No Quick Fix

No Quick Fix – Once Is Not Enough!

“Make the most of and enjoy the challenge of remaining as fit and healthy for as long as possible all the effort is worth it!”

Sally Castell

Like many things you have to work at it to get results!!

Movement is important and is necessary for everyone no matter their age or ability. It will be a continual learning, ongoing and evolving process for all concerned. There are multiple ways to encourage and support people to remain active.

Age is no different…if you want to get fit and stay as healthy as possible you have to invest your time and energy to achieve any reasonable results.p; There is no one program cannot, will not suit and should not accommodate all. There are too many variables to consider and adaptations need to be made to ensure that exercises are appropriate, realistic and safe.

The following is the 1998 ACSM Position stand on exercise and physical Activity for Older Adults. Although it was produced some time ago the basic elements that need consideration and are to be applied remain the same.

5 Exercise/Physical Activity areas of Importance for the Older Adult

  1. Cardiovascular response to both acute and chronic exercise (e.g. Cardiovascular, metabolic implications – Diabetes etc.)
  2. Strength training, muscle mass and bone density implications
  3. Postural stability, flexibility and preventing falls
  4. The role of exercise on psychological function
  5. Exercise for the very old and frail

Medicine, Science and Sports Exercise vol. 30 No. 6 992 1008 98.

An exercise program primarily contains 3 major elements

  1. Strength power and endurance
  2. Suppleness muscle flexibility and length
  3. Stamina energy to be active for long periods of time.

Safety issues are paramount and accommodation for individual abilities should be taken into account.

Exercise can be and should also be prescribed to suit conditions.

Aerobic type of exercises are prescribed for cardio vascular health conditions and fitness ;

Strength training are prescribed for muscle and bone heath;

Non weight bearing exercise need to be prescribed for severe arthritic conditions;

Specific back exercises need to be prescribed for back problems and specific exercises to improve balance and co-ordination etc.

All factors will need to be taken into consideration and adaptations made when developing and undertaking any exercise program. It is important to seek advice and find the right health / fitness professional who can look after and provide a program to suit your individual needs.

“Emphasis should be placed on factors that result in permanent lifestyle change to encourage a lifetime of physical activity”

Pollock M., Gaesser

Exercise routines may need to change throughout the life cycle when things change physically for some reason or other. The body adapts very quickly to changes made with exercise and if there is no ongoing challenge things will not continue to improve and so remain the same. There should be a gradual evolving process of improvement as far as is reasonably possible. We can get locked in the same old routines, thinking that that is sufficient to stay active and healthy, but another problem or issue can present itself and so changes need to be made.

Good health and fitness program outcomes that are successful depend very much on persistence. There is no quick fix, once is not enough! The applications for reasons of ability, safety and progression will require a degree of knowledge, flexibility and grading where and when necessary.

Please note the following which are the recommended ACSM multi-factorial physical activity for adults age; 65 (50 – 64 but with functional limitations) exercise guidelines and consider whether you are applying your exercise habits / routines within the frame work

  1. Aerobic: 5 days/week moderate to Iight (30 minutes or accumulative in 10 min bouts) or 3 days/week for high (continuous 20 minutes)
  2. Strength: at least 2 days/ week, 8-10 exercises with major muscle groups, at least 1 set, 10-15 reps
  3. Flexibility: 2 days/ week for 10 minutes
  4. Balance training, if at risk of falls

Manini and Pahor (2008)

“Because of their low functional status and high incidence of chronic disease, there is no segment of the population that can benefit more from exercise than the elderly.”

American College of Sports Medicine Exercise training for the Elderly

Make the most of and enjoy the challenge of remaining as fit and healthy for as long as possible. All the effort is worth it!
Sally Castell