BUILDING LOWER BODY STRENGTH WHEN YOU’RE OVER THE AGE OF 50!




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After the age of 50, adults typically lose about 1% of their leg strength and 0.5% of their bone mineral density every year. If this doesn’t sound serious, consider that decreased leg strength — not dementia or incontinence — is the biggest predictor of loss of independence in older adults.

At Silver Stars Fitness one of our biggest focuses is lower body training. Training the lower body is often forgotten about (especially if you’re a male) and easier to get away with when you’re in your twenties or thirties, but when you’re over 50 training the lower body is a must. It’s important to first address the real foundation, which is the foot and ankle. If the foot and ankle are weak and tight, joints like the knees and hips and even the lower back can be affected. We then work on strengthening the front and back of the thighs, the hips and buttocks.

Training the lower body will help you get up from a chair and the floor, climb steps with ease, walk or jog and even help you to put your pants on. So training the lower body will help you to maintain and increase your mobility for life.

Science tells us that in order to build strength there needs to be a challenge when performing exercise. This doesn’t mean that you need to be exhausted after each set, but the last couple of repetitions should be somewhat hard in order to build strength. To increase strength as opposed to endurance, you should be challenged by the twelfth repetition. If you can perform an exercise for more than 12 repetitions, then you are building more endurance, not strength.

To increase leg strength we typically incorporate functional movements such as squats or sit-to-stands, all different types of lunges and step-ups, which entail stepping up and down a step. Silver Stars trainers also work on isolation exercises to build stability, which is usually our first step. Bridges, clams specifically for the buttock (the most important muscle) because the buttock stabilizes your hips, knees and low back. Inner and outer thigh work and straight leg raises are also included.

So lower body strength is obviously very important as we age, but let’s not forget about muscle POWER. Muscle power is your ability to do something fast. Studies actually show that power will fade faster than strength and is more of a crucial aspect of fitness that will determine a high quality of life as you age. Although strength is needed to perform any activity fast, if you don’t practice performing movements at faster speeds, the body will not be trained to do things at a faster pace. Power is very much a part of real life. Think about how you stand up from a chair or push or pull a door opened or climb steps. We perform these activities quickly, unless we’re not strong enough to do so. Being able to produce a force quickly will also help avoid a fall as your reaction time will also improve, which will possibly help to catch yourself and recover from slipping on a piece of ice or a crack in the sidewalk.

At Silver Stars, we train for lower body power much like we train for strength, although performing our exercises a bit faster.

Silver Stars Fitness is dedicated to helping men and women over the age of 50 move, feel and look better. We do this by offering personalized service in a comfortable studio setting and by recruiting some of the most passionate, friendly and educated instructors who are specifically trained to work with the baby boomer and beyond. Small group classes such as Balance & Fall Prevention, Total Body Strength & Conditioning, Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates are some of our most popular classes. Personal training and private Yoga and Pilates are offered, in addition to Tai Chi and Massage Therapy. An in-home service is available for those who can’t come to the studio or just like the convenience of training at home.

To set up a free consultation or find out more how to increase lower body strength or get more information on our classes and private services.

Receive a 10% discount on initial purchase of classes or services with mention of this article. Sale is valid until April 15th, 2016.

SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING!

If you’re like most people, you spend the vast majority of your day sitting down- in your office, commuting to and from work, watching TV in the evening and if you’re retired, you might watch TV during the day. Research shows that the average American spends nine to ten hours of their day sitting. Even on the weekends the average person sits for eight hours. Certain occupations, such as telecommunications and lawyers spend an average of eleven to twelve hours sitting each day.

This behavior can be more dangerous to your health than you might think, as the human body was designed to move throughout the day. Sitting as we know is a sedentary behavior that can cause a whole host of orthopedic issues and promote various diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.

It makes sense that sitting promotes cardiovascular disease, because when you sit for extended periods throughout the day, you spend less time moving, less calories are being burned and before you know it, you’re packing on the pounds. Research has also shown that when we sit in front of the TV, we tend to eat and eat and eat!

Also, when we sit for extended periods of time, our neck, shoulders, chest, hips and hamstrings become very tight and our buttock and mid back muscles weaken. This weakness and tightness not only hinders our ability to move efficiently, but also affects our ability to maintain proper posture. When your posture is poor, there is more stress on the joints, which makes us more prone to pain and injury.

The amazing thing is that with all the attention sitting has received lately, a high percentage of fitness enthusiasts still go to the gym and perform their workouts sitting. This is especially true for the older adult and sometimes for good reason, but most of the time sitting on the machines is not necessary and cause more risk than reward!

