How can we care well for our bodies and still have a great time being athletic and adventurous? Podcast about an Adult Athlete planning his vacation.
This is such an exciting time for me as a personal fitness trainer! On Wednesdays I currently see the oldest client I have ever had, followed immediately by the youngest.
Mildred is 97-years old, blind and living in an assisted care facility and Casey is 17-years old, 6 feet tall and taking ballet classes. The contrasts and similarities about what “Functional Fitness” means to each of these women is fascinating.
Designing exercise programs for “Functional Fitness” means looking at a persons actual lifestyle and making sure they are physically able to accomplish whatever daily activities that includes. For Mildred, we need to keep her able to stand and walk independently so she can enjoy outings with her family and resist being sent into a higher level care facility.
Not to share more than people want to know, but keeping Mildred active also helps her maintain better digestion and elimination. Mostly it is important to keep her feeling optimistic about her body. We need to show that despite the many changes, like loss of her eyesight and much of her mobility, her body can still be a source of pleasure and benefit.
Mildred and I begin each session with massage to her feet and legs, which she loves, and some assisted stretches to help prepare her for standing up after so much time spent in bed. Here is a previous article I wrote about working with Mildred and our training together: Fitness Success at Any Age: Super Senior
Working with Casey who is 17, is of course a totally different set of goals. She is learning how to cook simple healthy meals so that when she is traveling, going to college, and living on her own, she can eat healthfully and cheaply. We are getting her stronger and more flexible in preparation for an upcoming backpacking trip she is taking this summer.
We have started push-ups, and other strength training exercises she can do anywhere. We’ve also included yoga to create a great foundation for good posture on her 6-foot tall frame.
In both cases we are very concerned about injuries and focused on reducing the risks they face from falls, and misuse of their bodies.
Anyhow, just a short post for now to introduce these two wonderful examples of what “fitness” means at various stages of life. More later…