This New Workout Method Will Change the Way You Age
Mobility and range of motion are the key to aging gracefully. This proven method will help you maintain function and stability into your golden years.
Balance and stability are often a serious problem for older adults. In fact, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths and non-fatal injuries in people aged 65 years and older. Brian Bradley, Elev8d Fitness Director agrees. “Balance is one of the biggest safety issues for older adults,” he says. “Getting in and out of the car, walking up and down stairs, maneuvering in and out of the bathtub or shower— these tasks of daily living all hinge on balance.” And as plenty of us have experienced first hand with loved ones, one missed step for those whose bones are frail can mean disaster. The story gets repeated all too often, an elderly person trips on a step, breaks a hip, and begins a downward spiral and often the loss of independent living.
The years do take an inevitable toll on our joints and our mobility but it is absolutely not inevitable that an aging body, by definition, becomes an achy, weaker, less agile one. In fact, through thoughtfully sequenced exercises grounded in alignment, Elev8d Fitness proves otherwise.
The Hips Are the Key to Stability
“Most people, as they age, become primarily upper body movers,” says Bradley. “They begin to rely on their arms to lift themselves off the couch or out of the car.” Then as these muscles get weaker with age, their mobility and stability further suffers. The seemingly logical remedy is to introduce strength training.
“But the problem is that when you try to strength train an elderly person and do so in the wrong sequencing and wrong alignment, you create a cocoon of dysfunction around them, which actually makes them worse,” says Bradley. “Digestive issues get worse; their head position juts forward which results in less oxygen flow and even more imbalance.”
In contrast, Elev8d sequences are specifically designed to stabilize lower body movements and increase range of motion, Bradley explains. “The legs hook into the hip, the spine hooks into the hip, even the big lat muscles attach back to the hip and sacrum. So when I introduce Itsy Bitsy Abs, for example, or have an older person do Cobra, and Squat—all of a sudden they are waking up the hips begin to feel benefits. The stairs aren’t daunting anymore because they are strengthening their hip flexors and their psoas.” In other words, use it or lose it. The hips and core will stay stable and engaged when activated safely and gently on a daily basis.
Workouts that are Fun, Short, and Manageable
Through specifically sequenced exercises that are not intimidating and don’t require extra equipment or special clothes, people of all ages, especially older adults who don’t want or can’t endure a high-intensity workout, can improve alignment, balance and a level of fitness that enhances and optimizes basic everyday movements—the definition of functional fitness. Elev8d improves your strength, balance and agility, by strengthening all of the muscles in the body so things like getting out of bed, maneuvering stairs, bending down to tend the garden and being energetic enough to keep up with grandchildren or your beloved pet become more effortless, graceful and enjoyable.
“Elev8d is designed to allow longevity,” says Bradley. “It’s all about empowering the elderly to not be elderly. We’re elevating them to another level completely.” He recalls meeting with an Elev8d Ambassador who is a retired nurse in Cincinnati. “She could not do one bear crawl on her first day. But on our return visit, she could do 10 with no problem,” Bradley recounts. “That’s what elevates my day.”