Article – Age On Your Terms: 6 Aging Myths Debunked
As coaches of the boomer generation and beyond, we have heard countless individuals come into our studio already prepared to tell us what they can’t do because of their age or what limitations they have because of their age. I am here to debunk six common myths. My aim in doing so is to provide a platform for hope. I can’t stand it when someone, unknowingly because of something they heard, limits themselves. So, read on and be uplifted!
Myth #1: To Be Old is To Be Sick: This myth centers around the belief that aging and disease go hand in hand and individuals are destined to wind up in a nursing home or suffering from a catastrophic illness once they get older.
Debunked: First off, although it is true that the incidence of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, arthritis does increase with advancing age, it is not fair to say that all succumb to this position once a certain stage of life is reached. With an ever growing population of individuals 50 and above, it is easy to see that there are a large number of healthy, robust boomers and beyond who are without any significant chronic diseases or functional limitations.
Don’t let this one be your demise. First and foremost, stay active! Doing so stabilizes blood sugar levels, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, increases your ability to use oxygen, and keeps joints moving thus minimizing them from freezing up. If you already have a chronic disease, don’t be overly concerned. My advice to you is the same with the caveat in place to listen to your body. Some movements, such as running for example, may not be best suited for you if you have a later stage chronic condition such as arthritis. However, notice I did not say stop moving if you have a chronic condition. Quite the contrary! If you have a chronic disease the best thing you can do to maintain your independence and quality of life is to move and move often! 1,2
Myth #2: You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks: This one has all of us in a tizzy over the latest brain game. I’ve probably heard Luminosity mentioned at least a ½ dozen times in the last month alone. Simply, there are those who have been led to believe that senility and dementia are a natural part of aging and unfortunately also inevitable.
Debunked: Have you heard of brain plasticity? If you haven’t, take some time and look it up. Here are the basics. Your brain remains ever changing to some degree until the day you know longer need it. It is malleable. It will adapt to gain mastery of whatever it is challenged with, so long as the challenges are consistent in nature. If you like learning, this is great news because that means, contrary to past thought on the subject, you can retain your ability to learn throughout your lifespan.
You are largely in control of your ability to stay sharp. Much like myth number one, lifestyle behaviors starting young and carrying forward largely influence your brain’s health. Physical activity levels keep your brain stimulated and charged with oxygen. Dietary choices nourish the brain and provide the materials it needs to repair and replenish dead and dying cells. Excessive (>14 per week) alcohol consumption has been demonstrated to promote dementia. 3 Changing your environments through social events, different pockets of friends, new experiences, and yes, even brain games like Luminosity, also lead to improvement in your level of cognitive decline with age.
Myth #3: The Horse Is Out Of The Barn: This myth is that once you’re older, it’s too late to reduce disease risk, increase your health status, or become fit. Have you ever heard yourself saying that it’s too late for you to get stronger? Maybe you were talking to a friend who can barely walk and they expressed that. Good news! It’s not true!
Debunked: This myth is similar to that of number one in how you would approach it to debunk it. Diet and consistent exercise of at least 150 minutes each week aerobically and 2-3X each week with resistance are the gold standards for reducing disease risk, improving your health as measured by your blood markers (A1C, HDL/LDL ratio, triglyceride levels…) and becoming fit. 4
One of the most common reasons we check out of continuing to travel, exploring the outdoors and other movement based experiences is diminished strength. If you have ever trained with any of our amazing team you know that we emphasize strength development in both your upper body and your lower body. What you may not know is that from the age of 30 to 70 your body, left uninfluenced is programmed to lose 30% or more of your muscle mass!5 That’s some serious strength loss and can be the difference between you being fit to explore or overcome with fear to simply navigate a high step. Be assured though. Contrary to past thinking that muscle could not be developed in our later years, recent science has proven otherwise showing actual improvements in skeletal muscle with participants in their 90s! 6,7 It is really never too late.
Myth #4: But My Genetics! Choose Your Parents Wisely: I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone tell me that they can’t change “fill in the blank about themselves” because of their family’s genetics.
Debunked: Although certain things like the shape of your nose, how much hair you’ll keep, and what your bone structure will be are a product of your genetics, disease and disease risk do not have to be your fate simply because they “run in the family”. It is true that you can have a stronger likelihood to have a stroke if heart disease is rampant in your family. However, overall evidence is clear that the influence of lifestyle and environment are far more important factors in the determination of your health and functional ability than your family’s genetics.
Myth #5: Older Adults Become Weak and Disinterested in Sex: It is commonly assumed that once we get to a certain age our interest in sex with our partner wanes.
