Online exercise classes for the over 70s
I originally started my Stronger for Longer classes in February 2021: some of my older clients who had been shielding had basically been at home for almost a year and they were worried about their ability to get back to the level of fitness they had before the pandemic. So, adopting a ‘You’re never too old to learn’ approach, I started a Zoom class, twice a week, which is still ongoing over a year later.
What difference has this made to them?
They are fitter, stronger, have more aerobic capacity, improved movement, better balance, able to coordinate skills and are all more confident in performing daily tasks.
The classes have all started at a very basic level to ensure that everyone could be assessed in a variety of movements. It is also important to ensure people can safely and confidently move into positions they might not have done regularly for a while. However, I believe it is important to get the foundations right before progressing.
And progress they have! I love the fact that I have clients who are in their 80s who through their regular training are able to do squats, split lunges holding a weight and side planks. They have committed to the twice weekly sessions and it has paid off!
Why is all this important?
As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass, regular resistance training can maintain and improve this.
Weight bearing can help keep our bones strong as the bones have to be strong enough to meet the demand placed on them. Low impact exercise can be particularly important for women after the menopause to reduce the incidence of osteoporosis.
Our reaction times can decrease as our motor skills and control decrease this can mean it takes longer to perform tasks and contributes to our risk of falling over. The inclusion of dynamic movements can help sustain our motor skills and balance.
As we perform fewer movements in different positions our flexibility and mobility decreases and this can contribute to stiffness especially in our spine, hips and ankles.
Why do I need to exercise?
Lockdown is over. Do you fancy travelling and seeing some different places? Well to walk distances you need to have stamina and endurance.
Planning your weekly food shop or wanting to move pots and bags of compost in the garden? That involves lifting weights but you want to be able to lift well without injuring yourself.
Do you want to spend quality time with grandchildren? Lifting those young ones, kicking a football, playing on the floor all require the ability to coordinate movement in a variety of positions.
Struggling to keep your balance in certain activities? Falls in the elderly is one of the major causes of hospitalisations and injury.
So there are many reasons why we need to keep functional ability as we age. That is why it is important to exercise as we get older.
If you are over 70 years of age and don’t want to lose the skills you have then why don’t you see if these classes are suitable for you.
A new twice weekly Stronger for Longer class will be starting online towards the end of May. If you would like to find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org.