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Aging Actively

Since most of you at CrossFit 7220 do not have the privilege of spending time with our senior athletes each week; we wanted to you to know they are really quite amazing. They are dedicated, hard working and the epitome of utilizing their fitness outside of the gym.

We get to hear their stories of no longer needing bone density medication due to their participation in CrossFit. In fact we recently had a new senior join us who's physician recommended CrossFit for her osteopenia in order to avoid medication!

These seniors return from trips overseas bragging of their ability to climb mountains, outlast their younger traveling companions, handle heavy luggage with ease, and enjoy all of their activities more due to the improved strength and endurance they've acquired through participating in CrossFit.

We often forget that most folks their age have decided that aging should look less active and more sedentary. They are home in their recliners losing strength, mobility, and overall fitness because...... that's just what older people do!

If you have a loved one who might have this attitude and lifestyle, a recent CrossFit Journal article may help nudge them off the couch!

Be sure to read the full article when you get a chance. Here are some highlights:

Does evidence suggest biology will cause us to get slower over time? Do we, as an unavoidable consequence of aging, have to retreat to smaller and smaller ranges of motion? And is pain an inevitable part of aging?

This is not your fate—unless you choose to stop moving.....Yes, slowing with age is unavoidable, but the degree of speed decay is dependent on maintenance or regaining of fitness. It is absolutely never too late to begin or restart fitness training.

  • The loss of range of motion seen with aging is relatively slow and greatly affected by lifestyle. Simply adding in physical activity (not the same as exercise) slows the decay. Adding exercise will likely have an even greater conservatory effect.

  • As we age, we tend to sit down more and do less and less. The percentage of people considered to be active enough to derive health benefits is low.

  • “Recreationally active” appears insufficient to maintain movement velocity over a lifespan.

  • The decision to stop training or playing has a profound effect and accelerates age-related functional decay.

  • Noticeable slowing with age is driven in part by biology but is significantly affected by the choice to spend time on the couch. While some loss in range of motion with age is inevitable, the degree of loss is magnified by sedentarism.

Seniors warming up at CrossFit 7220

It is fairly simple to break out of the stereotype: We just need to avoid retreating into inactivity with the passing years. The global perception of the aged as doddering and low functioning is less a necessary fact and more a self-fulfilling prophecy when inactivity is added to the mix.

What are the limits of aged performance? How much of our age-related functional decay can be avoided? No one knows, but we should endeavor to find out, not necessarily as part of scientific inquiry but as part of our own self-care into antiquity. When we lose physical function, we become dependent. The longer we maintain our physical fitness, the longer we remain independent.

From one aging individual to another, fight the stereotype. Fight it by choosing to be active and avoiding a self-induced functional deficit that only grows and becomes more profound with the passing years. Choosing the couch has long-lasting ramifications on our independence.

CrossFit 7220 Seniors Class

Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 am

(no prior CrossFit experience required to attend)

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