Functional Summer Fitness
Older adults need functional fitness training because it helps maintain the everyday skills needed to keep their independence,” says Chris Moffett, a midlife fitness specialist and owner of Stayingstrong.ca a functional based training program for middle aged and older adults.
This type of training promotes balance, muscle strength, aerobic capacity, and flexibility —all functions for real-world activities like maintaining your home, lifting your grandkids, reducing risks of falls, and walking.
“A functional fitness plan,” explains Moffett, “has balance training to improve posture which helps avoid falls; strength training through resistance exercise to keep muscles strong and reduce bone loss; aerobic exercise for energy to accomplish daily activities; and flexibility training through stretching exercises to keep muscles relaxed and joints mobile and moving with less pain.”
Summer is the perfect time for seniors to indulge in outdoor activities done alone, with someone, or as a family. “My happiest clients love being around various ages and they say it keeps them young,” adds Moffett. “As long as you know your own body’s limits and don’t try to keep up with someone 20 or 30 years younger, it just gives you a chance to get outside of yourself a bit.”
SUMMER ACTIVITIES BOOST FUNCTIONAL FITNESS
• Playground and Park Activities can be as important for older adults as kids. “You don’t have to do really extreme things. Hopscotch is really good for co-ordination and balance. Frisbee and kite flying are all-ages activities that involve hand-eye coordination, running/walking, and — most important— changing pace. “The ability to make abrupt stops, change pace and keep the body upright is important in reducing the risk of falling,” says Moffett.
• Gardening and Yard Work “Digging and squatting in the garden engage the thigh and buttock muscles and get your heart rate elevated. Pulling weeds uses a lot of the mid-back muscles. These are the same muscles that help you get up from a chair and maintain independence around the house,” adds Moffett.
• Hiking on natural terrain challenges balance. Visit ParksCanada.ca to find hiking trails in your neighbourhood.
FUELING FUNCTIONAL FITNESS
Help kick start the muscle-building process and boost your energy levels with BOOST® meal replacement drink. Each serving of BOOST® has essential vitamins and minerals your body needs as well as carbohydrates to fuel your functional fitness activities and 10 grams of protein to aid in muscle recovery.
Research has shown that nutritional supplements like BOOST® Meal Replacement drink, rich in protein, carbohydrates, calcium and vitamin D — taken immediately after an exercise period — can help to support muscle mass and strength as well as help to optimize bone health1.
Be Active with BOOST®
Pack a BOOST® in your bag so you’ll always have a nutritious option handy for wherever your active summer takes you. To help get you going, visit boostnutrition.ca and join the
BOOST® BE ACTIVE™ Program. It’s designed to get you up and moving just by doing something as simple as walking. And when it’s coupled with good nutrition, like the protein, vitamins and minerals you receive from each BOOST® Meal Replacement drink, then you’re covered–both inside and out.
Its never too late to get moving!
1Holm, et al. 2008. J Appl Physiol. 105:274-281.