Age brings experience, patience, and wisdom. Aging also results in physical changes that have a direct impact on how we move, feel and behave.
You may be experiencing some type of physical complication that was not an issue when you were younger. The good news is, despite your current numeric or “chronological” age, you do not have to accept the effects of getting older.
Fitness in Middle Age and Beyond
By staying fit, you are making the choice to make the aging process a positive one. One that will optimize your health. Research and studies have concluded that fitness helps to promote happiness and preventing issues associated with the aging process – such as chronic pain, low energy levels, and even cognitive problems, such as memory loss.
All of us – given the proper tools and resources – have the ability to becoming physically fit through our 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond.
Movement is medicine, according to medical professionals. By starting a fitness plan now, you will accomplish the following:
- You will find that it is easier to maintain your independence for a longer amount of time
- By staying active – both physically and mentally – you will avoid experiencing many of the health complications that are associated with an inactive lifestyle
- You will find that you are happier and experience higher levels of self-satisfaction
- You can avoid the possibility of experiencing many of the common conditions that occur with older people
- You can connect to others and with life in a fun and exciting manner
The Aging Process – Defined
As we age, we all must face the physiological and psychological realities that come with our bodies living longer. It is common to be more prone to illness. We stand the possibility of developing one or many chronic conditions.
Our body starts to take longer to recover and it is slow to heal.
While we are unable to be as healthy and vibrant as we were in our teens, 20s, or 30s, we have the choice to remain active.
Being active and engaging in a fitness plan will allow us to take control of the aging process.
Our “real” age ceases to matter.
We become younger by taking our lives into our own hands and making sound, deliberate decisions to be healthy.
Aging – in some instances – is defined by a number that represents chronological age. However, most define the “old” and the “elderly” as those who have chronic conditions, limitations that negatively impact their day-to-day functionality, issues that cause problems with movement, and lack of physical activity.
The aging process may also be defined as the inability to live independently or maintain our independence. By focusing on middle age exercise plans and electing to move, you will no longer be classified as “old” by the standard definition of aging.
Instead, you will be creating a new definition of aging. A healthier, more productive definition that leaves you in optimal health.
10 Weird Things that Happen to your Body When You Age
What Happens to the Body When we Age?
While most changes that accompany aging will occur naturally, you DO have control of the rate in which they occur and even reversing them!
The following outlines a few of the issues that you will be able to prevent or reverse if you get involved in a fitness plan as an older adult:
- In the systems of the body, some degree of physical deterioration occurs.
- The ability to engage in aerobic exercise declines because your maximum aerobic-based capacity declines.
- Your baseline may drop, making you more susceptible to health problems.
- We gain a larger amount of fat than muscle in the body and at a faster rate.
- The metabolism of the body starts to slow down immensely.
- We lose muscle mass.
- Calories are burned at a much slower rate than when we are younger.
- The risk for illness and injury increases.
- Inflammation in the body occurs more quickly.
- Our ability to move freely is hindered.
- We suffer with more pain than we did in our younger days.
- Our joints start to stiffen and pain may occur.
- We may find that – due to our newfound physical condition – we are not as happy or satisfied in life as we once were.
If you are ready to turn your life around, it is time to get moving! Movement is the absolute best medicine for aging populations. It can instantly reverse the aging process, optimize the body, and provide an instant boost to the mind.
Making a Move in the Right Direction
To stay fit as you age, you must make your move in the right direction. This will help you gear up for the best part of your life. To ensure optimal success with your middle age exercise program, follow the tips below:
- Your fitness plan should be balanced in such a way that you are able to achieve your physical fitness goals at a slow pace.
- You may experience pain, stiffness, and other types of discomfort; however, this will pass. If you experience discomfort, work with a professional – like a physical therapist – to help your body get used to its new fitness regimen.
- You should decide if your fitness plan will be to stay where you currently are or to get back to where you used to be.
- While movement is medicine and it will help you achieve your fitness goals, you should understand that being healthy when we are younger does look and feel different than being healthy when we are older.
- Your fitness plan should place an emphasis on being in control and competent. Not to be the strongest, skinniest, etc. The goal is to maintain independence while being healthy, not to be more “buff” than those kids down the street.
- Deciding to incorporate a fitness plan into our life requires more than a simple decision. It requires behavior changes in order to be productive.
- To create a “younger you”, you need to determine your actual fitness age. In most instances, you will probably find that your body is older than your chronological age. This means that you will need to work harder to make yourself younger.
- As an older adult, you need to participate in exercises that are appropriate for your age group – be it middle aged or seniors. In most instances, those that focus on balance, strength, and mobility improvement are the best.
- Your fitness plan should include activities that naturally work to combat the effects of aging. Anti-aging exercises for middle aged and senior adults include squats, walking, climbing stairs, and aerobic exercises.
- Finally, you should incorporate the use of technology into your fitness regimen. Today, one of the most productive systems is the SMARTfit™ system. This is a unit that makes training your brain and your body fun, engaging, and exciting.
Start Today for a More “Fit” Tomorrow
In order to reverse your age, you should start a fitness program today that will lead to a more “fit” tomorrow. Movement is considered to be medicine because it is able to improve your strength and energy levels. It can provide a boost to your stamina levels. It improves the functioning of your immune system and works to reduce the possibility of experiencing illnesses and injuries. Your fitness plan should include the following:
- Balance Training – This type of training helps to provide a boost to how well your body remains stable; therefore, reducing the possibility that you may experience falls and serious injuries.
- Cardiovascular Training – To protect your heart, you have to get it going. The fitness plan should always incorporate exercises that help to increase your heart rate, which provides a boost to your circulation and oxygen levels (both of which have an impact on your fitness age).
- Flexibility Training – This type of training helps you move with a high level of ease. It helps prevent issues like stiff joints and painful movements.
- Strength/Resistance Training – In order to have healthy joints and strong muscles, you have to build up your strength and how much your body is able to resist.
Let Us Help You
Is your fitness age higher than your chronological age? Do you feel older than you physically are? Do you suffer from memory lapses, fatigue, low energy, weakness, balance problems, stiff joints, or any of the other issues associated with the natural aging process? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, let us help!
Here at Back to Motion Physical Therapy, we firmly believe that movement is the absolute best of all medicines!