Debunked: Research shows otherwise. Both men and women remain interested well into their 70s and often beyond. No surprise keeping up physical activity plays a key role in this.8
Myth #6: The Elderly Don’t Pull Their Own Weight: This one is a widespread belief that older adults are a burden to society and do not contribute to its continued success.
Debunked: I found this one surprising personally because of the heavy involvement in volunteer work I hear our boomer generation and beyond clients consistently talking about. And I was right to think that way because the boomer and builder generations represent the two largest volunteer forces in our nation. In fact, they are such contributors that many organizations, Tu Nidito in Tucson for example, depend heavily on their contributions of time and financial support, and physical labor. Also, older adults are commonly recruited to help out with grand-kids or ailing family members. Finally, it is becoming increasingly common for individuals past typical retirement age to still be working!
So, there you have it. Six myths concerning aging are now debunked. If I succeeded in getting you to contemplate change of some of your limiting thoughts, I’m thrilled. And if I confirmed why others of you are so full of life, well, that’s awesome too. I would love to hear your comments so please write back. You can do so by clicking on the “Contact Us” item on our menu. Until next time, happy and healthy aging to all of you!
1 – American College of Rheumatology. Recommendations for the medical management of osteoarthritis of the hip and knee: 2000 update. American College of Rheumatology Subcommittee on Osteoarthritis Guidelines. Arthritis Rheum. 43: 1905 – 1915, 2000.
2 – American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness and flexibility in healthy adults. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 30: 975 – 991, 1998.
3 – Kenneth J. Mukamal, MD, MPH; Lewis H. Kuller, MD, DrPH; Annette L. Fitzpatrick, PhD; W. T. Longstreth, Jr, MD, MPH; Murray A. Mittleman, MD, DrPH; David S. Siscovick, MD, MPH. Prospective study of alcohol consumption and risk of dementia in older adults. JAMA. 289 (11): 1405 – 1413, 2003.
4 – Buchner D., and E. Coleman. Exercise considerations in older adults: intensity, fall prevention, and safety. Phys. Med. Rehabil. Clin. N. Am. 5: 357 – 375, 1994.
5 – Tseng D., B. Marsh, M. Hamilton, and F. Booth. Strength and aerobic training attenuate muscle wasting and improve resistance to the development of disability with aging. J. Gerontol. A. Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 50 Spec No: 113 – 119, 1995.
6 – US Department of Health and Human Services. Strength training among adults aged >65 years – United States 2001. MMWR 53: 25 – 28, 2004.
7 – Gary R. Hunter, John P. McCarthy, and Marcus M. Bamman. Effects of Resistance Training on Older Adults. Sports Med. 34 (5): 329 – 348, 2004.
8 – Stacy Tessler Lindau, M.D., M.A.P.P., L. Philip Schumm, M.A., Edward O. Laumann, Ph.D., Wendy Levinson, M.D., Colm A. O’Muircheartaigh, Ph.D., and Linda J. Waite, Ph.D. A study of sexuality and health among older adults in the United States. N. Engl. J. Med. 357: 762 – 774, 2007.
Client Spotlight – Amy Maharry
1. What was the reason you decided to go to a trainer?
Proper technique and form is very important to me. I also find it easier to reach goals when I’m able to rely on someone certified to make a program for me that focuses on what those goals are. And finally, I tend to not know when to take it easy or back off of something (to prevent injury) and I find having a trainer gives me the right amount of gumption while keeping my body healthy.
2. Did you consider or participate in any other form of treatment for your reason before seeking a trainer? Examples: physical therapist, acupuncturist, medication
3. How did you hear about BodyBasics?
I did a search online and recognized Chris’ name. I’ve known him since his Metro Fitness days when he was a trainer and I managed the smoothie bar that was inside.
4. Did you evaluate other gyms or trainers before deciding on coming to Us? If yes, what were other places missing that BodyBasics was able to provide?
I’ve worked with other trainers in the past although it has been a while. The thing I like the most about the atmosphere at BodyBasics is that it’s a personal training gym that is open all day long so it’s not desolate but likewise it’s not a big box gym where personal training is the minority which makes me feel like I’m standing out.
5. Ultimately, why did you choose BodyBasics over other options?
I don’t know of any other fitness professionals who have been doing this as their career for as long as Chris has. Therefore I have trust in his knowledge in the industry. Additionally, to be honest, BodyBasics is very conveniently located.
6. What goals did you have when you started at BodyBasics?
I’ve always wanted to be and feel healthier as well as look healthier. I also love feeling strong so getting stronger has also always been a goal.
