Once there lived a man – let’s call him Patrick. Patrick is a dad and a grandpa. He is independent and runs his own small business. At the age of 70, Patrick is the epitome of ‘active aging’ and continues to tend his shop from 8:30am to 6pm every day, except for his one day-off a week. He walks to the bus stop and takes bus 32 for 14 stops, before walking 250m from the bus stop to his shop. He has been doing this since 1990. Then one day, in 2019, Patrick has a fall. And he fractures his hip.
Patrick cannot walk without help, he cannot open his shop, and he loses touched with his community. With reduced mobility and not being able to engage in the activities that gave him purpose, Patrick’s mental health begins to deteriorate. He becomes depressed, frustrated and irritable. His grandchildren used to enjoy his company but not as much anymore. Cognitive decline begins to set in and Patrick develops dementia. Without home care, his family reluctantly send him to a nursing home.
Patrick’s story is fictional, but not unusual. Sadly, it is a story shared by all too many seniors.
Risk fall increases dramatically with age, with the biggest rise after 80. The muscle atrophy that comes with age means decreased strength as well as more brittle bones due to lack of loading to stimulate stronger remodelling of bones. All this means that our risk of falls (as well as the consequences of a fall) increases as we age.
Aging cannot be reversed but its effects can be mitigated or slowed. With seniors, strength training is key. Strength training can be done using one’s own body weight, resistance bands and even household items. A knowledgeable coach can create an effective workout routine without complicated equipment.
Seniors, like many of us, often dislike exercising. Their reasons are not unlike ours: effort, boredom and lack of immediate results. What’s more, seniors tend to be less motivated by vanity goals such as achieving that insta-worthy body.
With these factors in mind, we created a workout routine to introduce seniors to mobility exercises and strength training in a fun and accessible way, and as an activity that can be enjoyed together with younger family members and friends. Each week, Coach Pek Ya along with 86 year-old Uncle Poon will show seniors progressive exercises to help them move better and improve muscle strength. For even more fun, Zumba instructor Rosemary has put together a dance challenge after every workout to show you how to put your moves to some high energy music!
Follow us on Facebook or visit this website for the 8-part video series and help the senior in your life move better to live better! Remember, as with all fitness routines, regularity is important. To feel the full benefit of the workout, seniors are encouraged to keep up their workouts between videos and complete the full 8-week programme.