Slow down to get strong!

Many people can relate to being told to “slow down” when exercising, but often no one explains why this is so important. Performing the exercises in a slow and controlled manor can be the difference between developing optimal strength and even reducing injury risk. While many assume that strength is built by lifting, pushing and pulling,…

Osteoporosis- Going beyond Calcium

While it is one of the most common conditions in Australia, Osteoporosis is often not well understood, even by those who are suffering from it. It currently affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men over 65 and currently costs almost 3.5 billion dollars every year. Even with a steady presence about it in the media, numbers are still on the rise.

Calcium and Osteoporosis

When you ask many people what the cause of Osteoporosis is, they will often say a lack of Calcium. Although this is not incorrect, it is not the full answer and this is where a greater understanding would help. Osteoporosis is actually a loss of bone mineral density, relative to the normal for your age. The calcium is an important part of the bone mineral density, but it is less than 60% of the make up of the bone.

Lift and lose it

One of the most common goals that we see with men attending Active Seniors is the desire to shed weight around their midline. This is a great goal as more than 60% of Australian adults are overweight, and the fat surrounding the abdominal area is the most dangerous because it surrounds important internal organs.

It is important when looking at your weight to also measure your waistline.

As we age muscle mass and fat tend to be unequally distributed around the body, so though you may weigh the same overall as you did before a large waistline from fat buildup can be balanced against, for example, reduced upper body muscle mass and result in a higher risk for metabolic disease. When looking at your waist measurement, anything greater than 94cm for men and 80cm for women puts you at an increased risk of this.

Get a grip

Shoulders are a common problem area for many people. Is easy to see why when you look at the anatomy of the shoulder. Our shoulders are designed to move….. ALOT!! However this comes at the cost of stability.

When looking at rehabilitation for the shoulder, the rotator cuff often takes the spotlight. While it is an important stabiliser of the shoulder it is not the only one, and it shouldn’t be the only focus of rehabilitation programs. One area that IS often neglected however is grip strength.

Beginning an exercise program

The new year heralds fitness and exercise goals for many people, however there are important considerations to be aware of when starting a new exercise program.

Remember that an exercise program needs to be based on you, your strengths, your weaknesses and your goals.

What may be suitable for you to do in an exercise program may not be appropriate for the person next to you who has been exercising five days a week for the past eight years or the person on the other side who has osteoporosis and has just had a knee replacement.

Be stronger, live longer

New research has suggested that rather than focusing so much on the weight you see when you step on the scales; we need to look into body composition. This means that we need to look at the make up of your weight, for example how much muscle mass and body fat you have in your body. This has been highlighted in research published in the American Journal of Medicine which has shown in older adults that a greater muscle mass may lead to a longer life (1).

Unfortunately as we age we generally start to lose our muscle mass. After the age of 30 this can occur at a rate of around 3–8% reduction in lean muscle mass per decade! This can be for a variety of reasons with a leading cause being the fact that often when we age we become more sedentary. Think about it. Are you as active as you were in your 20s?

The ins and outs of breathing

Breathing- it’s something that we are continuously doing to keep us alive, but we rarely think about it as the body does it seemingly automatically. We require oxygen to function so we take a breath in to satisfy that need and then we take a breath out to expel the body of our unneeded carbon dioxide, all done without too much thought. But is breathing really that simple when it comes to exercising?