While just getting to the gym is commendable, sitting on the machines isn’t a very efficient way to go about your exercise program. When you sit on the machines to exercise, not only do the machines help you do some of the work required to lift the weight, but isn’t a very functional way to exercise. The only time sitting on a machine can be of value is if you are brand new to exercise and don’t have any guidance or have a severe orthopedic or neurological condition that might affect your balance Real life tasks such as pushing and pulling objects, sitting to standing climbing stairs and plain old walking require us to stand and use our core to maintain proper posture and help to maintain balance.

At Silver Stars Fitness, we perform all of our exercises in a standing position to help simulate real life movements which improve quality of life and is more efficient for just about every goal from building overall strength to a FAT LOSS goal, as you burn more calories in a standing position. Although, most fitness clubs fill up their space with machines, we like to fill up our space with people that are standing. To improve your overall health and quality of life, try high intensity interval training (get doctors clearance) strength training in a standing position, walk at least 5,000 to 10,000 steps each day and avoid sitting as much possible.

See the below tips to help limit the amount of sitting you do throughout the day:

  1. Use a standing desk at work
  2. When watching TV, stand up and walk around during commercial breaks.
  3. At the office, put a water bottle on your desk and sip throughout the day, so you’re forced to stand to go to the bathroom.
  4. Purchase a pedometer to track how many steps you take each day.
  5.  On the subway, stand- don’t sit!
  6.  When traveling on the plane, make sure to stand up every 15 to 20 minutes and walk around, stretch and then sit.

 

Silver Stars Fitness is a fitness studio dedicated to improving the lives of the baby boomer and beyond client. To learn more or to set up a free consultation, please contact us @ 646-573-9724 or by email @ info@silverstarsfit.com. www.silverstarsfit.com

TRAIN TO PREVENT ACHES, PAINS AND INJURIES AT THE STUDIO OR IN-HOME!

Silver Stars Fitness is a fitness studio that specializes in working with the baby boomer & beyond client that offers SMALL group classes such as Balance & Fall Prevention, Total Body Strength & Conditioning, Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates and our new class PREVENTATIVE TRAINING to protect your joints. In addition to our classes, Private training, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Stretching and massage therapy are available. We also have an in-home service for those that can’t come to the studio or just like the convenience of exercising at home.

At Silver Stars, one of our top priorities is to increase our client’s stability and range of motion at various joints.

After the age of 50, it’s inevitable that we will experience some form of aches and pains and unfortunately making us more prone to various injuries. So that’s why we believe that our philosophy of increasing stability and enhancing mobility will help prevent aches and pains and eventual injury and will also help the person that might have been discharged from physical therapy continue to make progress and avoid future injury.

We do this by incorporating exercises in the beginning of each session that will help to give you stability and mobility, which will help prepare the body for more challenging work as the program progresses.

The most important area to focus on would be core stability, which is not only working on your abdominal and low back muscles, but making sure your hips, buttock and rotator cuff muscles are strong. By performing exercises like the bridge, clams, planks, bird dogs, inner/outer thigh and work for the rotator cuff, you are building your foundation, making you less prone to injury in the future. If you don’t build a foundation, eventually the body will break down. This type of programming has been labeled as “corrective exercise or pre- hab” training, so you can avoid REHAB!

Aches and pains and injuries happen for many reasons. One being, as we get older we tend to become a bit more sedentary than we were in our twenties, thirties and forties, which causes weight gain, loss of flexibility and muscle loss. So, yes, aging by its self naturally causes us to lose muscle tissue and flexibility, but, this process is accelerated by a sedentary lifestyle. Weight gain, loss of range of motion around joints and loss of muscle tissue, can cause compensation when you exercise in the gym, walk, run or even just while sitting. Weight gain, loss of stability flexibility and strength can cause you to move inefficiently, essentially putting additional stress on various joints of the body. An example is when you walk and you’re carrying more weight than you should and/or have weak butt and hip muscles, you tend to lean or tilt your pelvis to one side. This puts stress on your.

knees, hips and back. Another example of weakness and tightness is, if your knees buckle inwards when you climb steps or get up from a chair. This can be a sign that your hip and butt muscles are weak and inner thighs are tight. This could result in all sorts of knee issues, such potential ligament or meniscus tears.

Another reason for aches and pain as we get older is the old “Weekend Warrior” issue. This occurs when you do nothing all week and then go all out on the weekends. This mentality is just as bad as a set up for pain as having a sedentary lifestyle. Too much exercise without preparation, proper progression and recovery is a guarantee for the Monday morning blues, as you will be extremely sore (this isn’t a good thing), which will affect you at work and be more prone to injury. We need to be mindful, especially as we get older, that exercise is a stress to the body and should be done in proper doses, progression and allowing proper recovery time between sessions. The lesson here is- A little exercise spaced out during the week is a better option than going “all out” on theweekends.

