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Muscle Power and Why It Is Important as we Age

You probably already know that muscle strength starts to decline as you age, but did you know the rate of decline accelerates after age 65, and that lower body strength decreases faster than upper body strength? Muscle power declines faster than muscle strength, but the good news is we can incorporate both muscle power and muscle strength into a personalized training program.

You may be thinking what is muscle power and why does it matter as I age? Muscle power is the ability to generate force rapidly. The loss of fast twitch muscle fibers as we age impacts the muscles ability to generate the necessary force for functional tasks. It is important for active agers to train to increase muscle power for functional activities such as getting up from a chair or climbing stairs. Muscle power plays a crucial role to preserving your independence later in life.

Power training may sound intimidating but it doesn’t have to be! Exercises like sit to stands, step ups, or walking with a focus on quick starting and stopping/accelerating and decelerating, can all improve muscle power. Progressions and regressions can be made to the above exercises depending on fitness level.

Sit to stands can be done with various seat heights, with resistance and/or rising up from the chair quickly and slowly returning to seated position.

Step ups can be done with different height steps, while practicing carrying an object, and varying your speed.

Contact A to Z Personal Wellness if you would like to increase your muscle power!

Staying Active in the Winter

Winter is long and not all of us can be snow birds and go somewhere warm for the winter. When you add in navigating the pandemic, winter can seem extra long. It may be hard to motivate yourself to go out in the cold weather or you may be fearful of falling/slipping on ice or driving in bad weather but it is still so important to remain active. Lack of activity and exercise can decrease strength, balance, mobility and increase your aches and pains. So enough about the negatives of winter! Let’s make it more enjoyable. 

There are easy and safe ways to remain active and keep you energized, feeling good and allows you to be in a better mood. Here are some ideas:

  • Call a friend and instead of sitting down to chat, walk around your house instead. 
  • Set a timer to get up and move every 45 minutes. You don’t have to do any exercise but just get up and move around for 2-3 minutes and then sit back down. 
  • If you are watching TV do some type of exercise or walking during commercials. An example could be marching your legs and pulling your tummy in tight to activate your core, this could be done sitting or standing. 
  • Meet a friend to walk around the mall, a store, an indoor track or rec center. There are lots of benches and places to sit at the mall if you need a rest break.
  • Walk outside if the roads/and or sidewalks are clear. Fresh air helps boost your immune system, is good for you brain, body and mood. Be sure to bundle up!

If you need to go out and shovel, be sure to do it safely. Wear proper footwear and make sure you can clearly see the area you will be shoveling so that you are aware of ice or uneven ground to prevent a fall. Take frequent breaks and don’t rush through it. Typically if you are rushing through it you may not be using the best body mechanics which could lead to an injury or discomfort later on. When shoveling bend at the hips and knees, not at your back. Keep the heaviest part of the load close to your body. Use  your leg muscles instead of your back to lift the snow/shovel. Hopefully we will be done with shoveling snow soon!

Lastly, contact me for an at home exercise program or an in-home or virtual training session 🙂

Welcome to A to Z Personal Wellness and thank you for visiting my website!

I am so excited to share my passion for fitness and helping 55+ and those with chronic health conditions achieve their fitness goals. You may be an active ager or you may be more sedentary, but regardless of your fitness level, I look forward to helping you improve your quality of life.

This is my first ever blog post so let me share a little about myself and A to Z Personal Wellness. I am a Certified Personal Trainer and also a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. I have worked with all different ages and the aging population has been my favorite and most fulfilling to work with. Exercise and staying active plays such an important role in the aging process. Exercise can really be the best medicine. It has many physical benefits but it also improves cognition and allows you to maintain a high quality of life and remain independent. You may think that decreased strength, mobility and cognition are just part of the aging process, however, the more active you are, the less muscle mass you lose and the better your cognition remains.

I decided to start A to Z Personal Wellness because this population is so unique and each individual has such different abilities that personal training can really be beneficial. You might be the same age as someone else, but you may be using a cane and the other person may be running a 5k. That is why having an individualized exercise program is so important with the 55+ population. So if you are someone that is unsure of how to exercise safely or does not even like exercise, I can help to make it a more enjoyable and less torturous experience! If you are someone that is looking to try a new exercise program designed just for you, or get into shape for the upcoming golf season, I can help with that too!

Let’s get started! Call, text or email to schedule your initial session. Scheduling is easy and flexible, and sessions take place conveniently in your home. The first session will be getting to know you, your medical history, your current fitness level and what your goals are. We will then develop a plan and exercise program to reach those goals.