Functional Training for Active Older Adults
by Lori Gentry, Fitness Trainer/Massage Therapist at St. Leonard
Healthy aging is more than just the absence of disease, for
most older people, the maintenance of functional ability
has the utmost importance. Movement is such a key
element because the loss of functional abilities significantly
impacts quality of life.
Why functional training you ask? Older adults are a growing
demographic, they are living longer (by 2030 the number of
adults over 65 in the U.S. will be more than double to
approximately 71 million). LIFELONG PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, COMBINED WITH SPECIFIC FUNCTIONAL TRAINING IS THE KEY TO MAINTAINING INDEPENDENCE.
Functional training is an outcome, not a method. The
program design centers around activities of daily living such
as getting off the couch, lifting a laundry basket, gardening,
grocery shopping, etc. In older adults, as fitness declines,
many find daily tasks and enjoyable activities harder to do.
This accumulates over time and when you notice the
changes, the decline is very significant. Balance, stability
and mobility has been underestimated or overlooked in
older adults, so programs that promote balance, core
integration, functional performance and fall prevention are
Functional fitness promotes overall life quality and specific
programs building strength, endurance and mobility.
Regular exercise routines include strength, balance, agility,
aerobics and endurance. Functional fitness includes push,
pull, rising, core integration, lowering, rotation and
Numerous studies show that progressive and resistance
workouts are great foundations for training and can
improve functional capacity in older adults including gait,
balance and stability. These benefits also include the
bonuses of increased cardiovascular function, increased
metabolism and decreased heart disease risks. With all of
this fitness goodness going on for overall health and wellbeing,
what are you waiting for?
For a free consultation/orientation, call 937-436-2203 to