Last, but not least, is the person that exercises, but really doesn’t have a plan or is still following their program from the 20th century. Your exercise program should be based upon your goals, time constraints, fitness level and medical history. Not having a plan or performing outdated exercises can cause muscular imbalances that could affect your posture and put stress your joints and muscles. An example would be someone that stands in a rounder shoulder posture and they are doing a lot of exercises for their chest and not much for the opposing back muscles. So the chest muscles get stronger and tighter and the upper back muscles get weaker, which causes further rounding of the shoulders, which will contribute to neck, shoulder and back pain. Another example is the outdated program. This occurs when you perform tons of sets and exercises and/or doing exercises that put stress on various parts of the body. We use the old crunch as an example. The crunch, especially if you already have back pain and a rounded shoulder posture, doesn’t make much sense. The crunch forces you to round or flex the spine. This is not a good thing for the disks of your back, as they become compressed, but also contributes to poor posture. Life’s daily tasks tend to put us in a bent over position, such as sitting at a computer, driving, etc.., so the last thing we want to do is make it worse by crunching.

To find out more about Silver Stars classes and programs and to set up a free consultation, please contact us @ 646-573-9724/ @ info@silverstarsfit.com. Visit us @ silverstarsfit.com.

BALANCE AND PREVENTING FALLS


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8 MUST DO EXERCISES FOR THE BABY BOOMER & BEYOND!

Silver Stars Fitness is a fitness studio that specializes in working with the baby boomer & beyond client. Our clients are very diverse, as we see people who are very fit and function like they’re fifteen years younger than their calendar years, to people that have been inactive for a long time that have various orthopedic concerns. Silver Stars clients are those that are fed up with the large commercial clubs that generally cater to the younger crowd. They want a place that offers personalized attention and really understands how to design programsthat are suited for them- not the twenty-five year-old.

We offer small group classes and private services such as Personal Training, Yoga, Pilates Tai Chi, Massage Therapy and Stretch Therapy. Our most popular classes are Balance/Fall Prevention, Total Body Strength, Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi. Our fitness philosophy is to build your foundation first and then focus on more FUNCUNTIONAL movements that are important for everyday life. The below exercises require you to stand (at our Silver Stars we stand) so balance is involved, they use your core to stabilize your spine and work a lot of muscles at once, making them time efficient and important for building whole body strength.

After the foundation is built through exercise that improves core, hip and shoulder stability, we move on to some really important movements that everyone should incorporate, but becomes even more important as we get older.

TOP EIGHT EXERCISES

1. Bridge- This exercise is important for many reasons, but we use this to “wake up” the glutes or butt muscles. Consider this one a great anti- sitting exercise. Sitting weakens the buttock, which can set you up for low back, knee and hip issues. The buttock is the largest and really the most important muscle in the body. Activate those glutes!

2. Plank- Planks are a valuable exercise as it works a lot of muscle versus the somewhat “outdated” crunch. The plank focuses on the deep abdominal muscles that help to stabilize your spine, in addition to your low back, thighs and shoulders. It helps to build strength and endurance in your midsection that in the long run will make you less prone to low back issues.

3. Squat- The squat is a common gym exercise and can be done in a lot of different ways. We squat many times throughout the day as we get up from a chair, toilet and couch, so it is a very functional exercise. The squat works your legs, buttock and core. To avoid losing your ability to do common tasks and activities, make this one a staple in your program.

4. Lunge- The lunge is often simulated when you climb steps or when you have to reach for an object or any sport that requires taking a long step. The lunge activates your legs, buttock and core.

5. Pulls- Pulling exercises are great for maintaining good posture, that often fades with age and also simulates pulling a door opened or any object that you have to bring in towards you. The row which is a popular gym exercise works your upper back muscles and if you stand will also work your core. Make sure to work on the back of your body to ensure good posture and stabilize your shoulders.

6. Pushes- Pushing is important anytime you have to open a heavy door or any task that requires moving an object away from you. Typical pushing patterns are push-ups, chest presses and shoulder presses. We prefer you make the push-up your pushing activity, as it work the entire upper body and your core and is a great test of overall upper body/core strength.

7. Step-up- This exercise helps to improve your ability to lift your leg off the ground, balance, coordination and of course strengthen your legs and core. Most of us have to walk up and down steps, so this exercise could also be considered a “functional movement”.

8. Rotation- This movement is an important movement as most sports and tasks in life require us to rotate our trunk. Go slowly at first and if you have a back problem, ask a qualified fitness professional if this exercise is suited for you.

So there you have it, 8 valuable exercises that everyone should be doing. If you suffer from a knee, hip, shoulder or low back problem and still want to try these valuable exercises, discuss with a physical therapist or an experienced trainer on how you could modify the exercises. For more information about the above exercises, Silver Stars classes, services or to set up a free consultation, contact us @ 646-573-9724 or @ info@silverstarsfit.com www.silverstarsfit.com