The Art and Science of Active Aging


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For boomers, seniors, and the professionals that care and provide service for them. Identify benefits, protocol, specificity of programming for optimal active aging.
Physical, emotional, cognitive benefits are described. Exercise prescription guidelines from American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association are delivered and then pulled into practical interpretations.

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  • POWER PAUSE 2:00I just can’t seem to find where I put my notes, I know they were here a minute ago. My key- I had them, I usually put them in my pocket…. Does that sound familiar? Ever walked into the room to find you don’t remember why you did? Or park your car right “there” but not remember where “there” was when you come back out?Maynard Ukena was a partner of the Racquet Club and he was near 90 when he walked out of the club one day, looking for just where he parked his new car. We looked around the lot- and sure enough there was a sparkling new vehicle “is that it Maynard?” “Sure is” he said! “one thing’s for sure” he called over his shoulder as he headed toward it, “when you get to be my age, life is sure an adventure”Now Maynard did live an active life nearly all the way to the end. He was getting buckets of practice balls to hit on the tennis courts just a few years before he died. And why does someone still do that? To get better!Not more years in your life, but more life in your years!
  • 2:02So you know a little bit about me and why I’m here and you why you should care….I do have degrees from Iowa State…both in Exercise Science and in Exercise & Sports Psychology (which time has told me is the more important of the two), I’ve been certified by more agencies than you care to hear and I’ve presented for three of the most credible associations over my 28 years in fitness. But, really….I’ve been doing research my entire life on this topic.I refer to myself a Barely Boomer. My son of course tells it like it is and tells me whatever I call it I’m old. I’ve been old before. You know the things that drive you crazy while you’re growing up and that later make sense to you?I was the fourth child…my mother was 38…now in the 60s that wasn’t so popular. In fact, when my mother, my 16 year old sister and I were out in public the story I’m told is that people assumed I my sister was the mama. My conservative mother was mortified. So I grew up with much older siblings…listening to their music, their conversations. My already older-than-most mother and father divorced and eventually my mother remarried …a man 10 years older than she…my parents were friends with my friends GRANDPARENTS! When you’re the youngest and only at home, and too old for a baby sitter but too young to stay alone, you’re taken along. Out to dinner, over to friends to play cards….I listened to a lot of conversations over a lot of Shirley Temples and raised a lot of older siblings…DaraTores, the US Olympic swimmer who returned later in life to the sport and showed the world age IS but a number began her book with the same statement… “I’ve been old before.” As the daughter of older conservative parents I was old in high school. I was old in college. I married an older man…and all along it was research….WHO KNEW?You know how parents like to keep things fair among kids to keep the peace? Well when it came to dating and sex education and cars…my sister was born in the DARK AGES…I had to raise my parents to understand that the set of sex education books that were illustrated 20 years before that were handed me down … were a little outdated. And you know how parents like to keep things fair between kids …if we hadn’t had a family conference I might not be dating still! For 28 years I’ve been in the fitness industry. For 26 of it I’ve promoted and prodded and nagged at my own family about fitness, amazed that they too aren’t “on the wagon.” I’m called the exer”sis”t ….Finally, I realized, it’s not going anywhere. I can’t make them, wish them, will them ready. Recently my soon to be 87 year old mother asked if we had time during a visit could I just show her some exercises for “this” …fortunately, the ten things that came to my mind stayed there and I replied “sure.” It’s never too late.My goal for us today….to review the benefits of exercise: physical, mental and social and to arm you with a battery of How--to put the newest research into action so you make the most of your exercise time…staying on or starting on the path to not necessarily more years of life but of more Life in your years. Does that sound like a plan?
  • 2:07Whatever I say only counts…if I walk the talk… here’s how I do it…dogs want to go every day…rain or shine, snow or sun…and they will punish you …and in our case, eat socks if they don’t go. They will reward you…by eating fewer socks…if they do go.Always glad to see you, always willing to go, never mind if you go to fast, too slow, just glad to go.
  • 2:09World’s Second Best Accountability PartnerI can tell you quite honestly by first hand research…walking counts. I’ve worked out regularly…hard…for 30 years. I run, bike, swim, lift, do yoga….but that said…in spring and summer when I begin walking golf courses in the last two years following tournament play….my fitness level was enhanced. My weight, my sleep, my wellness…that intangible something…. Was better. Moving more throughout your day has a major impact on your health, wellness, and fitness. Walking a golf course is not overwhelming in terns of intensity…walk walk wait, walk walk wait. Now, I can attest to the fact that the dog…never once asked me to go get a Milky Way or a Gatorade…just saying…choose your accountability partners wisely.
