Grandparents and Fitness



absolutely! HEALTHY LIVING By Donovan Greer –

In today’s society, Americans age 50 and older are beginning to see longer life expectancies. An increasing number of adults over the age of 50 are competing in triathlons, rodeos, MS 150 events and marathons. Fifty has become the new 35, and it’s primarily due to exercise training and fitness.

Physical fitness is very beneficial for older adults. As people age, their metabolism tends to slow down, which causes an increase in body fat. They also tend to lose muscle tone, strength, balance and even the elasticity in their muscles. Some common injuries that elderly citizens typically suffer from are hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries, which are typically caused by falling due to lack of balance and stability. Studies and evidence also show that physical exercise is a key player in the reduction of metabolic syndrome, which increases diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, dementia and depression.

Exercise can also help save lives.  Balance training can help not only reduce an adult’s chances of falling, but strength training can also help them recover much faster from an injury already sustained. The ability to balance on one leg is a very good test to see if one is prone to injury causing falls. If one struggles to balance on one foot, then that is an indicator that they are at risk for slipping and falling. Balance and stability exercise should be incorporated.

Among those who have started exercising at the age of 50 and continued for at least 10 years, studies show a dramatic decrease in their chances of premature death. And, for those looking for that magic fountain of youth, look no further. Exercise and physical fitness has been proven to protect the elderly from long-term memory loss and help slow down the rate of aging.

Exercise should become a regular part of your life, and it should be thought of as a way to enhance your quality of life. I have clients in their 50s and 60s who can run circles around teenagers. It’s all about attitude and finding activities that you love to participate in. If you’re a beginner – at any age – I encourage you to find a personal trainer who can guide you with step-by-step instruction, or join classes such as yoga, mat Pilates or a dance class. After all, it’s never too late to start exercising.