Change The Way You Age Through Movement

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Last updated on August 1, 2023

Is the way you want to move even possible with the way you are currently living?

It really all comes down to just one movement after another but have you ever thought about how you move and why? We are born with an ability to develop and grow as we age, but there are many factors that affect our development and movement as we grow. Here are a few of the factors that influence how well you are moving today and why an little planning for your future movement now is a really good idea.

Do you walk like your parents?

Our early caregivers (Parents or those that raised us.) gave us a visual on how to walk. Have you ever thought about whether you walk with a gait pattern like your parents? Is this you?

Did you inherit movement issues?

You may feel you inherited some movement issues or limitations. This could be true of your actual bone structures like hip width and alignment, but genetics only influence some of the movement picture. You might have inherited laxity in your tendons and ligaments. This can lead to many issues especially in your feet, and all your joints in fact if you are hypermobile. Not enough support in your feet and overall lack of strength can lead to bunions and other issues with your feet. “Hypermobility Joint Syndrome” is a real problem for those who regularly have to lock out their joints for stabilization as they age. Is this You? Do you have painful foot issues?

The mystery of your history.

 -Brett Jones 

Can you recall every injury that you have ever had?

When it comes to answering this question I often hear what I have heard Brett Jones say at a FMS: Functional Movement Course I attended awhile back called “The mystery of your history."  Translation: ”Oh yeah, and I fell skiing, and was in a car accident, and I sprained my ankle hiking -  it was the left, no right - actually maybe both I just don’t recall exactly when.”

If you have injuries that you can't even remember, fair to say they might not be adequately rehabilitated.  This puts you at a higher risk of re-injuring it. The ankle that isn’t fully functioning can influence your movements up your chain - then we have a sore knee, hip, back…well I think you get the idea. Consider the possibility of full rehabilitation of your injured side. That’s great unless it now functions better than the ankle you didn't sprain, creating an imbalance between your ankles in a different way.

Are your injuries fully rehabilitated or are they your weak links?

Functional Movement Certified professionals learn that injuries need to be at a 9.4/10 before the risk for re-injury decreases. Just how do we get to that place? Strength training. Progressing strength to rehabilitate an injury and move beyond any further risk or limitations takes a commitment of time. Liaising with the rehabilitation professional(s) you are working with is what we call bridging the gap between fitness and rehabilitation. Your fitness trainers would be happy to reach out on your behalf. I suggest bringing your team together because in my experience it’s a win for everyone when results are achieved. 

If you have past injuries that aren't adequately resolved it's ok. A strength training program can be created that is tailored around your injury or issue. There is no reason to let an injury hold you back on the rest of your training.  There are lots of components to training that don’t involve loading the injured area. When the injured area is progressed appropriately, often with the guidance of your team you will find the results you need. 

“You can’t bring a fitness solution to a medical problem.” - Gray Cook

A lot depends on the individual, their history and goals. In my experience older adults often have a few things that bother them from time to time. We all are in the aging game and have varying amounts of wear and tear to contend with. Gray Cook, author of the book Movement says, “You can’t bring a fitness solution to a medical problem.” Another quote from Cook, “A corrective opportunity presents itself all the time.” So we can’t train out a problem but we can practice our movement patterns unloaded to start and let the body practice to find a solution, and then monitor progress. Movement quality is extremely important to strength training. We want quality for our long game, for our longevity! Moving to improve mobility and range of motion will help but often you need the scope of a professional outside of personal training to get the issue resolved. Consult medical professionals please! 

We have the knowledge but we are not applying it.

As I look back on my own history I certainly wish I knew back then what I know now. The fact is that the knowledge just wasn't there, and in the last 30 years so much has changed. We now have a lot of knowledge on movement, posture, strength and core conditioning, but I’m sure that most are not applying the knowledge as we should to help ourselves. 

I often tell my clients we are living a real life experiment because our parents' generation didn’t get the knowledge I’m speaking of. We have the knowledge and we are consistently exercising with that knowledge in mind.

Is the way you want to move even possible with the way you are currently living? 

How are you moving today? Booking a movement assessment is a great way to understand how you are currently moving. This provides a baseline for fitness programming so your exercises are at a level that builds up your strength and mobility in a safe manner. I have never met a person who doesn't want to get stronger. In fact getting stronger at an earlier age just might have saved me a lot of pain and suffering. Strength is a word that gets results: it improves everything, decreases your risk of injury and re-injury, and as you grow your strength there are many benefits that are priceless. (Both measurable and immeasurable. My next blog will address these benefits.) Booking a private session to assess your movement is a great way to set yourself up at the right starting point for movement improvement and long term success.

(Email: to book an assessment.) 

The Oldest - Old?

From the Strength and Conditioning Journal: A Collective Review of the Research on Training the Oldest-Old.  “In the aging population, the world is expecting the accelerated growth of longevous people, that is, people aged 80 years and older. The number of oldest-old people is estimated to reach 434 million (4.4%) in 2050 and would have thus tripled from 125 million (1.5%) in 2015.”

It’s clear the world is getting older and in my opinion we are equipped with knowledge but we are not implementing any plan that universally addresses the impact that low levels of physical activity layer upon us. The impact affects us all from individuals to society at large. The fiscal impact of living longer and in poor health (Lifespan vs. Healthspan) is only one of many interrelated issues that we are leaving as our legacy. I said we are equipped - and on an individual level it starts with you. Making a decision to commit time to your own health every day is a non-negotiable aspect of living. As food, water and sleep are considered to be basics and non-negotiable, so should be movement. 

Research suggests that between the years 2000 and 2050, the number of individuals older than 65 years will increase by 135% .

Strength and Conditioning Journal 44(6):p 36-46, December 2022

Your excuses are defining your future.

Moving more will change both you and our world.  What will your future look like? Why wait until your low level of fitness has opened the door to a health issue. 

I graduated from Nursing School in 1985 and this is what I believed......“You get to your 60’s and 70’s and there’s a loss of posture, function, (Like losing your ability to get up and down from the floor.) and ability to perform activities of daily living. (Personal hygiene and cooking.) The risk of falling increases, you eventually fall, get pneumonia and die before or after your hip was surgically pinned.”

- Sheila hamilton 

Guess what?  Not a lot has changed and it’s 2023.

One in four falls over the age of 65 results in death within 1 year. 

There is a lack of assisted living beds, a rise in private care facilities that deplete bank accounts.

The healthcare system can’t keep up with the rate of the aging population. And our children don’t want to care for us at the same time as they are raising their own families!

The way you want to live is possible and you can start today.

I have some incredible client testimonials  that will inspire you to take the next step no matter what age you are. I’m a fitness professional that helps you to build a stronger version of yourself every day. The way you want to live is possible, and it’s easier than you think. Let’s all work together to stay functional and independent as the years go by. 

Join the Movement Garden today and Grow Your Strength. Change the way you age through movement under our guidance. 

Written by: Sheila Hamilton

Copyright April 2023


A former Registered Nurse turned Personal Trainer, Sheila has dedicated herself to the ongoing learning of being a fitness professional. Making fitness a lifestyle and supporting her clients through the changes needed to reach their goals is her purpose and passion. Certified with many organizations Sheila has a special interest in the practice of kettlebell training.

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