Stan Cohen – Senior Wellness

Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults

Myth 1: There’s no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway.

Fact: Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Myth 2: Elderly people shouldn’t exercise. They should save their strength and rest.

Fact: Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for the elderly. Period. Inactivity often causes seniors to lose the ability to do things on their own and can lead to more hospitalizations, doctor visits, and use of medicines for illnesses.

Myth 3: Exercise puts me at risk of falling down.

Fact: Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling.

Myth 4: It’s too late. I’m already too old, to start exercising

Fact: You’re never too old to exercise! If you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a while, start with light walking and other gentle activities.

Myth 5: I’m disabled. I can’t exercise sitting down.

Fact: Chair-bound people face special challenges but can lift light weights, stretch, and do chair aerobics to increase range of motion, improve muscle tone, and promote cardiovascular health.

As a teacher of movement and balance exercises for seniors in Independent and assisted living center, I run across a good number of seniors who are used to sitting and doing nothing during the course of a normal day. I find this to be true also of most over 80 seniors who are home bound.

Having been a caregiver to my mother-in-law and working with my mom who is in her 80’s the main issues for them not exercising is not what I first thought it would be. I used to think they just don’t care and have chosen to give up and as a result have let themselves go.  Read the rest of this entry »

In the last few years working with the senior population I have run across a huge contingent of people who are their parents caregivers. There is also a tremendous number who see it coming as our boomer population ages and we start taking care of our parents who, by the way, are living longer and expect it of us.

A few of the major issues of caregiving I hear about are burnout, anger, frustration, exhaustion, boredom, of course love and loneliness.  Most have aches and pains from the constant on their feet running here and there, lifting, bending, carrying, cleaning and all the other movements associated with the daily grind of assisting an older person.  The older and more fragile, the more work involved of course.  My own mother in law for example was dead weight, and much heavier for her size then she should have been. Read the rest of this entry »

This is my first post in quite some time.  to be honest, I’ve been very busy working on my seniors and family care givers website and have not had much time to think about blogging.

But, just this past week in one of my classes at The House of Good Shepherd I had quite a conversation with one of the independent living residents.

The women, let’s call her June, was in class last month and was telling me that the following day she was going for therapy and was going to have to “walk the plank”.  I asked her about this and she informed me that part of her therapy was going to be working on her balance by walking heel to toe on a 6″ wide board, about 8 feet long.

I asked if she was comfortable with this idea and she said “no, I don’t have very good balance and I am afraid of falling over”.  Since she was new to class I asked her if she knew anything about the rolling walk, or the heel first method of stepping.  Again she said no.

We proceeded to practice this simple “Tai Chi” style of taking a balanced, heel to toe rolling step. First as baby steps and worked it into a slightly smaller than normal step. We then did this near a wall where she would finger touch for balance and she tried the heel in front of the other foot toe walk.

To her surprise, she felt comfortable with it. Still needing practice, and lots of it of course, the thanked me and we went our separate ways.

Just yesterday, the first day seeing her since, she told me that she amazed the therapist by having no trouble on the board using the method I showed her.  I asked if the therapist mentioned the walk and she said no, but he was very interested in what she was doing”.

I continued to ask questions on what they were teaching her at physical therapy and she said “they don’t teach me anything” and “I learn more in this class about building my balance and safety then with them by far”.

Now, this is the bottom line of my peeve. I am not a physical therapist. I teach common sense movement based in Tai Chi theory.  I am not a “licensed professional”  from any institute yet I hear these similar type comments from most of my elder students.

The question is, why don’t they teach people how to walk, how to stand, how to build balance and leg strength using simple exercises that are withing their range of capabilities?

I would love some comments on this issue.  Have you experienced this and if so, how do you work on building your capabilities?

 

I hear a lot in my classes,  “I am afraid to try this exercise because my one arm wont go high enough”.  I tell my students “focus on what you can do, and just do what you can, don’t worry about what you cannot do”.

I also add in the two following  bits of theory. Read the rest of this entry »

Howie Shareff
You Call this Yoga

In my journey as a physical therapy patient and yoga teacher, I have found that most people overlook proper body positioning while seated or in motion. Our society has become sedentary from inactivity, excessive watching of TV and hunching over computers. Many people tend to shuffle as they walk. The result has been perpetuation of poor posture, with muscles under-functioning and operating out of balance. Here are my tips for improved seating and walking.

While seated: Read the rest of this entry »

Stan Cohen – Founder
ChiForLivingTM

How do you develop and attitude of lifestyle fitness in your seniors?

How often have you heard, or read that exercise is important for our senior population? I have to say; we have heard all our lives that exercise and diet are important and it only makes sense that as we age this importance would continue.

What can we do to make sure that our seniors get their exercise? Consider how people are in general. Those who like to exercise do, those who do not don’t. What makes us think that just because we age our feelings about exercise are going to dramatically change?

One key is finding an exercise that is applicable. I am going to discuss our older seniors for the sake of this article as generally speaking, they have the least amount of options. Read the rest of this entry »


Visit www.maturitymatters.net

We have created MaturityMatters.net to help Seniors and their families live joyful and independent lifestyles.

Visit our Facebook page

Home Study Tai Chi and Qigong

We have found the most effective home study course on the market. Check out the program.

Guide to Assisted Living

Check out Ryan Malone's Book The By Families, For Families Guide to Assisted Living: A Step-by-Step Guide to Evaluating and Transitioning to an Assisted Living Community
Blog Directory for New Jersey
Performancing Metrics