In a University of Washington survey of randomly selected seniors aged 66-78, common barriers to regular physical activity included risks of decreased endurance, injury and falling, feeling intimidated by physical activity, not finding enough information about physical activity and being unsure of the appropriate physical activity.
In a Statcan survey, Ontario's population reported an overall increase in physical activity over 2020 and 2021 in the 50-64 age group. Add to this the common sight of Toronto's fitness community seemingly undeterred by weather, age, time of day, or time of year, and you get a wide variety of people who enjoy living their healthiest lives and who take fitness seriously.
At Striation6 we intend to help grow that community and make it and its members stronger.
However, a common association with "gym" leads people to start thinking of fitness models, powerlifters, and bodybuilders crowding the weight room. The gym certainly means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Depending on your goals, the gym experience can be therapeutic, energizing, empowering or strengthening.
One important truth is that not everyone who goes to the gym wants to be a bodybuilder. Nor should you feel that you need to mimic others in the gym to be productive. Exercise, physical activity and strength training are all part of a recommended healthy lifestyle that can help you live pain-free and stay active.
To show that it is never too late to start, we wanted to share a story of one of our clients, Sandra, who, through regular and consistent strength training has made a positive impact on her life.
A common thread in the world of strength training is feeling like you have to start young. But, Sandra would suggest that age is irrelevant in one's commitment to health and exercise.
"I started training in my 30’s (post children) but stepped up my commitment in my 50’s. I have had group trainers and personal trainers, each with different focuses."
Sandra has been working with Sam Trotta (co-founder and Diamond-Level Striation6 Trainer) for several months now. Although Sandra has been an avid exerciser for decades, her work with Sam has been aimed at a specific combination of post-injury body restoration and focused strength work.
Their sessions together include modifications and alterations that make exercise an enjoyable, repeatable and, above all, useful part of her focus on getting and staying stronger.
Another set of barriers seniors in the University of Washington study reported was lack of information, feeling unsure, and lack of familiarity with physical activity. A common approach to resolving this information gap is to look on Google, Instagram, or YouTube for more information.
So, we asked Sandra: How her experience with her personal trainer, Sam, helped her approach her fitness goals?
Sandra shared that as a result of personal training with Sam she saw:
proper form for each exercise
understanding what is required for specific exercises
reduced risk of injury
attaining desired results without pain
a more "embodied" sense of the exercise experience
While we've discussed some of the barriers, its equally vital to understand what were some facilitators of physical activity within the seniors age group.
Visualization of results and feeling like your goals are achievable can play a strong psychological impact in establishing repeatable exercise behaviour.
Commonly reported facilitators of physical activity include being aware of the benefits, establishing a routine, a renewed sense of self-efficacy and just pure enjoyment of physical activity.
When asked, Sandra said she was "thrilled when I start to feel new strength and apply it to everyday life." She observed that positive changes in her life meant she could "Walk with more speed, bend to pick up a heavy item, keep up with [her] grandchildren and feel more positive in general."
The Striation6 gym floor is host to people from many ages and walks of life leading to a diverse demographic all pursuing a common goal - a healthy lifestyle supported by a stronger body and confident mind. If this is a goal you can resonate with, match with a trainer today to discuss how we can help remove the guesswork and get you on track.