‘There’s nothing positive about ageing!’ A phrase we hear all too often…we’re here
to prove you wrong dear friends, the ageing process does not have to be a marathon
in decline, it’s quite simple really, you just need to add a little movement.
It is quite common in the older population for people to feel invisible and forgotten in
the exercise world. Along with the many physical benefits, movement has the power
to enhance wellbeing, boost ones mood and self-esteem, promote social interaction,
reduce stress and help maintain independent living – with so much benefit we must
provide approachable access to our over 50s. At our Studio in Rozelle we believe in
inclusive exercise – accessible and enjoyable across the lifespan…believe you me,
you only have to step foot into one of our Over 50s Strength classes for a minute (or
watch Stevie Nicks on stage) and you will see that age really is just a number.
As we age the body naturally goes through a series of changes, these include
decreasing muscle mass and in turn strength and a decline in muscle regeneration
(our bodies ability to repair and develop new tissue or muscle). Although part of the
natural process, there are certainly things we can do to moderate these changes and
keep one participating in the physical pursuits they have always enjoyed.
The Australian Government Department of Health recommends older people should
be active in as many ways as possible every single day – whether that be attending
an exercise class, walking or gardening. To be more specific, it is suggested older
people undertake moderate exercise for 30 minutes on most days – What constitutes
moderate exercise you ask? Physical activity where you may feel some shortness of
breath but can comfortably continue to have a chat.
Here at The Studio, we see the positive effects of exercise on the daily. With our
particular focus on Women’s Health, we see a large number of pre- and post-
menopausal women. Menopause is diagnosed 12 months from the last menstrual
period, this often a lot earlier then many women think. Symptoms can include hot
flushes, fatigue, reduced concentration, poor sleep quality, weight gain and mood
changes. This time of life also tends to bring its own challenges – kids leaving the
nest, ageing parents and even retirement concerns. We want to support and
empower these women in this often vulnerable time of much change. Exercise can
be utilised to modulate menopausal symptoms and enhance muscle strength gains
along with bone mineral density. A recent study by Berin et al earlier this year found
that a 15-week resistance training program reduced the occurrence of moderate to
severe hot flushes among post-menopausal women, deeming it safe and effective.
Exercise is fantastic in providing a sense of energy and vitality to these women,
increasing the energy surplus for other daily activities whether that be playing tennis,
walking the dog or boogying in the kitchen. Movement should be thought of as an
opportunity to reap the benefits as opposed to being a nuisance! We must focus on
what the body CAN do rather then getting down in the dumps about what we can’t.
Here at The Studio we cater for all walks of life – we want people in the over 50’s
population to be seen and heard. We offer a range of classes appropriate for all
levels of ability – Clinical Pilates (individualised small group exercise), Reformer,
Over 50’s Strength classes, Circuit training, Barre and Mat Pilates classes. We value our older members for their wisdom and vitality (and the laughs and appreciation of good quality music). Our goal is to empower everyone that steps through the Studio doors with the intention for them to walk out taller, more confident and energised. The sense of community is magic – post-class coffee chats are a frequent occurrence and true friendships and connections are formed! We aim to contribute to the positive ageing movement, making growing older a positive and
Written by Caitlin Simm, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at The Studio