7. How long have you been training at BodyBasics and what specifically have you achieved over that interval?
I believe I’ve been going to BodyBasics for 5 years now. I have achieved a lot in that amount of time. I’ve reshaped my entire body, I have an entirely new healthy lifestyle in terms of fitness and nutrition (with the help of completing the Precision Nutrition program which is offered through BodyBasics), and I continue to make gains, learn new exercises, get stronger, and gain more self-esteem than I ever thought I could.
8. What current goals are you pursuing with your trainers at BodyBasics?
Currently, I am working toward training to compete in a powerlifting competition. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to compete in all three lifts but I would love to be able to. It just depends on how well my body cooperates with me. In addition, I’m just working toward making gains in my lifts while maintaining proper form to keep my body injury-free. I’m especially interested in getting stronger on bench press, which is my favorite exercise. And really any and all exercises, balances, functionality, etc. are all my goals and I’m always striving to learn more and do my best. I love to be challenged and set my own goals as well.
Welcome New and Returning Clients
The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from one of our clients or allied health network!
Bonnie Stahlbush ~ referred by Dr. Griffin at MD VIP
Holly Berryhill ~ referred by husband and fellow client Mike Cummins
Mary Casady ~ referred by Dr. Tait, owner of Rejuv Medical Southwest
Rhonda Evans ~ found us via Google search
Vivian Kaplan ~ Welcome Back!
Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.
Ross Henderson ~ for cycling all the way to the top of Mt. Lemmon 7 minutes faster than last year! He had me at cycling to the top of Mt. Lemmon let alone faster than the year prior!
Dawn Cleary ~ for her wonderful smile and purposeful intention brought to every session!
Vivian Kaplan ~ for achieving her goal of being able to balance unassisted on a pair of balance discs. Next, come the bicep curls while on the discs!
Shari and Doug Larson ~ for showing up with their notebooks every session ready to absorb as much as they can every time they step in the door!
Laura Haines ~ for absolutely rocking her squats!
Recipe – Quinoa and Turkey Mini Meatloaves
by Darcie Miller, owner and recipe developer of the allergy friendly and health food company, Naturbaker.
Gluten-free, kid-friendly and with a quinoa and turkey base….this recipe is alluring on so many levels! From a dish that is traditional and well known evolves a new dinner treat with a fun spin. In this recipe, you’ll enjoy the addition of a protein-rich and flavorful binder that isn’t egg-based: quinoa. I rate it above the lean ground turkey that is also included in this dish because it is a complete protein (full of amino acids!) a fantastic wheat-free alternative, and full of fiber.
After cooking your quinoa, a simple food-processing of your standard flavorful veggies (I like to food-process these bad boys so my little ones won’t notice them!) will complement your grain, along with some dried herbs, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and lean ground turkey. A great texture is beginning to form!
Then, comes the really savory and flavorful part.
Bacon and raisins. (Sing with me: “Bacon, bacon, you’re my best friend….”)
I prefer to use no-nitrate, uncured bacon. I love the flavor and knowing that I’m not consuming extra additives.
The bacon and raisins are placed in the same food-processor to create a wonderful mix ties the meat, quinoa and veggies together.
After you have mixed it all together, it’s time to load these bad boys into a muffin pan, top it with a piece of parchment paper, and place a cookie sheet, inverted, on top. Once you do this, the next part isn’t tricky, but just in case you get confused, take a gander at the animated image below.
As you can see, my hubby is mastering my “flip and lift” trick that gets these bad boys to be shaped so nicely. By holding together the muffin pan and parchment lined cookie sheet, we are able to sucessfully flip the muffin pan over, lift, and see the cute result of mini meatloaves!
What’s left? Simply load that oven and bake. Don’t forget to shlop on some tangy and sweet meatloaf sauce on top. It is a wonderful additive and makes for a delightful glaze.(I like to call it the pretty pink bow that ties the dish together). Pink bows are always helpful when making attempts to get picky eaters of your tribe to take a bite.
There, you’re done! Check out the recipe below and follow the step. You’ll end up with an amazing family dinner that is:
Salty and sweet
& Calcium + Fiber + Protein-Loaded
I hope you enjoy and DO let me see you mini-meatloaves in action on Instagram, by tagging your photo, #naturbaker! Cheers!
Love this recipe? Enjoy more of Darcie’s kitchen adventures at www.naturbaker.com
Exercise Video of the Month – A Solid Nutritional Suggestion from Client Spotlight Amy Maharry
2nd Annual Torture the Trainer Event Was a HUGE Success!
Thank you to all who participated by purchasing raffle tickets or simply donating. Combined we were able to raise $1,500.00 for Tu Nidito! We also learned some new exercises, some of which you may actually see in your own programming someday. You are all such giving folks!
Chris, Kris, Myrya, Kristian, Lance, Rachel, Ben and Amanda