associated with many sports are predominantly lost.
Nerves become less able to regenerate after they are damaged with age. Older adults find that their reaction time is slower due to this phenomenon. As a result, they lose the ability to generate strength and power influencing sport skills such as jumping ability. Loss of fine tune motor control is another change to the nervous system that occurs. This affects actions such as accuracy in throwing sports. Ageility fitness programs preserve the nervous system by including exercise components that involve strength, power, and coordination to attenuate declines to the nervous system.
Contact Ageility today to begin a fitness program tailored to meet your goals!