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Two types of elderly fitness

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  • Two types of elderly fitness

    I'm not trying to be judgmental or look down my nose at seniors-- please understand that if a senior is trying to get in any kind of shape, I think that's great. It's just, I happened to be lifting today when the Silver Sneakers class was in session, and with the glass wall between the weight and workout rooms, well... I made a few observations.

    There were seniors in both rooms. In the weight room, there were guys in their 60's and (late) 70's, with beaten up ball caps and muscle shirts that didn't look half bad on 'em. No elderly women. Guys who were as buff as Mark Sisson, though he's comparatively young to the guys I'm talking about.

    In the Silver Sneakers room, it was a fair mix of men and women, but they were barely exercising. What a contrast! And all I could think to myself was, what is the point in 'working out' if you don't even break a sweat? Why pay Gold's Gym $35 a month to sit in a chair and tap your toes?

    And I repeat to myself, "I will never stop lifting. I will never stop lifting."
    Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.

  • #2
    I suppose there are more reasons to it than just getting in shape. I live in a building with A LOT of senior citizens (welcome to South Florida) and many of them live alone. I think some of them may be going for companionship. Getting old and losing the people dear to you cannot be easy. There's a lady on my floor who has a walker and she just walks up and down the hall and goes down the elevator to get her mail and stretch her legs. I'm not sure how old she is, but she's small, frail and hunched over. So to me, it's seems like too much damage has been done and I think it's great that she does laps in our hall. She has a little transistor radio attached to it that she listens to so you can hear her coming and going.

    There's also an older woman who lives here who leads a Tuesday night yoga class and an every other day water aerobics in the community pool and I've been around when these classes are going on and really it's a great excuse for the building's residents to get together and gossip.

    Everybody's story is different. Maybe those older people who aren't lifting the heavy weights have a reason why. Or maybe they've just gotten to the age where they just don't really give a F what anyone thinks.

    But yeah, at age 42, I want to be able to lift heavy stuff for as long as I physically can.

    Just keep in mind what is in your signature.
    kiss = keep it simple, sister!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kiss View Post

      Everybody's story is different. Maybe those older people who aren't lifting the heavy weights have a reason why. Or maybe they've just gotten to the age where they just don't really give a F what anyone thinks.
      You said it!..
      That is the key point... I am not a Senior..yet.. but at 54 there are somethings I can no longer do! I have injured myself beyond repair in some places so I work with what I have. And some of them may have just started the day you saw them!

      Get to know the person before you judge!
      Living the dream, inside a myth

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      • #4
        Did you guys not read my first paragraph? I'm not judging. I was just struck by the contrast. That's all. Now stop judging ME!
        Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.

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        • #5
          BBC iPlayer - Frontiers: Muscle Wastage

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          • #6
            Not judging. I realize you were just making an observation. I was just trying to point out why some older people may do what they do. After I posted originally I was thinking of a man I know who used to be in the NFL. He's in his mid 60s now and is just, for lack of a better word, broken. But in his prime, he was a beast.
            kiss = keep it simple, sister!

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            • #7
              This is a problem with the industry as a whole - it's not just that older individuals are given different types of exercise to do, they are normally shoe-horned into having different goals. Everyone I've ever spoken to pretty much has the same goal - to feel good and be able to do stuff without having to rely on others or mobility aids. Yet the industry doesn't really cater for this - for the majority, mobility aids will actually make their lives much, much worse.

              I encourage individuals, at all ages, to think about what they want to be able to do and then base their exercise around that.
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              • #8
                It's all between the ears. This article had a video attached, unfortunately behind a paywall now; Still kicking - Boston.com Where these seeming frail elders put the walkers aside and break boards. It really brought a tear to your eyes.

                Or this guy: Experience: I am a 91-year-old bodybuilder | Life and style | The Guardian Who didn't start lifting until he was 85.

                Among the many horrible things pushed by conventional wisdom is the expectation of frailty w/ age and that nothing can be done about it.
                Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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                • #9
                  My dad has issues just walking his dog and controlling it. (Some of that is training of the dog). However, the dog has tripped him and he's fallen at least once, he's getting kyphotic and losing muscle mass. I sent him the link for the bodybuilder. Thanks, IvyBlue!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sanctus Real View Post
                    I'm not trying to be judgmental or look down my nose at seniors-- please understand that if a senior is trying to get in any kind of shape, I think that's great. It's just, I happened to be lifting today when the Silver Sneakers class was in session, and with the glass wall between the weight and workout rooms, well... I made a few observations.