  • The physical benefits of an active life are many. 2:10The fact is you’re losing more than your keys or your car…As we age….decline in muscle mass from the time you were 25, decline in bone density from the time you were 30, slow increase in body fat, decrease in muscle elasticity, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels become more challenging…you need to have the above on your side to live out your life like most of us envision it.Loss of lean muscle tissue at 8%, then 10% at 50, then greater over 85 years.Bone density decreases by 1-3% every year, and 3-5% each year during menopauseGenerally fat has an inverse relationship. While we're losing bone, muscle, and fat the only thing we seem to keep track of real well is fat!80% of US Adults has back pain in their lives, 88% say it’s recurring throughout the year…57% wish they had exercised more or more correctly to prevent it in the first place
  • 2:13The results you get are in direct relationshipWith the exercise that you do.Exercise of any kind doesn’t enhance bone density. Water Exercise helps MOBILITY but does not affect BONE DENSITY. Exercise of any kind doesn’t improve muscle Maintenance. FATIGUE AT 10 Repetitions is most closely associated with Bone Density and lean muscle maintenance can be achieved through less intense resistance training.Exercise of any kind doesn’t enhance mental Functions.You don’t have to squeeze a tennis ball or use a hand grip to enhance your grip strength. Is it better than nothing…yes, is it specific, yes, but truthfully weight training overall that involves holding a grip and helps you gain strength in the forearms and hands…benefits your grip strength.***SLEEPING BETTER = just 10 minutes a day of walking, other exercise will substitute, corresponded with reports of enhanced quality of sleep. (NSF 2013)REDUCE BACK PAIN? Walk regularly OR perform back exercises. Both show equal benefits for lower back pain prevention, reduction of pain intensity or frequency of pain. Doing both provides most optimal insurance.
  • You’ve seen the commercials perhaps….. THIS IS YOUR “aging” brain…. 2:25The healthy brain…with age a brain atrophies- the hippocampus - storage of memory…reduces size 1.5% over a year, was a natural occurence in aging process, but a significant change attributed to exercise was not just not shrinking but the growth in size.***
  • The physical benefits are but one part of the puzzle. 2:15When you lose your train of thought, tell the same story over and over without realizing it, forget where you put the keys, your glasses or the children or grandchildren….When you’ve lived a life with some stress in it….meaning you had a heart beat….you didn’t do yourself any favors! Stress is one of the contributing causes of dementia and Alzheimers= Your BrainAlzheimers disease predicted to soar. 4.7 million in 2010 (1.8 million 85 and older)prediction is by 2050 there may be 13.8 million, 7 million of them 85 and older(Neurology Feb 6, 2013)MORE physical activity = less risk of dimentia **average of 49 years with greater fitness showed reduced risk of dimentiaknown short term benefits are now spilling over to long term positive effects on the brain (JAMA Internal Medicine Feb 2013)Hippocampus growth vs. loss (natural level loss) in walkers- 40 minutes a day three times a week vs. stretching alone**
  • THIS is your brain on exercise. 2:26It is the picture of health. All the various lobes intact, receiving nutrients, fully operating. It Means to you?Fewer moments where you forget your glasses are on top of your head, your keys are in the ignition or you forgot your wife at church.More and more of America is aging. As we do so, a greater number of researchers are also aging- therefore we’re going to benefit from their fears! What two prominent researchers find is crucial to the health of the aging brain…
  • 2:18Motivation to Exercise Your Right to exercise comes not only from the physical benefits, or even the emotional and mood related ones, but because of the cognitive benefits that it will provide for you …and that brain.----- Meeting Notes (3/19/13 16:24) -----While you are exercising it is also possible and perhaps, ideal, to train your brain.**Dual Tasking = multitasking is over rated and it is now recommended we instead focus on one thing at a time then move on for optimal results…Dual tasking is actually good for the brain when it relates to exercise in a way that challenges cognitive skills and physical activity.There are multiple ways to apply that:1.) learning to lift weights correctly in itself may be a cognitive experience. Having to learn what weight is appropriate, what repetitions, how many sets, what order to do exercises and the proper technigue…is all excellent learning and brain food2.) a skill related activity such as ballroom or square dance or line dance requires learning and memorization, patterns in the brain rehearsed and remembered3.) the real application of "dual tasking" comes in using even the simplest of exercises > walking across the floor + with multiplication problem
  • Think of your brain as a million little electrical plug-ins. 2:58As you age some become unplugged. Stress, inactivity, same-old-same old, stress, committing things to memory- or trying to…
  • 2:28WHAT really happens ….what’s fact and what’s fiction??? GOOD MOOD = Better Decisions So, if you’re driving, doing your taxes, considering living arrangements, insurance changes…
  • 2:30Nussbaum and Small are two researchers who performed separate but along the same timeline research about the healthy brain. What’s involved in the care and feeding of the healthy brain?Nussbaum…….And Small….THREE: P.A., mental stimulation, and diet were commonalitiesALL five of Nussbaum’s and All four of Small’s could lead directly back to an active lifestyle.People who exercise often have more creative ideas come to them while they exercise. Both by decreasing stress and by getting active for as little as 30 minutes….there is a return on increased productivity for up to two hours later.People who exercise often eat better as a domino effectPeople who exercise often do so in a group, or find that they are more social because of the enhanced self-esteem and confidence that they have due to exercise.People who exercise report lower levels of stress when they get the exercise they find optimal, and they handle stress better- it isn’t that they don’t have it in their lives- but that they manage it better.
