Ever wake up feeling a bit stiff, or perhaps you’re not as flexible as you were 20 years ago?
We all have different levels of flexibility regardless of age, however with aging our physical agility decreases due to the normal aging process.
Ø There is less lubricating fluid in out joints.
Ø Muscle ligaments, tendons, cartilage and connective tissues shorten and become thinner.
All of this can mean stiffness is able to settle into your joints, making every day movements slower and seem to take more energy.
These Physical Changes Can be Reduced by Fitness Training
Therefore the flexibility changes of aging need more attention than "its just because I'm getting older".
However flexibility doesn't just affect how we move. If your thighs muscles are too tight, it can limit movement around your hips (we use those a LOT - getting up and down, walking, climbing stairs).
This can result in pain - do you want to be in pain?
Time to Change to Holistic Movements Practice at Charlie's over 50's Gym
Although most of us keep fit by walking, cycling, swimming or go to fitness classes, we may not be covering all bases of fitness, so lets look at some of Charlie's more extensive 'whole of body training'.
Personal Training - Fitness for Feet and Ankles
First let's start with your feet, as your feet and ankles are pretty important to movement and overall health although we generally don't give them much attention.
Here's what's important:
Ø Stimulate the nerves under your feet, as this will help you with balance.
Ø Increase blood flow to the arches and general circulation to your feet.
Ø Relaxes and loosens tight, constricted muscles and ligaments.
If you do just general exercise such as squats and lunges or use gym fixed equipment or even walking you need to be doing or following Charlie's advice to achieve the above results.
Personal Training - Fitness for Arms, Wrist and Shoulders
Let's move from our feet to our arms, wrists and shoulders. Rather important for these to work well, feel good and be both flexible and strong for the rigors of everything from gardening, cooking, driving and countless other duties such as picking up the grandchildren or even having a great day at work.
Here's what's important:
Ø Improve the flexibility of wrists, shoulders and elbows in fact all of the joints involved in arm and shoulder movements.
Ø Strengthen our arms and shoulders.
Ø Increased shoulder, elbow and wrist mobility.
Ø And also stimulate the brain as these hands and upper limbs occupy a lot of the homunculus, the body map within our brains.
Personal Training - Fitness to Improve your Brain
There is something that we work on a lot when we were younger, but tend to take it for granted when we're older, and that is our hand eye coordination.
Ø General and specific exercises are needed for hand eye coordination - imagine driving your car?
Ø When we stimulate both our eyes and our hands at the same time we build neural connections in the brain. (Just remember how many of these type of exercises or games we played when we were young and growing up)
Personal Training - Fitness for your Core Muscles
One of the most requested exercises for body improvements that we get at 50 Plus Fitness is "help strengthen my core".
Ø So you need both flexibility and stability that can keep our reflexes literally up to speed.
Ø By using a variety of equipment such as Swiss ball or Rockit board. One of Charlie's main focuses is to strengthen abdominal and back muscles hence improving core stability and balance (remember balance and brain are brothers).
Body Weight Training is more Holistic than Fixed Static Gym Machines
Of course as a personal trainer Charlie will not neglect general bodyweight training.
Here's what's important:
Ø Improving your cardiovascular health is important for blood pressure.
Ø Improving muscle endurance and muscle strength is important to prevent sarcopenia.
Ø Exercises are designed to work the whole body unlike the normal gym machines that strengthen muscle in one particular direction.
"And one has to admit we don't all have gym machines in our house but we do have our bodies to use for bodyweight exercise."
Charlie is continually upgrading his own particular training and knowledge of functional movements. Therefore some of the equipment that he has in his private gym can surprise you and certainly he has many that you can put in your handbag and use at home and even on holiday - no excuses for not staying fit!
Do make a date and drop in to talk with Charlie about your fitness and health!
Conclusion - How to Stay Fit Over 50
I am a firm believer that we should be able to control and manage the way our body moves. The simple act of finding our inner child, where we would play and move without a care in the world.
These movements were the foundations of where we came from, the hand eye coordination skills we got from playing with balls, the running, swimming, skipping and climbing required our brains to register and problem solve situations. These only required body weight movements, which came naturally when we were young.
Body weight movements, make us move multiple muscle groups at the same time and also in different planes of motion, something a static machine cannot achieve. One of the important benefits of body weight training is its ability to improve your cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength all at once.
This article has described some of the many ways and variety of training that I, aka Charlie, use at my private gym in Christchurch, Amberley and Online, anywhere in New Zealand.
I believe us over 50's need to remain flexible, strong from head to toe, with great co-ordination and reflexes. Many of my clients who take-up these easy to use fitness ideas have greatly improved their fitness, feeling younger everyday!
See you soon!
Charlie - Personal Trainer Christchurch
Want to find simple effective ways to improve your fitness and wellbeing? This is where I can help! Ideas can be found on my website.