Senior Fitness Mythes Debunked

Adjusting Your Fitness to Aging: Myth that should be debunked

The idea of fitness changes with the growth of age. There are several misconceptions that are developed in every culture and due to these misconceptions, there are chances that the old people avoid doing things that are beneficial for them. When it comes to the maintenance of old age health, there are several benefits that can be attained with exercise. Fitness routine can change but it should not get eliminated from the daily routine. Here are some myths about the old age fitness that needs to be debunked:

1.    I am too old to start exercising:

This is one of the most common concerns of almost every old age person. Age does not matter when it comes to fitness. This is a myth that is created due to several unpleasant incidents. However, the truth is, no age is inappropriate to get fit again. There is always a possibility to improve the health. The type of exercise can change but not doing it at all should not be an option.

2.    My heart does not have the capacity to bear this:

Again a myth that should be debunked. There is no relationship between the capacity of the heart and fitness exercises. If you are one of those who is facing some issues of the heart, you can just go for the moves that are simple and the moves that do not require much physical activity. However, getting fit is not related to the health of the heart. In fact, it can be quite beneficial for the health of the heart.

3.    I cannot do it like I used to:

This is something that needs to be accepted. There are certain things that can be done only at a specified age. You cannot expect to have the same energy level at old age. You need to let go the past. Every age has its own beauties so it is better to appreciate those instead of contently thinking about the future. Getting fit is not about running at the same speed you used to do when you were in college. It is about how much you are doing as compared to your age fellows.

4.    Stretching can be done only a few days in a week:

Previously, it was believed that stretching at old age can be quite harmful. However, the detailed researches conducted on that point clearly indicates that there are no harmful effects on getting involved in the stretching exercises or fitness routines. However, it must be noted that the routine will be different for every age group. The flexibility in a person is an indication of lean body mass. It is always best to maintain it.


These are the myths that need to be debunked when it comes to the health maintenance and fitness of old age. Without even thinking about the limitations, it is best to do whatever it takes to live a healthy life.

Senior Strength Training

Senior Strength Training: How Hard Should I Exercise?

You’ve chosen to take the plunge and start an exercise program. Congratulations on a sound decision! As a senior, you may already know that you can lose up to 40% of the muscle mass you had in your 20’s as you enter your 70’s. This isn’t good news if you want to preserve your strength and ability to comfortably lift objects around your house.

The good news is that strength training exercise can reduce the decline in muscle mass associated with aging. Unfortunately, many seniors hesitate to strength train hard enough to see results, fearing they’ll injure themselves. The question then surfaces, how hard should you exercise?

It’s hard to give a generic answer to this question since it will differ with each individual depending on their age and health status. Fortunately, a scientist has made it a bit easier to gauge how hard you’re working during your strength training workout by developing the Borg Category Rating Scale. This is a scale that helps you determine how hard you feel like you’re working in a way that can be quantified. Here’s how the scale works:

If you describe your effort level as extremely light, it would correspond to a Borg category rating of 8 or below. If you feel like your work level is very light, the Borg rating would be a 9 or 10. If you would describe your effort level as fairly light, the Borg rating would be an 11 or 12. A somewhat hard level would be a 13 or 14, while a hard level would be a 15 or 16. Once you get past 17, you get into the very hard and very, very hard zones until you reach 20 which is maximum effort.

If you want to make gains in strength, you should slowly work up to a Borg effort level of at least 13, although a 15 or 16 would be better. You need this intensity to build muscle to offset your declining muscle mass. Of course, you want to check with your doctor before exercising at this level to make sure you don’t have health problems that may be worsened by strenuous exercise.

Over time your workout will become easier which means you’ll need to challenge yourself a bit more to continue to see gains in strength and muscle mass. This is a good sign. It means you’re developing strength and restoring muscle tissue.

As you continue to make gains, you can adjust your workout appropriately to meet your changing senior fitness requirements. At the same time, you can congratulate yourself on a job well done. It takes discipline and perseverance to stick with a strength training program.

