I found myself answering this question to some of the participants in my online classes recently.
Although I want you to keep safety in mind and make goals realistic I also want you to know I think your fitness goals should not be age appropriate. Of course I believe they should be realistic and achieved in a safe manner but I want to change the way our society ages. I encourage you to stop accepting that age-related decline is inevitable. Give me a little leeway here - let’s not accept that we will decline like the generations before us. We have been setting the bar too low for too long.
Let’s change the trajectory of age-related movement decline. This is not just for the 50 plus crowd either. Movement decline starts for many well before the age of 50. I know 20 year olds that can’t do a push up or a proper squat.
Founder of Movement Garden & Personal Trainer
With so much information available on health, fitness, and longevity our society continues to battle out what’s the best way to get results. We all suffer the consequences to some degree with increasing health care costs as the health of the general population declines. The statistics of all major diseases are going up. It’s hard to know who to trust to get the results you need. Especially when even the experts can’t agree on what to do.
I spend a lot of time reading and learning so I can be considered a trusted resource but you have to set your own bar. Open your mind to make lifestyle modifications if you want a healthier life.
What do you do for your health management? Is it enough? We know many aspects of our lifestyle are related so I also ask questions like: How much do you eat? What are you eating? Are you dealing effectively with the stress life has dealt you? Good questions that need good answers. We are society battling mental health, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancers, inflammatory and bowel issues. We all have our own battles. What’s one to do?
Set Your Own Bar
I believe in the need for good health so we can embrace life and enjoy it in our own unique ways. We can’t change our birth certificate or roll back the years but we can change so much that will positively influence the quality in our years. We have the knowledge - we just have to share it and apply it consistently, as we do regularly with our classes and workshops.
“What age(s) are you?
- Age is a matter of: Take a look below and have some fun with us in the comments section of this blog:
- Chronological Age: The age you are determined from your birth date. Check your Birth Certificate!
- Biological Age: Perhaps you have been training and have solid nutrition practices. Your good health makes your biological age younger than your Chronological Age. Well done!
- Training Age: How many years you have been actively involved in any sort of regular physical activity. Have you been active since your youth or are you new to a training regime? Are you training for the purpose of protecting yourself against cognitive and physical illness?
- Mindset Age: I have heard that if you don’t mind it doesn't matter. Do you act or think with age related biases?
Can You...? Fitness related questions.
Can you do a push up?
Can you do a chin up?
Can you crawl?
Can you walk for an hour? Can you run?
What % of your body weight can you squat? Or can you squat over your body weight?
What % of your body weight can you lift and or carry?
Can you press weight overhead?
At what age are you beyond being able to make some of these suggestions your norm? Let’s get to work and find out the answers.
Set the bar high and have some fun while you are at it!
One of the team here at the Movement Garden is Artist Louise Nicholson: Training 3 classes a week and overcoming severe back pain many years ago I asked her the age questions.
Louise says, "If push comes to shove, I can do 20 push ups."
Chronological = 59
Biological = 50
Training = 9
Mindset = I want to say 35, but really, I like to go to bed at 10! I guess 45 then.
I took up art when I was 39.
- LOUISE NICHOLSON:
doing a get up with a beer keg!
Fitness and mental limitations
In the book Successful Aging, author Daniel J. Levitin poses the question” What are age-appropriate goals? This inspired me to write the question in the title because Levitin relates this to aspects in our thinking and behaviours that might limit us, such as :
- I’m not the athletic type.
- I’m not good at math.
- I don’t remember people’s names.
- I’ve never been able to do push ups.
Levitin points out that “you can change your brain and overcome limitations that you have encountered previously, not just with effort, but with focused directed learning.” (1)
I’m not saying that you are only as old as you feel, but you can set your mind to feel not as old as you are
- Daniel J. Levitin
Author, Successful Aging
Do Not Accept Age Related Decline!
I encourage you to set your fitness goals appropriately (Seek the help of a trained professional to help you set these goals.) and do not accept age-related decline. As I continue to focus my work in “changing the way we age” and “building stronger versions of ourselves,” I say let's make new age appropriate fitness goals and break down the barriers of the physical decline generations before us have accepted.
I will not accept that assisted walking and assisted living are a certainty. We need to start moving and eating better. The magic of exercise is here and easy to realize when you accept that you have the power to change and progress at any age.
Let your goals be fitness related and not age related, cause we are changing the way we age one training session at a time. As a 58 year old fitness trainer I’m passionate about what I write here. It's with that passion that I encourage you to join the Movement Garden online - some of our programs are sponsored so there is no cost to you.
Grow Your Strength today!