Movement strategies for healthy aging

It is so important to stay healthy and active as we age. In addition to consuming healthy whole food plant based nutrition, there’s no doubt or shortage of research on the benefits of movement and exercise to encourage strong bones & muscles, improve cardiovascular health and even cognitive function. Exercise can also reduce the risk of falls and injuries as we get older. But even if you’re not in perfect shape, you need to just START (after consulting your healthcare provider, of course and under the supervision of a certified trainer to be sure you have great form and are doing appropriate exercises). You’ll be surprised how quickly you can adapt to a new healthier lifestyle once you figure out what type of activities work best for you!

It’s never too late to start; however, there is an advantage to starting early to encourage healthy aging. What you do now determines how you’ll live a decade from now.

exercises for healthy aging

  • Low impact activities (Swimming, yoga, Pilates, walking, recumbent bike)
  • Group activities that incorporate the social aspect may increase your likelihood to participate & not skip. A few possibilities: pickle ball, tennis, golf, walking group – just make sure you don’t allow yourself to feel pressured to push harder than you should.
  • Resistance training: It’s so important to stay STRONG and avoid sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss)
  • Look for opportunities to increase general activity: studies have shown that staying more active throughout the day, providing our bodies the opportunity to increase the heart rate which improves cardiovascular health. Consider taking the stairs or the longer route to the bathroom at work, parking far away at the grocery, walking to chat with someone instead of sending an email.
  • Brain/body training: Activities that require some level of balance, agility, hand-eye coordination are great as well – again ask your healthcare provider for suggestions that are appropriate to your current ability & progress from there.

Inactivity and mortality risk

When looking at risk for cardiovascular disease as well as all-cause mortality, inactivity is a greater risk for both than any other single habit or practice. 

The evidence is clear: “when inactive individuals are compared with active individuals, the inactive individuals increase their risk of cardiovascular disease by between 150% and 240%, and  individuals who choose to be inactive accept the same increased risk of heart disease as individuals who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day! Unfortunately, 15% of the adult population in the United States still smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, and 60% to 80% are either not adequately active or completely inactive. Thus, inactivity carries the same risk as cigarette smoking a pack of cigarettes per day and is between 4 and 5 times more prevalent!   source

So how much exercise do you need? 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, plus 2 days/week of strength training exercise is the general recommendation released by the CDC recently. Always check with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations tailored to your individual needs, and check out the CDC’s general guidelines here.

Super 60! Finish Summer STRONG!

Ready to finish Summer 2021 with a BANG & get in great shape?!

Join our Goal Fit gang in the SUPER 60! Program! You can go all-in on all the strategies or go for an 80/20 or 90/10 approach. I have 2 vacations planned, so I am going to commit to 90/10!

Anyone can join in for FREE, but Goal Fit monthly members have added benefits:

  • Increased accountability
  • Fun, supportive community
  • New workout videos every week
  • New breathwork or meditation videos each week
  • New recipes every week
  • Live & recorded weekly check-ins via zoom (2 options/week)
  • Individual zoom chat re your goals and any modifications
  • Prizes!

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Stay Strong to Fight Cognitive Decline

I’m at the top of my game – I don’t need to worry about cognitive decline yet. And what does my leg strength have to do with my thinking??
Whether you’re a surgeon, attorney, CEO, or golf-game-perfecting retiree, we all want to perform at our best.


The time to reduce your risk of cognitive decline is before that decline starts. Age related factors like hormonal changes in both men and women – as well as the aging process itself -can contribute to ever-so-subtle cognitive changes (decreased processing speed /increased reaction time, decreased focused and sustained attention, mild memory lapses (misplaced items, “why did I walk into this room”). And we’re not just talking about getting dementia or Alzheimer’s. How about up- leveling performance at work and improving your golf or tennis game?
Studies show “the age at which cognitive decline begins is relevant to the optimum time to implement interventions designed to prevent or reverse age-related declines. “
“What does appear clear is that several different types of results converge on the conclusion that age-related cognitive decline begins relatively early in adulthood, and certainly before age 60 in healthy educated adults.
Source

YIKES – WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT? A lot!
The Goal Fit Method membership offers tons of research-backed content, and easily implemented lifestyle strategies aimed at maintaining physical and cognitive vitality as we grow older. Growing older is a gift, but I’m not settling for the decline in function I see so many suffer. And you don’t have to either. Here’s an example – LEG STRENGTH!

Wait, I thought we were talking about cognitive decline??


Studies support that interventions targeted to improve leg power in the long term may help reach a universal goal of healthy cognitive ageing”- noting “a striking protective relationship was found between muscle fitness (leg power) and both 10-year cognitive change and subsequent total grey matter.” Source

Groundbreaking research shows that neurological health depends as much on signals sent by the body’s large, leg muscles to the brain as it does on directives from the brain to the muscles. Using the legs, particularly in weight-bearing exercise, sends signals to the brain that are vital for the production of healthy neural cells, essential for the brain and nervous system. Cutting back on exercise makes it difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells — some of the very building blocks that allow us to handle stress and adapt to challenge in our lives.” Source

My favorite leg-strength exercises you can do at home include: squats, all the lunges, deadlifts, leg lifts, walking and hiking.

Join our community and grow stronger and more vibrant – make every day count to live a life that is truly good to the last drop!

Why Strength Train?

Recent research has shown the benefits of strength training to include reduced risk of stroke, heart attack and diabetes. Specific to older adults, resistance training can reduce sarcopenia (age related muscle loss) and fall risk as well as help to maintain bone mass.

This article cites research concluding that “resistance exercise promoted better anti-inflammatory balance and physical performance simultaneously with an increase in cognitive profile in older women with cognitive impairment”.

Aim for 3-4 strength training sessions per week and choose exercises and weights that provide a challenge. If you’re just starting out, check with your doctor & consider body weight exercises, light dumbbells or resistance exercises or even household items.

A session or two with a trainer is a great idea to ensure you’re choosing the right weights & that your form is on point.