Walking Speed and Senior Longevity

Would you like to know how long you’re going to live? If you’re an older adult, try measuring your walking speed. How fast you walk says more about you than you think. According to University of Pittsburgh researchers, seniors who walk faster live to an older age than those who move along at a snail’s pace. Is walking speed a good indicator of longevity?

Walking Fast: Is It a Marker for Longevity?

Researchers at University of Pittsburgh measured the walking speed of 34,000 older adults (age 65 and over). They found that older adults who walked faster lived longer on average. In fact the magic number seems to be a walking speed of 3.3 feet per second, which is a little over two miles per hour. Seniors who walked at this speed or faster lived longer on average. So compelling were the results of this study that researchers suggest that walking speed may be an accurate way to identify older adults at a higher risk for dying.

The question is which comes first? Older adults who are healthy are likely to walk faster, and the fact that they’re healthier means they would probably live longer anyway. Or does walking faster actually increase life span in older people? No one knows for sure, but this study suggests that walking speed could be a marker for longevity in older people. In fact, researchers go so far as to say it’s as accurate as blood pressure, heart rate and other objective parameters of health and well-being.

It’s not surprising that walking faster would say something about an older person’s general state of health. Walking at a rapid pace puts stress on the lung, heart, muscles and joints – and taxes every organ system, at least to some degree. Seniors with failing health are by necessity going to walk at a slower pace.

Walking Speed and Living a Longer Life

Walking speed may be a good indicator of overall health and longevity in older people, and it’s one that’s easy to measure – no blood draw required. Staying active while you’re young can help you get to those seniors years where all of that activity will pay off with a faster walking speed – and a longer life..

Need a companion for your long walks? check out our blog post on the best dog breeds for seniors

References: “Walk Fast, Live Longer”


Why Active Seniors Need More Protein and Less Sweets

Strength training is important for people at of all ages, but it’s especially important for older adults. Along with aging comes a gradual loss of muscle mass and overall muscle strength. Surprisingly, by age eighty about half of an adult’s overall muscle mass has been lost. Not only does this loss of muscle make it more difficult to carry out their daily activities, it also increases the risk of injury and mortality in seniors. The good news is much of this loss can be offset by senior strength exercises and a good resistance training program. When it comes to preserving elderly muscle mass and muscle strength, another important consideration is diet. Getting an adequate amount of protein is important for preserving muscle, and it may be particularly important for older adults to get sufficient amounts of protein in their diet.

Protein for Older Adults: Are They Getting Enough?

As a generalization, seniors get less protein in their diet than younger adults. This stems from a variety of factors. One reason is older people tend to have reduced appetites and may take in inadequate calories, increasing their risk for protein deficiency. Some seniors also have difficulty digesting protein due to an age related decline in digestive enzymes and may end up with indigestion and bloating after eating a high protein meal. As a result, many seniors aren’t meeting the daily recommended requirements for protein intake. This makes preserving senior muscle mass and strength more difficult despite regular resistance training exercises. After all, protein is needed for building lean body mass.

Protein for Older Adults: Why They May Need More

There’s even evidence that seniors need more protein than younger people do. This is because their muscle cells are less responsive to the effects of insulin, the hormone which transports protein into the muscle cells. It’s recommended that adults get one gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight. In terms of protein for older adults, one-and-a-half grams per kilogram may be more appropriate for preserving senior muscle mass. In terms of senior strength exercises and resistance training, the best time for a protein meal is immediately before and after a strength or resistance training workout. This timing allows the protein to be best utilized by the muscles for growth. Keep in mind that resistance training in the absence of sufficient protein will give minimal results.

Choosing Protein for Older Adults

When selecting protein for older adults, some good sources are tuna fish, lean chicken, and salmon. These types of proteins are easy to digest for most seniors. Other sources that may be more difficult to digest are lentils and low-fat dairy products. For older adults who have problems eating solid foods, there are a variety of high protein shakes available at most health food stores.

The Bottom Line?

Protein for older adults is important for maintaining strength and muscle mass and should be combined with regular senior strength exercises and a resistance training program for best results. The good news is resistance training combined with a diet of high quality protein can have a dramatic impact on strength and muscle composition in older people which can help to reduce their risk of injury and premature death.