  • 2:32If you wanted to exercise for optimal physical health, just what is the exercise prescription for the aging body? And the aging mind?You want after all for the positive benefits to come and to avoid the pain and the injury that have come before or that you believe to be true about exercise. True or False?Raise your hand if you think exercise hurts.Raise your hand if you’ve been hurt exercising.Raise your hand if exercise you believe you want or need to do you find is painful.There is by the way a new program (less new now) out EXERCISE is MEDICINE- between the AMA, and ACSM to get doctors on board with getting people involved in exercise for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.These are the two biggest and most respected agencies of Doctors…and of Exercise experts joining forces…to make a difference for YOU
  • 2:33They are all extremely important.If I were to lay out an exercise program for my mother… it would include:Lifting weights – heavy enough to fatigue in 10-12 repetitions for 3 exercises in particular 2 -3 sets for two days of the week.In addition to that I would have her doing functional movement patterns because lifting alone will affect her bone density and her maintenance of lean muscle mass but not help her move around her house and bend and turn and live.I’d have her make the rounds at the cemetary that is across her back yard…walking every day that it was not icy or pouring cats and dogs. Oddly, as a side note, the cemetary is the only place at her house where I can get good cell phone reception. Does that seem odd to anyone else?I’d have her perform a simple set of stretches either on her own or with a mobility dvd every single day she had coffee.***I’d have her perform 3-5 minutes of balance exercises most days of the week and while she was doing recite the multiplication tables.***
  • 2:35Our exercise needs change and during a woman’s life they change many more times than a mans as does her emotional motivation around it. Frequency, duration, intensity---these have long been the three keys in determining whether exercise is effective or not.Balance is not achieved by balancing aloneconcept has been replaced by studies showing it does help in frail elderly. RECENTLY: in frail, older adults there is a positive change In balance exercise alone.****+Chaos, disruption, distraction, off-center, changing BOS, COG+Dual Tasking+Strength training as a part of whole exercise program
  • 2:38YOU CAN’T GO BACK TO HOLDING HANDS.If you’re already doing more, don’t slow down or do less because the recommendations say so!We are capable of doing far more than we ever dreamed we could.People with one limb or partial limbs ski in the Olympics, finish Ironman distance triathlons. Don’t let someone tell you No, until you know it not to be possible yourself.The only exception to that….is rest days. Rest has always been important …for the over 50 or certainly for the over 65 its been found that better results occur when strength training occurs with at least two days between rather than just one rest day.e.g. Monday, Wednesday, Friday scheduleVsMonday Thursday= greater quality rather than quantity of exerciseRecovery is necessary for protein synthesis to occur in a way that contributes to lean mass maintenance and gain rather than catabolism and breakdown
  • 2:40The Other Key Ingredient to Protein Synthesis…is Protein itself.Protein is weight maintenance and weight loss’ BEST FRIEND. Especially true for older adults who exercise.24grams protein to 36 grams carbohydrates for those using resistance exercise new recommendations***25% more than RDA in seniors who resistance train to Maintain50% more than RDA in seniors who resistance train to Gain***Chocolate Milk….1:4 ratio…at a time when your body is ripe for glycogen to replace that used by the muscles, and protein necessary to begin repair immediately. Spread throughout the day beginning with breakfast and before and after exercise assisted in more weight loss than same amount of calories eaten in fewer meals and minus breakfast****30 minute window….after that chocolate milk has a more negative effect than positive….better than chocolate cake and frosting…but your body doesn’t need or put to positive use those sugars once the window closes.
