Are you old? If so, keep moving!

A recent study published in April 2013 by the Endocrine Society has shown that reducing the physical activity levels of healthy older adults produced reductions in muscle mass and impairments in insulin sensitivity, two negative effects of ageing. The study was conducted  with participants aged between 71-73 and involved reducing their activity levels (measured by step count) over a 14 day period.

It has been long established that muscle mass reduction does occur as we age and this has many implications for our health, mobility and balance. The findings of this study seem to indicate that a reduction in physical activity patterns will further increase this rate of decline unless we find ways to keep active.

My experiences working with clients in this age group and above have shown me that an a regular resistance training program (of higher priority than aerobic training for this age group) is the key to helping older adults maintain their mobility and balance as well as decrease risk of falls and consequently maintain their independence for many more years. Some of the barriers to be overcome include the prevailing attitude of ‘I am too old for all that fitness work’ and working with a potentially younger person who may be their instructor in a gym or personal training environment.

-Kristin Lewis

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