WOMI Radio Shaped by Faith

Exercise For Older Adults

Program Originally Aired March 28 and 30, and April 2, 2014

You can hear Shaped by Faith three times per week on WOMI. Friday night at 6:05, Sunday morning at 7:30 and Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m.

In our Shaped by Faith Podcast today, Theresa Rowe is joined by Becky Mitchell (pictured on the left above), a shapely (by faith) woman of 60 who plays tennis regularly and whose stamina belies her years. But, first, let's look at some of the tips Theresa shared on those episodes that aired in March.

Shaped by Fitness: 4 Types of Exercise that Older Adults Need

How much should you exercise and how often!

Research has proven that exercise is safe for people of all ages, and that it is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself, even as an older adult. By staying physically active, you will feel better every day. With exercise, you will prevent many diseases and illnesses that often occur with age such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and certain cancers.

If you have not been very active up to now, start off with a small amount of exercise each day by doing gentle movements to keep your joints flexible. Some exercise is far better than no exercise. Healthy aging and independent living is dependant on daily physical activity.

  • Do strength training for all your major muscle groups at least twice a week!  Vary the exercises so you don’t work the same muscle group 2 days in a row.
  • Lift a minimum of weight the first week, then gradually build up the weight.  (start out with lifting 3 pounds and then increase as you get stronger) Depending on your level of fitness, you can start with no weights.  Starting with weights too heavy can cause injury.
  • Its important to gradually add a challenging amount of weight in order to benefit from strength training exercises.  If you don’t challenge your muscles, you wont get stronger.  You can build up to using different weights and different resistance (tubing, kettle bell, weighted bar) as your strength grows and your body adapts to strength exercises.
  • You should do 8-15 repetitions in a row.  For example: Front Raise Exercise.  You could do a set of squats in between each set of front raises.
  • After you get strong you could do a Functional Fitness (Total Body) Exercise as you strength train, using your upper and lower body and core at the same time.  Squat & Front Raise exercise.

Shaped by Life: Continued Types of exercise for older adults

With normal aging, there is a general reduction in muscle mass that occurs in adults. Adults in the fourth decade of life lose 3–5 percent of muscle mass per decade and the decline increases after the age of fifty. The good news is that we can increase our muscle mass at any age and improvement is noticed almost immediately.

Our muscles keep us strong and they help us to burn calories, maintain our weight and contribute to bone strength and balance. But if we do not exercise, our muscles we become weak, and eventually we will not be able to live independently. Balance also decreases as we age, and according to the U.S. Center for Diseases Control and Prevention, one in every three Americans over the age of 65 falls each year. And among individuals 65–84, falls account for 87 percent of all fractures and are the second leading cause of spinal cord and brain injury. You can do something to prevent injury and illness: you can exercise.

Its never too late to improve your health!  Everyone benefits from exercise.

  • Staying physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities.
  • Even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of Seniors who are frail or who have diseases that accompany aging.

Don’t be afraid to exercise!  Exercise and physical activity are among the healthiest things you can do for yourself, but some older adults are reluctant to exercise.  They may be afraid that exercise will be too strenuous or that physical activity will harm them.  Research shows that actually the opposite is true.

  • Exercise is safe for people of all age groups
  • Older Adults hurt their health far more by not exercising than by exercising.

An inactive lifestyle can cause older adults to lose ground in four areas that are important for staying healthy and independent: strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance.

Its never too late to start exercising!  Even if you have had an inactive lifestyle, there is good news!  Its never too late to improve you!

Psalm 105:4

Look to the Lord and his strength, seek his face always!

Isaiah 40:31

God provides our strength

Shaped by God: Podcast Interview with Becky Mitchell