July 17, 2009
Table of Contents
- Injury Prevention for Boomers
(Rehab meets wellness)
- Walk -- Don't Run (Reclaiming
a fitness lifestyle)
- Building Bones Step by Step (SFA
- The Times They Are A'Changing
(Thought for the day)
Injury Prevention for Boomers
Senior Fitness Association (SFA) president Janie Clark is quoted at length
in the cover story for the current issue of Rehab Management magazine (July
2009). The in-depth article "Blazing the Trail into Boomer Wellness and
Prevention" by associate editor Judy O'Rourke discusses an emerging trend --
therapists offering injury prevention for the Boomer generation -- and provides
numerous good-sense measures for avoiding injuries that may be associated with
Janie Clark's contribution to the article emphasizes several major
precautions that older adult exercise trainers and instructors can take to
minimize risk of injury secondary to physical fitness training. Other experts
interviewed by O'Rourke also supply practical recommendations, culminating in a
very serviceable and comprehensive feature story.
To read the article, please click on
Blazing the Trail.
Walk -- Don't Run
of injury prevention, SFA author and internationally recognized fitness
consultant Jim Evans has some good advice for long-sedentary seniors who want to
reestablish their physically active lifestyles. Read on:
DEAR JIM: I am finally motivated to get back in shape after many years, and I
am thinking about jogging. However, at 71, I haven't run any further than from
the couch to the dinner table for a long time. I'm a little chunky around the
middle and take blood pressure medication but, otherwise, I'm fine. Any
suggestions on how to get started? CHUNKY IN CHATTANOOGA
DEAR CHUNKY: My first suggestion is to walk -- don't run or jog. Many people
are injured every year from running or jogging.
or jogging -- especially for de-conditioned older adults -- can wreak havoc on
the bones and joints and exacerbate existing health problems. More than 65
percent of runners of all ages experience injuries each year as opposed
to just 21 percent of walkers. And, not surprisingly, new runners are more
likely to be injured than experienced runners [American Journal of Sports
Medicine, volume 16(3), pages 285-294].
Jogging appeals to our sense of athleticism because it makes us out of breath
and it makes us sweat -- both of which we associate with what athletes do in the
performance of their sport. It makes us feel empowered. However, being out of
breath and sweating are not realistic indications of your fitness level.
Nonetheless, even walking takes some preparation in order to get the most out
of it. Try these simple suggestions to help you get started:
Call your doctor and ask if there are any particular health issues that
you should be concerned about before starting your new regimen. Walking is
usually recommended as an optimal exercise for most people, but he or she
might have some other recommendations or concerns.
Wear comfortable footwear with good arch and ankle support. For most
walkers, thick or double socks can also be worn to help absorb perspiration
and prevent blisters.
Dress for the weather. It's OK to overdress because you can always
remove unneeded layers of clothing if you become too warm.
Move your arms in cadence with your feet to generate some upper body
engagement at the same time. Have you ever noticed how so many overweight
people walk with their arms hanging motionless at their sides?
Walk at a pace at which you can still converse with someone. If you are
so out of breath that you can't talk, slow down until you become more
accustomed to your journey.
Walk for time rather than distance. For example, start with 20 minutes
two or three times a week, and gradually increase it to an hour if you can.
Change your route or direction from time to time so that you don't
become bored with the same routine.
Don't let the weather stop you from walking. If the climate is too
inclement, find a local shopping mall where you can walk, or walk in place
between the couch and TV (you'll remember where the couch is!).
Don't wear a "walkman." Listen to the sounds around you and be aware of
potential hazards, such as automobiles. Better yet, take your spouse or a
friend with you and enjoy some good conversation while you walk your way to
Make or buy yourself a good "walking stick" and keep it parked by your
front door as a reminder to get out and walk whenever you can.
Walking may not give you the same rush that running does, but it will be a
lot safer, and who cares if it takes you a little longer to go the same
distance? What's the hurry anyway? Take your time and enjoy the scenery.
Building Bones Step by Step
member Carol Lee Rogers leads an exciting senior fitness class called
"Building Bones Step by Step" through the Ashland, Oregon, Parks and Recreation
Department. Part of this excitement stems from the advanced fitness levels her
older adult clients are achieving and maintaining. Carol Lee says, "Most of the
seniors I work with are amazingly strong and have great balance."
Keeping her high-fit senior exercisers sufficiently challenged is a constant
mission for Carol Lee.
here are her "Building Bones Step by Step" students performing squats and
lunges. Carol Lee calls these moves "two of the most important exercises I have
them do in class."
The "Building Bones Step by Step" program focuses on exercises that
strengthen the lower body, the upper body, and the core -- a combination
designed to discourage age-related hip impairment, while also preserving and
improving balance. The class is an inspiring example of a dedicated instructor
serving an enthusiastic group of can-do fitness participants. Carol Lee says,
"They amaze me all the time!"
The Times They Are A'Changing
SFA professionals stress functional fitness, personal independence,
and a satisfying quality of life. In this way, a vibrant new philosophy is
replacing the out-of-date approach bemoaned by today's quipster:
"We've put more effort into helping folks reach old age than into helping
them enjoy it."
-- Frank A. Clark
Experience! readers: Thank
you for your interest and questions. Due to the high volume of contacts SFA
receives, we cannot respond to individual queries or comments. However, the
newsletter does address frequently asked questions and topics of vital interest
to our members.
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