Let’s pretend that (gasp!) you are over the age of 60. Let’s then pretend that you plan on living for a good deal longer and in good health too, after all, 60 is the new 40 as they continue to tell us right? Now, let’s pretend that in order to support all of this healthful living you decide that a solid exercise protocol is needed. Good idea. Of course because of your “advancing” age you’ll have to stick to lighter intensity exercises and not flirt with the boundaries of your abilities, because hey, you’re delicate right?
Not so much.
I think that it’s important to address some of the limiting preconceptions that we have about ourselves and our physical abilities as we get older. To be sure safety always comes first when it comes to choosing appropriate physical activity but that doesn’t mean that the older exerciser is limited to gentle ring toss on a padded playing surface. The reality is that each of us, young or old, is an individual who presents with a unique set of circumstances. The types of exercise we engage in should reflect attention to those unique circumstances regardless of age.
Each person needs to engage in a variety of exercises to address various components of fitness, including strength, endurance, mobility, coordination and body composition. The specific composition of your workout is tailored according to goals, experience, current fitness levels and yes, also health conditions. I’ll argue with conviction though that “age” in and of itself is not a health condition! Osteoporosis is a health condition, arthritis is a health condition, a torn ligament is a health condition, steroid use is an important health consideration as is a history of shoulder dislocations. These are the things that I consider from a therapeutic perspective with my clients and none of them is strictly age related.
So all of this to say never let your age alone be a limiting factor on your vision for how you will exercise. A skilled coach will always work with you to help you work safely at the top of your abilities, wherever you are in life! If you have any questions about this or any other fitness or injury related issues, don’t hesitate to contact me.