This past weekend, we went on a family ski trip to the Poconos.
Devon grew up skiing, I did not.
And as you can see from the picture, we are getting our guys (including Emma) started young.
For me, being only my third time out, it’s a challenge.
In fact, in the past two weeks, we have gone roller skating, ice skating, rock climbing and skiing. All things that cause me to have some fear, and I am not one to frighten easily.
As I examined my visceral response to these activities, one thing kept coming to mind and that was that I don’t like the feeling of being unstable.
I know from my years of owning two gyms and Coaching tens of thousands of hours, that core stability is a must for strength and power, but how does that apply to the senior citizens of our community?
When the human body stabilizes the spine, it can output more force. When the human body senses that the spine is not stable, it reduces force output.
Think about throwing a baseball or punch on dry land versus throwing it on ice.
When your spine is unstable on the ice, it has a dramatically lower force output.
Now, imagine that you constantly felt unstable or that you were on ice.
The reality is, that many seniors feel like this all the time.
It’s got to be quite scary to be in that position, to think that you could fall at any moment.
And this is exactly how I felt while skating and skiing the past few weeks.
The solution is to make sure the joints are active and healthy. First, this means being able to take the joints through a full range of motion for what is needed in daily activity.
The simplest way to do this is by doing chair squats or couch squats. Sitting on a couch is much tougher because of it being lower and softer than a chair.
The second thing is to make sure the core is still strong. The core is really an anti-mover, it wants to stabilize.
So, rather than doing crunches and sit ups, we want to do things with bands such as a press out and from a standing position.
When dealing with seniors, we need to take into account their ability level and age and make the fitness program appropriate for them.
Seniors are a gift to us all. Their wisdom and life experiences are a treasure.
And the stronger they are, the longer they’ll be around to share those life experiences and advice with us.
Think differently - Kyle Newell