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Thread: Two types of elderly fitness page

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    Sanctus Real's Avatar
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    Two types of elderly fitness

    Primal Fuel
    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'.

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    kiss's Avatar
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    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.

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    Quote 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!
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    Sanctus Real's Avatar
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    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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    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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    Coach Palfrey's Avatar
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    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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    IvyBlue's Avatar
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    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.
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    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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    szorn's Avatar
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    Quote 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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