Power Your Aging With Targeted Exercise!
Why Do I Emphasize Power in BoomerFit Classes?
Some of you aren’t crazy about power exercises like kettle bell swings but you’ll thank me when you realize your daily activities and the cool stuff like golf or playing with your grandchildren feel easier. The reason: you’re increasing your power instead of losing it as you age.
We naturally lose between 1% and 2% of muscle mass after age 30. We’ve known for years that we can slow down and reverse the muscle loss through strength training (my mantra!). New studies are showing that loss of muscle power declines even faster than muscle loss. As Joseph Signorile, author of Bending the Aging Curve, found; “From age 65 to 89, explosive lower-limb extensor power declines 3.5% annually while strength drops 1% to 2% per year.” How does it happen?
The most important reason is the loss of Type II muscle fibers. We have two types of muscle fibers: Type I and Type II. Type II fibers are called fast twitch because they contract more quickly and with more force that Type I. For reasons unknown, we lose Type II fibers at a faster rate than Type I as we age. This loss sets off a cascade of physical decline as it becomes harder to do even simple things like get out of a chair. It also increases the risk for falling as we lose the ability to control our muscles. Fortunately, just as with strength training, we can reverse the loss of Type II fibers with power exercising.
First Strength Then Power – All in Good Posture!
Power training involves the acceleration and deceleration of the muscles and joints through a range of motion. Think of the kettle bell swing: you’re hinging at the hip while holding a weight, using your core muscles (including hip flexors and gluteals) to propel the kettle bell in a controlled arc while keeping your balance. There’s a lot going on there! It takes time and practice to build your strength base and develop body awareness to get to your power zone.
BoomerFit class beginners, who haven’t built a strength base, may find power exercises intimidating. That’s why I emphasize posture, form, and identifying the muscle or muscle groups we should be using for a given exercise, in every class (yes, I have to describe the dead-lift every time!). Everyone can progress to greater strength and power at any age with focus and perseverance.
I’m so fortunate to be able to help you get stronger and enjoy doing all the things you want to do as long as you want to do them. I hear stories almost every day about people feeling stronger, ready to take on new challenges like traveling or new hobbies. Thank you for your focus.
Let’s keep it going and…POWER YOUR AGING!