Too Old NOT To Exercise
Yes, you read that right!
Far too often we hear and people think (they have been told) that they are too old to exercise. They couldn’t be further away from truth.
Many things in our body change with age. Bones density decreases with time. That happens more rapidly with women than men, due to hormonal changes during menopause. Muscle and other soft tissue are also affected and there are fewer fast-twitch motor units within aged muscle. These are responsible for the degree of power exerted by muscle. In simple terms, our muscles get weaker with age.
The muscle mass also reduces. In healthy young person, 30% of body mass is muscle, 20% adipose tissue (fat tissue) and 10% bone. These proportions depend on our training regime and will be different for someone who does a lot of sports or weight training. By age of 75 (on average) about 15% of body mass is muscle, 40% is adipose tissue and 8% bone. So the proportions change quite significantly.
The good news is that a lot can be done to slow down or even reverse the muscle loss. Strength training has been found to be beneficial in halting muscle loss at all ages and as much as 50% increase in muscle strength has been found in some studies after six months. So if you want to keep your muscles strong and healthy as long as possible and enjoy running after your grandkids in the park, strength training is the way to go.
Another thing to consider is that aging alters the neuromuscular response to muscle disuse and recovery. Re-building muscle strength and size after time of immobilisation takes longer as we age therefore it is important to get back to exercise after periods of immobilisation as soon as that is possible as we age.
Very often elderly people fear losing balance and re-injury if they try exercise and as a result avoid physical activities. That is a fast track to disease- lack of ease in the body.
The right treatment and the right exercise in the right order can massively help to bring function back and lengthen the time we can spend doing the things we love as we age.
Keeping nervous system at its optimal functioning with chiropractic adjustments helps with balance, coordination, muscle strength and joint mobility making exercising safer even into late in life.
There is an optimal length of muscle at which the muscle is the strongest. Therefore in clinic we focus on bringing your range of motion to its optimum before we ask you do to strength exercise. This ensures that you can use all the muscles in a way they were designed to work and not strain other tissues that would otherwise need to compensate for that loss of range of motion.
Another good news is that studies shown that despite muscle strength decreasing as we age, the ability of our muscles to stretch drops only by a small percentage over decades. Therefore, age is not really an excuse not to stretch. The key is to follow the right exercise and if in doubt seek professional advice.
Our body has an amazing ability to heal. We must give it a chance to do its job despite of age by providing it with new input in form of movement, experiences, nutrition and bodymind exercises.
If you are concerned about your parents or yourself loosing muscle strength, balance or range of motion, speak to a member of our team and we will do our outmost to help.