If you have read my previous blogs, you would have seen that I am particularly concern about the elderly losing their muscles and strength as they grow older. This is after when I attended the Specialist Diploma on Nutrition and Exercise Science. The course has taught me the importance of strength training.
I was pretty excited about my findings on the program as it gelled pretty well with what I learnt in my course!
Gym Tonic Program was started in Finland. The strength training program caters specially for elderly above 65 years old and was a pretty success. The program was brought in to Singapore and it is opened to registration for seniors, 55 years and above.
I quickly registered for my 73-year-old mom, accompanied her for the briefing and pre-assessment. I am really glad she passed the pre-assessment and could proceed with the program.
Monday (07/10/2019) was her first day of the 12-weeks gym tonic program. I followed her and managed to snap some photos before I proceeded with my own workout in the same gym.
I hope she will persevere and look forward to a fitter her :)!
We were given an assignment – Senior Functional Fitness, and this article that I read on The Sunday Times, Age of Possibility, Transform your body with exercise came in just helpful! (The article was dated July 14, 2019, Life segment)
The two-page article talks about how regular exercise, including resistance training, have benefitted the greying population.
An aunty, 87 of age, had been on a wheelchair for her leg and spine; eventually ditched her wheelchair after six months of resistance training, under the guidance of a physiotherapist! She can now walk half an hour non-stop and no longer needs the wheelchair to get around.
Another uncle, age 77, was on medication for diabetes. He used to worry about falls when walking. After 12 weeks of exercise, he can confidently climb the overhead bridges and with his diabetes under control!
Why are resistance exercises, or also known as strength exercises so beneficial, especially for the seniors?
Resistance exercise builds our muscles, strengthen and lengthen them, increases our bone density and slows down sarcopenia – the loss of muscle mass.
With the loss of muscle mass, one may be at risk of falls. And with less strength and power, they start to experience difficulties to carry out their activities of daily living such as not being able to walk for a longer distance without rests to a bus stop, not able to carry groceries, difficulty getting out of a car or bus. Eventually, they may start to lose their independence. The basic guideline for muscle – use it or you will lose it.