Too Fit to Quit

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Archive for the 'Seniors' Category

Or is osteoporosis what’s preventing you from hitting the gym?

Osteoporosis is a “condition in which there is a decrease in bone mass and density as well as an increase in the space between bones, resulting in porosity and fragility” (NASM 395). We discussed in the previous blog entry about the senior population,that bone mineral density decreases with age. So, what do you do if that is worsened by osteoporosis? Remaining active is one way to ensure that adequate stress is being placed on your body, which in turn will lead to consistent bone remodeling. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly osteoporosis is. Then, I will give you guidelines for a fitness regimen if you have this condition.

There are two types of osteoporosis. Type I is most prevalent in postmenopausal women. It is characterized by a decrease in estrogen and an increase in bone reabsorption (removal of old bone) with a decrease in bone remodeling (formation of new bone). This leads to a decrease in bone mineral density. The onset of Type II, on the other hand, is seen in adults 70 years and older, and is associated with old age. However, remember that staying active can lessen your chances of developing these conditions or help decrease the effects of it if you already have osteoporosis.

So what can you do?

-Cardio should be performed 3-5 days a week, for 20-30 minutes per session, at 40-70% of your maximum work capacity.

-Resistance training is important to increase bone mineral density. A circuit training format is recommended, 1 set of 8-10 reps of each exercise, 2-3 days a week.

-Weight-supported exercises such as cycling, treadmills with handrail supports, and water aerobics is recommended for cardio.

-Flexibility, core, and balance training is important to prevent falls, especially since balance decreases with age.

-Focus on strengthening your hips, thighs, back, and arms, especially when weight training.

-Progress slowly.

Remember to always consult a physician before beginning any exercise regimen and go at your own pace. I want you to be healthy, not to hurt yourself! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at:


Clark, M.A., Lucett, S.C., Corn, R.J. (2008). NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

posted by admin in Osteoporosis,Seniors,Special Populations and have Comments (5)

Maybe you think you’re too old to workout?

Are you over the age of 65 and think that physical activity is no longer feasible? Well, I am here to prove you wrong! It is true that certain bodily functions decrease as your age increases, including:

-Maximum attainable heart rate

-Cardiac output

-Muscle Mass



-Connective tissue elasticity

-Bone mineral density

But what if I told you that some of these symptoms can be avoided? Unfortunately, there is no fountain of youth, but “research shows that musculoskeletal degeneration may not be entirely age-related and that certain measures can be taken to prevent functional immobility” (NASM 380). You read correctly. These deficits that are responsible for decreased functional abilities in the elderly population can be slowed and even reversed! How? By working out, of courseJ

Here are some general guidelines for what your fitness regimen should look like:

-Resistance training is recommended because it will help to increase bone mass and lean body mass, 2 characteristics that decrease with age. Start with light weight and slowly add resistance. NASM recommends starting with 20-30 min sessions that include 1-3 sets of 8-10 exercises, 8-20 reps.

-Because balance and coordination decrease with age, try stationary or recumbent cycling, aquatic exercise, or treadmills with handrail supports for cardio exercise.

-Stabilization training should be emphasized, i.e. core and balance training.

-Exercises should begin in a seated position and progressed to a standing position.

-Workouts can be anywhere from 20-45 minutes, 3-5 days a week

Now, no more excuses! You are not too old to workout, and you could actually reverse the deficits that come along with “old age” by working out. So, what are you waiting for? Get to it! J


Clark, M.A., Lucett, S.C., Corn, R.J. (2008). NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

posted by admin in Seniors,Special Populations and have Comments (3)