Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Jane Reynolds

Jane Reynolds

Recent Posts by Jane Reynolds:

The Leg Press May Save Your Life

GettyImages-477836344We’ve all heard that staying active as we get older is important, but let's really dig into the key players: what exactly can help prevent hospital visits due to common injuries like osteoporosis-related fractures?

Here's a startling fact from the CDC... every year, more than 300,000 people aged 65 and above end up in the hospital because of hip fractures. Recovery from these fractures can take what feels like ages and often has a negative effect on your independence. Approximately 30-40% of patients resume their prior activity levels.

Now, before you shrug and think, "Okay, that's unfortunate, but it doesn't affect me," let's focus on osteoporosis and its risks. This condition weakens bones, making them fragile and prone to fractures without you even realizing it's happening. It's often referred to as a "silent disease" because it creeps up without symptoms until - boom - you've got a fracture, usually in your hips, spine, or wrists. So, if you're aging (aren't we all?), you're at risk.

But here is the good news: there are some simple exercises that can help prevent the worst of osteoporosis.

Take the leg press, for example. It's a pretty common strength training exercise where you push weight away with your legs against some resistance. The leg press helps to stimulate cells that build bones and boosts bone density.

It is important that you learn proper technique so be sure to reach out to your Fitness Center staff for help. Your Fitness Center staff will teach you proper techniques, frequency, and intensity of exercises, ensuring safety and effectiveness.

Weight-bearing exercises like the leg press don't just help your bones - they also increase muscle strength. Increasing muscular strength also reduces your risk of falling which reduces your risk of fractures. They're like your body's personal bodyguards for your bones, reducing the chances of falls or fractures.

The bottom line is this: weight-bearing exercises, like the leg press, are key when it comes to fighting off osteoporosis. Regularly getting into these workouts can help strengthen your bones, increase your strength, and keep you healthier.

How you program matters! What are you doing to effectively engage residents in your community? Click below to see how NIFS programs for effective outcomes.

Senior Programs

Topics: bone density exercise for elderly exercise and aging

Active Aging: Avoid Getting Rusty, Move More!

GettyImages-1287271703Actress Helen Hayes lived by these words, and lived a full and happy life well into her 90’s. So what do we mean by this motto….if you rest, you rust? Simply put, our bodies are made to move and if we become sedentary, our bodies get “rusty” as in our joints become stiff, our bones can become brittle and we lose muscle mass.

Many senior citizens are very active and live by these words, however there are still many that are not on board. I have heard over the years from inactive seniors that their fear is they will be in more pain. They already suffer from osteoarthritis and feel that exercise will make them feel worse. In actuality it is the exact opposite. Inactivity is causing the joints to become stiff and “rusty”! So how do we convince an inactive senior that it’s never to late to get started? How do we convince them that if they begin an exercise regimen that they will have less joint pain? We can start by giving them sound data from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).” Their stance is that physical activity is essential to optimizing both physical and mental health and can play a vital role in the management of arthritis. Regular physical activity can keep the muscles around affected joints strong, decrease bone loss and may help control joint swelling and pain. Regular activity replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of the joint and reduces stiffness and pain.” So now that we have them convinced, what are the best exercises for arthritis? We always want to include the modalities of cardiovascular exercise to increase endurance, strength training to increase muscle mass and prevent bone loss and lastly but probably most important is stretching to increase flexibility. Before starting an exercise program always consult your physician. Once cleared, one of the best places to be is in the pool! Aqua Aerobics, water walking or swimming offer the bouncy of the water to help ease joint pain and many facilities keep the water temperature warm at 78-83 degrees, which is considered therapeutic. Most aqua aerobics classes also offer strength training with aqua dumbbells and stretching at the conclusion of the class. If water isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps try a gentle yoga class, a chair yoga class, a low impact aerobics class or Tai Chi for gentle movement and balance. If group exercise classes are not to your liking, you may want to exercise in a fitness center. Cardiovascular equipment such as the stationary bike or a NuStep are great ways to increase your endurance. You might consider working with a personal trainer for help with strength training and flexibility and working with a trainer also helps with accountability.

The ACSM recommends exercising 150 minutes per week which is 30 minutes a day, 5 times per week. If you’re just getting started, work towards this goal. Just remember that famous line from Helen Hayes, “If you rest, you rust”! Keep moving forward, we’re not looking back!

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Topics: staying active