  • 2:45How do you do it? Vs how do you test it?Adding a balance prop alone is not shown to enhance balance dramatically. Risk,yes.Balance,no. e.gBosu, dyna discs, BOSCOGManipulate each.Gain strength first, then add balance. IN the PAST…balance is a result, not an exercise. New studies show more proof exists for training balance and proprioception is effective with or without changes in strength training.FRAIL Elderly can experience positive changes in balance with balance and proprioception exercise alone over a 6 week study.
  • 2:47Within last two and three years an increasing number of studies done looking at balance training and optimal results.Proving that balance rehearsal alone can have positive influence ****on those who are not doing or able to perform strength activities. Dual Tasking***
  • 2:49May I see by a show of hands those who take at least one prescription drug a day?If I could give you something today, right now, that would Lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, reduce body fat, improve your mood, make you more productive and home and work, improve your sex life, improve your appearance… you remember where the keys are, get all the answers to the Times crossword puzzle…Would you take it?It’s been said…if all the benefits of exercise…could be rolled into one pill, It would be the most widely prescribed drug in the world.The Gap between knowing and doing is larger than the Gap between knowing and not knowing. So if we know we should why don’t we…often its not seeing the link between what you do and knowing it has the value for you to get the results you want.I have been training new fitness professionals on how to attract new clients and how to use the right words to help someone get started. When a personal trainer loses a sale….they let someone walk out the door who wanted to get started in exercise…but somehow wasn’t convinced that they should do it today or do it here….I ask the trainers why they think that happens. Their answer…is always…They are lazy.I spend the next hour telling them just how wrong that is….the problem for most people isn’t a lack of motivation to do it- it’s the lack of belief that what they do is the right thing to get them the results that they want. We all want proof, we want a plan. So just what is the best exercise prescription….the best PLAN? For you? And let’s clarify that something is better than nothing.
  • Starting with paperwork and talking is no waste of your exercise time. 2:53In fact if someone doesn’t request this….run.Make sure that your program fits your needs, your personality, and that you have a good relationship with the fitness professionals or allied health care providers working with you.You don’t want the trainer to make a stereotype out of you, don’t discriminate against them.Or you have the chance to fire them, and they you.A professional must know your body before they can provide you with a program, they must be watching you carefully in order to be sure that you carry out the exercise HOW not just the WHAT. A balanced exercise program – given to a body that isn’t currently in balance can lead to more problems. Most of us are compensating in some way- learning how through clues should come before an individual exercise prescription.
  • How to take the exercise prescription you need physically and turn it into a MIND-BODY exercise. 2:59Connecting Mind and BODY- it isn’t just yoga!
  • You’re going to need to do more cardiovascular exercise than you need strength training days. 3:003-5 vs. 2-3So how does a day look when youCombine them bothPerform just cardiovascular exercisePerform just strength training exercise
  • 3:05What is the TARGET? WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST PRIORITY?What is Your Greatest OPPORTUNITY?IF YOU’RE DEALING WITH A CHRONIC DISEASE- it will be that first.If movement hurts, it’s corrective exercise to create a better balance and eliminate pain so you can gradually do more. Freedom of movement…should be a right for everyone.That may eliminate entire categories or pillars of exercise…but it is now easily established that some is better than nothing.If you want the most return on your investment…and most do if we’re talking about money, right? Then think strength, cardiovascular exercise, balance and mobility.BALANCE nature ….When you have a rigid foot…you should wear a flexible shoe. When you have a flat foot that is very flexible you should wear a more stable shoe…the same is true for exercise…as your body is losing oxygen carrying capacity- keep it with cardiovascular exercise…as it is losing muscle and bone – prevent or slow it with resistance training…and you grow stiffer hold on to mobility by getting into warm water or by stretching gently with chair yoga.
  • YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME ENJOYMENT (JOY) in it!!! 3: 08VARIETY: Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research Jan 2013 shows that given more variety exercisers self-select to exercise longer, perform more exercises overall and exercise for more repetitions than when fewer choices exist. ***
  • 3:09
  • 3:10Yes, it is supposedly over-rated.But your body thinks stretching one muscle at a time is dumb.Your body works in an integrated way. If you want to age better…exercise better.
  • 3:11Movement doesn’t have to hurt.RESULTS are UNIQUE to the PROGRAM that you APPLYYour EXCUSES are your REASONS….Replace BUT with AND
  • Do you gamble? 3:15No longer a question but a mandatory requirement that we must exercise in order to live well as long as we live. You can REVERSE the aging process. (Mitochondria….known as the power house for energy creation at the cellular level…increased with moderate strength training exercise in middle aged men (over 50 and under 70) three times a week using 9-10 major muscle group exercises..for 8 weeks…the hypothesis by researchers that they would see the same results from moderate cardiovascular exercise….= reversing the aging process. ***
  • 3:20Treat your body and soul like the Masterpiece that you are!
