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 6 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 you have a license to not move. 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, brain games 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 90’s! 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. 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 70’s 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, Angel Charity 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.
Seniors and adults standing or sitting in a circle, passing beanbags and bouncing small balls to each other in continuous group rhythm. Shared smiles and laughter a part of the experience one may enjoy in weekly small group sessions. Terry Tinney and Anne Wheaton show participants in this class some new exercises they can try as a group, and practice at home between their weekly Body Basics Bal-A-Vis-X group sessions.
Bal-A-Vis-X is a series of 300 Balance/Auditory/Vision eXercises, all of which are deeply rooted in rhythm. The exercises range from one hand tossing and catching one sandbag to both hands bouncing and catching four BAVX balls in a specified sequence. The exercises address visual tracking deficiencies, auditory imprecision, memory, balance and anxiety issues. Some of the exercises combine bags or balls with feet patterns.
Bal-A-Vis-X when done consistently and properly, under the guidance of skilled practitioners, enables the mind-body system to experience the symmetrical flow of a pendulum. It engenders focus. In group settings the exercises, promote self-challenge and foster peer teaching, and it’s a lot of fun!
Terry Tinney and Anne Wheaton are both sanctioned Trainers and Practitioners for Bill Hubert’s Bal-A-Vis-X Program.
Recently retired from teaching in the Amphitheater School District, they wanted to continue to support the learning and well being of children as well as adults. They started a business called Integrated States LLC. They have a studio in Oro Valley. Terry and Anne work with senior groups, hold private sessions, and give one and two day trainings.
Come give our Body Basics Bal-A-Vis-X class a try!! The class will run through July! Friday’s at 10:00 a.m, come be a part of the FUN!
To learn more, visit: IntegratedStates.com or call Anne at 520-609-1710, Terry at 520-609-1708
To learn more about Bill Hubert, visit: Bal-A-Vis-X.com
1. What was the reason you decided to go to a trainer?
I decided to go to a trainer in my late twenties; after I had my two children. I needed more than a jazzercise class or step class to tone my body. I did not have the education or training on how to properly use weights. I had no idea where to even start.
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?
My first encounter with Chris was when I was training with a trainer at “Gold’s Gym” many years ago. I watched as Chris trained Kim and was in awe of his compassion, knowledge, and training philosophy. I knew at that time Chris was the trainer for me.
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?
Yes, I evaluated other gyms and trainers before becoming a member of the BodyBasics family. The other gyms were missing consistency in trainers and programs. I worked once with a trainer that pushed me so hard in leg presses that I honestly could not walk without intense pain for at least three days. I have also worked with trainers that didn’t push me hard enough. Chris and his trainers listened to what I was looking for in a gym and trainer. BodyBasics’ trainers are educated and trained by Chris. There are no better trainers than the ones at BodyBasics.
5. Ultimately, why did you choose BodyBasics over other options?
I chose BodyBasics because I felt confident that they would help me accomplish my goals in a healthy, safe, and consistent way.
6. What goals did you have when you started at BodyBasics?
My goals were to firm and tone.
7. How long have you been training at BodyBasics and what specifically have you achieved over that interval?
I have been training at BodyBasics since 2006. I have achieved so much more than firming and toning my body. ? I have learned the importance of the mind and body connection, as well as, listening to my body. I learned the necessity of the two working together. I have also learned the importance of good nutrition. In addition, I have learned that just exercising isn’t enough, that just good nutrition isn’t enough, and that mind over matter isn’t enough. It is the balance of all of these that has helped me be successful in obtaining my goals.
8. What current goals are you pursuing with your trainers at BodyBasics?
My current goals, started in December 2016, be the best that I can physically, mentally, nutritionally, and spiritually before I turn 60 in September. BodyBasics is helping me to meet these goals!
Welcome New and Returning Clients
The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from one of our clients or allied health network!
Tracey Anderson ~ Found us via our website
Gordon Earhart ~ Referred to us by past client Rod Freeman
Pam Lopes ~ Referred to us by Pima Intern Estevan Yslas
Mary Thatcher ~ Welcome Back! Returning client from years ago
Molly Stranahan ~ Referred to us by Dr. Tait at Rejuv Medical Southwest
Fred Lane ~ Has known Chris since his Metro Fitness days
Cheryl Gifford ~ Found us via our website
Evan Barcanic ~ Found us via his dad who has also known Chris for decades
Lew Riggs ~ Referred to us by Kevin Fay at ProActive PT
Cameron Foss ~ Welcome Back! Returning for the summer
Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.
Jerry Olson ~ for improving his shoulder mobility screen measurably!
Kelly Frost ~ for her persistent effort to improve her footwork through the agility ladder!
Susan King ~ for reaching an all time high doing rope slams!
David Greene ~ for gaining more and more proficiency and strength with his split squats!
Amy Maharry ~ for realizing a long standing goal of exercising successfully on her own outside of her BodyBasics sessions on her ElliptiGo!
Recipe – Strawberry & Beet Salad with Pears and Arugula
4 red and/or yellow beets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless organic or antibiotic free chicken thighs or breasts or 2 pounds extra-firm organic or non-GMO tofu
1 sweet onion
6 stalks organic celery
2 organic pears
15 organic strawberries
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Plenty of arugula
- Wash beets. Peel them with a vegetable peeler. Cut into quarters and place in a saucepan full of water. Bring water to a boil and then simmer until the beets are soft. About 20-30 minutes.
- While the beets are cooking, proceed with the rest of the meal preparation.
- Drizzle olive oil into a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- Dice chicken or tofu and add to the sauté pan. Toss with oil. Let chicken/tofu cook through, mixing occasionally.
- Meanwhile, finely dice the onion and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Dice the celery, pears and strawberries and add to the mixing bowl.
- Juice the orange into the mixing bowl. Add vinegar and oil. Add more or less oil depending on how much you like and need to coat the vegetables and fruit. Mix onion, celery, pears, strawberries, orange juice, vinegar and oil together.
- Once beets are cooked through, let them cool until you are able to handle them. Cut into smaller bite sized pieces.
- Add cooked chicken and beets to the mixing bowl. Mix everything thoroughly.
- Add arugula
Recipe provided by Nourishing Results, visit their full website at www.nourishingresults.com
Video – Lunge Matrix
Chris, Kris, Myrya, Kristian, Lance, Rachel, Mike, and Ben