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Staying fit past 50 is not a grey area

Silver Sneakers

At 78 million strong, baby boomers are one of the largest and most powerful generations in the U.S. They have redefined aging and are more educated, wealthy, and tech savvy than their parents or any generation preceding them. Yet, as we age, we often lose flexibility, strength, and balance which makes staying fit after 50 a challenge, even for the most determined baby boomer.

You might be getting older but that doesn't mean you have to slow down. According to a 2011 AARP bulletin survey on exercise, approximately seven in 10 adults ages 45 and older (71%) are physically active. With over 250 members, Southern Therapy Services offers wellness programs that help bridge the gap between health and fitness industries, offering affordable, supervised exercise programs for people of all fitness levels. "Most of our members are a step down from physical therapy or referred by a friend to our SilverSneakers® program," explains Patrick Rothschadl, Certified Athletic Trainer at Southern Therapy.

When prescribed therapy sessions are complete and it's time to get back to a regular routine, many people stop exercising and become prone to re-injury. A step down program can help you transition into a regular home exercise routine to avoid losing the gains you have made in a formal therapy program and is led by a certified professional. This allows for more of a clinical collaboration when patients that are discharged from their formal therapy program continue their independent exercise program through a wellness program, as a member, under the same roof. "The focus is to increase strength, improve balance, increase bone density, and decrease body weight in order to control numerous chronic conditions; such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease," explains Rothschadl.

Now that you're ready to go. Let's look at some tips seniors should consider when working out:

  • Proper warm up and stretching is important. Warming up makes a workout easier on your joints and helps prevent injuries.
  • Variety of the spice of life--Regularly switching up your workout is beneficial to your mind and body. Having a variety also allows you to fit strength training, cardio, and flexibility workouts into your schedule. Remember to stay hydrated.
  • Recommended exercises include Cardio/Conditioning using a treadmill, bike, or seated stepper. A 4 way hip machine can be utilized while working your lower body. Adding fitness class will also help obtain a full body workout.
  • Older adults should always check with their physician before beginning a new type of workout. This is especially important if you have been inactive for several months, want to try a more vigorous routine, or have medical conditions that could be affected by exercise.

Seniors can take advantage of a variety of classes and a wellness gym which is strategically placed in Southern Therapy's Carrollton clinic. For more information on Southern Therapy's fitness and wellness program visit www.southerntherapyservices.com or contact 770-834-7436.