  • 3:25Speed interviewing: turn to your GC partner and share one way you will honor yourself today in a choice to get more of what you want. ADD: a clip board signin or evaluation sheet that captures email addresses, and gives them the opportunity to join the conversation on facebook or get tips through website.
  • The Art and Science of Active Aging

    1. 1. The Art and (Exercise) Science of Active Aging Presented by Debra Atkinson, MS, CSCS, CCG
    2. 2. World’s Best Accountability Partner
    3. 3. Benefits of exercise are many… maintain muscle mass maintain and slow bone losses reducing blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels maintaining blood sugar levels enhancing mood, prevent depression improving range of motion enhancing strength and endurance postural improvements balance and reaction skills reducing the incidence or frequency of pain enhancing immunity and beyond…unique to each individual
    4. 4. “unique to each individual” Benefits are unique… to the type and quality… of exercise performed
    6. 6. Increased connectivity
    7. 7. P.A. and the brain • Aerobic exercise lowers ALZ occurrence by 60%. (Medina 2008) • Daily 20 minute walk reduced stroke and corresponding mental disability by 57% • More efficient function, enhanced connectivity, promotion of new cell growth (Wolfe 2001) • Learn something new: stimulate neural connections (Jensen2006)
    8. 8. Your Brain’s Health Nussbaum (2006) • Physical activity • Mental stimulation • Diet • Spirituality • socialization Small (2006) • Physical activity • Mental activity • Health diet • Stress management
    9. 9. Four Pillars of Exercise I. Strength II. Cardiorespiratory III. Flexibility/Mobility IV. Balance
    10. 10. Your Aging Exercise according to the ACSM and AHA (adults over 65) • Moderately intense 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week • Vigorously intense exercise 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week • Balance- enhancing ex. • 8-10 strength ex, 10-15 repetitions of each 2-3 times a week* • Flexibility performed each active day 10 minutes, 10-30 seconds done 3-4 times
    11. 11. IF you can do more, you should. IF you must do less, do something within your limitations.
    12. 12. PROTEIN INTAKE To Maintain: 25% more than RDA To Gain Lean: 50% more than RDA Timing: overall day, and just before and after exercise
    13. 13. Enhancing Balance
    14. 14. Balance Studies • Dual tasking Genontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2010 • Postural control in Frail Clin Interv Aging, 2012 • Proprioception training J Strength Cond Res, 2012 • Benefit outweighs balance alone • Without strength training • gait., static balance, and postural improvements
    15. 15. The PILL.
    16. 16. Getting Started • PAR-Q • Health History • Activity History • Goals • Realistic goals • Posture • Body mechanics
    17. 17. Your Brain’s INSTEAD OF: • Treadmill walking or stationary bicycling • Machine weights only • Exercising alone • Focus on an exercise SUBSTITUTE: • Square Dancing, Ballroom Dancing, choreography-rich classes • Functional and new exercise patterns (rt/lft) • Group exercise classes or trainer-led exercise • Seek Distraction
    18. 18. Sample Formats Cardio and Strength • General warm up • Functional Warm-up • Cardiovascular Ex • Strength training • Flexibility-stretching • Cool down (circulatory) Cardiovascular Only • General warm up • Cardiovascular exercise • Cardio cool down • Functional movements – One legged reach – Walk the line – Dribble non-dom hand • Core exercises • Flexibility-stretching
    19. 19. Likeability Factor
    20. 20. StretchChest, Hamstrings, Hip Flexors, Low Back Strength Upper, mid, low back, abdominals, extensors Opposites Attract Daily exercise to balance and enhance daily function Prioritize your Ex Rx SOLUTIONS
    21. 21. Multitask
    22. 22. Chronic Conditions & Ex • Arthritis • Osteoporosis • Parkinson’s • Fibromyalgia • Multiple Sclerosis • Knee, Hip, Foot, Shoulder or other joint issues • Back pain • Pain-free exercise • Condition first- planning • Avoidance of aggravation before optimal Rx • Moving more • Slow progression, fewer flairs, lower frequency &
    23. 23. THANK YOU DEBRA ATKINSON, MS, CSCS, CCG WWW.VOICEFORFITNESS.COM DEBRA@VOICEFORFITNESS.COM 515.290.6188 Health, Wellness & Fitness Tips Register at Or provide your email address today indicating your desire to be added  Express Your Interest in a Group Balance and Functional Training Session at GHills