By Kim Clements ACE Certified Instructor
I think we can all agree that exercising frequently will keep your body strong and your brain active. But, how can you maintain this plan on a daily basis as you get older? In this article, I’m going to talk about the most common challenge the older member has to deal with:
Arthritis… particularly Osteoarthritis or OA.
OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, sometimes called the “wear & tear” arthritis. It tends to occur in middle age, or from overuse, and is more common in women than men.
COMMON CAUSES OF ARTHRITIC PAIN:
Age – As you age, your bones, muscles and joints are aging too, resulting in decreased ability to perform well.
Overuse – Using the same joints over and over in a job or sport can result in osteoarthritis over time.
Weak Muscles – If the muscles surrounding a joint are weak, they will be unable to support that joint, causing it to be less stable, and more prone to injury and pain.
Unfortunately, you can’t stop the age clock from ticking, but under the guidance of a Waverley Oaks trainer or instructor, you can start to take control of your health and quality of life.
After the age of 40, you lose about 8% of muscle mass per year …. and even more over each following decade! YIKES!! Strength training for both men and women, is crucial in maintaining your health. Strong muscles will support your joints, as well as, help manage your OA pain. 2 – 3 times a week of strength training will make a difference in your posture, control of your movements, joint stability, as well as weight management. You can’t manage without it!
An important point regarding strength training – The process of challenging your muscles can come in many forms. It doesn’t have to be done exclusively with dumbbells or machines as some may think. You can also challenge your muscles through body weight exercises, such as in the Barre class which challenges your core, legs and mental focus to maintain balance, or in the Zumba Gold class which requires controlled movements and agility as you transfer body weight from one direction to another. Utilizing a variety of different approaches to building muscle is always beneficial as it decreases the effects of overuse, and challenges your brain at the same time!
Let’s talk more about specific joints next time.