                    There were seniors in both rooms. In the weight room, there were guys in their 60's and (late) 70's, with beaten up ball caps and muscle shirts that didn't look half bad on 'em. No elderly women. Guys who were as buff as Mark Sisson, though he's comparatively young to the guys I'm talking about.

                    In the Silver Sneakers room, it was a fair mix of men and women, but they were barely exercising. What a contrast! And all I could think to myself was, what is the point in 'working out' if you don't even break a sweat? Why pay Gold's Gym $35 a month to sit in a chair and tap your toes?

                    And I repeat to myself, "I will never stop lifting. I will never stop lifting."
                    I understand where you are coming from but this isn't much different between than the middle-aged members. I see hundreds of members come through the door and many of them invest over 2 hours each visit to the facility. The problem is that maybe 5 out of each hundred are in good physical shape while the remainder fall in the categories of not-so-good to poor physical shape. Upon viewing those other 95 "working out" you see them going through the motions but not actually trying. You see them watching TV's, playing with IPods and cell phones, you see them talking to their buddies. Then they wonder why they haven't lost weight or gained muscle, or why they can't walk 2 flights of stairs without being winded. So, the point is this isn't something that is exclusive to seniors.

                    With that said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Seniors do not pay to take Silver Sneakers classes. They are free to seniors based on their insurance providers. Also, these classes are looked upon as social events more so than exercises classes. It gets seniors out of the house and performing some physical activity, even if only a little bit and it allows them to hang out and socialize. Is this an ideal situation for health and fitness? No! But in all honesty it's probably more activity than many of the middle-aged members perform while wasting 2 hours socializing, watching TV, or chatting on the phone.


                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      My mom attends a daily Chair Exercise class. The vast majority of those who attend have had strokes, and most of that group have major problems with balance. The emphasis of the class is really focused on building the brain/muscle connection so that they can regain their coordination and not be as susceptible to falling.

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                      • #12
                        It does get a bit scarier as you get older. I'm only 46, and I can see there are physical risks my 20-something coworkers take that I just won't. The recovery time tends to be longer when things don't go quite right.

                        But, on the other hand, I truly believe that once you stop moving you start dying. And I'm not ready to go for another 60 years or so. I can't see myself ever just "taking it easy" unless it gets downright painful to move around a lot.
                        Durp.

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                        • #13
                          I've always been rather risk adverse, and also always been about taking care of myself so that as I age, I can continue to live well. It's a huge motivation for me, and has been for a very long time.

                          all of my regimens are about longevity. not just for longevity's sake, but for quality of life, etc. It is true that we all reach old age, but I don't think we need to suffer.

                          that being said, you never know what can happen to you -- such as accidents, etc -- that may cause all kinds of problems that you'd have to work your way back from, and may never be 100%. but, you can work hard and do your best.

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                          • #14
                            If she lived in the home as her principal residence for 2 of the 5 years immediately prior to the sale, the first $250k in gain is not subject to Federal tax. It looks as if her gain was less than that, so no tax would be due.

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                            • #15
                              I think a major issue is that people don't know what they *should* be doing to keep them in great shape/healthy. I bet lots of those seniors are trying to 'eat right' and 'exercise' by CW standards, seeking better health. The formula they are using just might not be working wonders for them though. The majority of people are not aware of how much lifting heavy things can be helpful, or what an optimal diet for their own bodies might be.

                              I also agree w/ pp's mentioning unseen injuries etc. You never know what someone is dealing with--they may be working to recover from something that greatly limits their workouts.

                              I guess all you can do is mention how helpful strength training has been for you, and offer suggestions when others seem interested. I was thrilled a few weeks ago to see that one of the trainers at my YMCA had gotten into the PB. We had a talk about it and he couldn't believe how much weight I'd lost and kept off just eating this way and incorporating aspects of PBF into my life. Yesterday when I was in the wellness center/weight room there were fliers with the carbohydrate curb printed out and posted, free for folks to take. It was the 'healthy tip of the week'. I LOVED it!!! The word is getting out about all this stuff, and I'm sure its because folks having successes (whether lifting or eating primal etc) are sharing with others...

                              I do LOVE seeing strong and fit older people. There is a woman in one of my yoga classes who is a 'senior' and is just amazing. She always does a bunch of arm balances before the actual class practice and I just love seeing her. She's a wonderful role model for everyone around her!
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