This Chinese martial art that combines movement and relaxation is good for both body and mind. In fact, it's been called "meditation in motion." Tai chi is made up of a series of graceful movements, one transitioning smoothly into the next. Because the classes are offered at various levels, tai chi is accessible — and valuable — for people of all ages and fitness levels. "It's particularly good for older people because balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we get older," Dr. Lee says.

One remedy for the exercise doldrums is to keep exploring new types of movement, even if you’re already committed to a particular form of exercise. Novel activities — dance, martial arts, outdoor exercise — can work wonders for your brain, your mood, and your fascia. Massage, Rolfing, Feldenkrais, foam rolling, and other bodywork modalities can keep these tissues supple, too, so you can continue to move well, and without pain, for decades to come.

Greg Brookes is the founder of GB Personal Training Ltd and KettlebellsWorkouts.com. He has been featured in Men's Health, Women's Fitness, Men's Fitness, and Health & Fitness Magazine, where he wrote a monthly column. He has also been featured in the majority of UK national newspapers. Labelled as "the trainer to the trainers" he delivers seminars and a regular newsletter to help Personal Trainers improve their skills and achieve better results for their clients. Continue reading
One of the foundational moves of any strength program is the back squat. The back squat is performed with a barbell across the trapezius muscles, feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and feet slightly turned out. HOW TO DO IT: Take a big breath to brace the core, then send your buttocks back while keeping your chest big and proud. You should squat below parallel if your mobility allows. As you drive up, think of screwing your feet out and into the ground. This cue will fire the glutes so that you can get the most strength out of the movement. MUSCLES USED: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and core.
The baseline characteristics of the study participants are presented in Table 1. No differences between the training groups existed at study entry. In both groups, men spent more hours in sedentary behavior and had significantly higher weight, height, and VO2peak compared to women. Contrary, more women than men performed at least 30 min of daily physical activity (Table 1). The included participants had higher VO2peak (11%) compared to those with no exercise logs. They also had higher VO2peak (17%) and height (1.7%) compared to dropouts, but a lower BMI (3.7%) (p < 0.05). A higher proportion of the included participants performed 30 min of daily physical activity compared to the dropouts (77.3% vs. 66.1%, p < 0.05).
Brovold et al. [7] supposed the importance of an exercise is based on a high-intensity and continuous monitoring model because in their research a nonmonitored home-based group did not improve their physical fitness as much as the monitored group that accomplished a high-intensity aerobic exercise adjusted by means of the Borg Scale and a musical pace [25]. However, Brovold et al. [7], despite an exercise protocol with a high-intensity aerobic interval (HIA), found a small effect on SFT. This may be due to the fact that the exercise protocol used by Brovold et al. [7] did not interact favorably with the skills tested by SFT. Thus, a positive relationship among vigorous physical exercise [17] or HIA exercise [7] and the functional abilities tested by the SFT is not fully evident. On the contrary, the vigorous exercise protocol used here enhanced 5 out of 6 of the SFT and seems to be more focused than the aforementioned one. The small effect of vigorous physical exercise through the 8-foot up and go test is not fully clear and may depend on several factors: (i) a large standard deviation at T0 due to the presence of two subjects who showed a very low functional capacity; (ii) inadequacy of the exercises to improve this ability; and/or (iii) inadequate sensitivity of an 8-foot up and go test. In a recent study by Furtado et al. [15] conducted on a large number of elderly females, even though the SFT was used at baseline and after 8 months from an intervention program of multimodal exercise training (3 days per week), not all skills tested were found improved. However, according to a meta-analysis [11] that included 18 different exercise studies, even a small positive effect can be considered to be of great value in this group of individuals who are at risk of further functional decline. In conclusion, the present study shows that vigorous physical exercise in healthy elderly people provides significant improvements in the majority of the different skills assessed by the SFT.
Recruiting lasted 6 months starting from September 2013. Participants were recruited by means of family doctors to whom the goal of the study was explained. The recruitment flow chart is shown in Figure 1. Three hundred and fifty people aged ≥ 65 were invited to participate. Of these, 51.4% agreed to be included in the screening list while 48.6% refused to participate, mainly for family reasons such as illness/hospitalization/old age of a family member. Forty people were found eligible to participate in the research protocol. Randomly, twenty were assigned to VE and twenty to the control group. The latter were instructed not to take part in any physical activity throughout the study period. All the selected participants signed an informed consent. The study was performed according to the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by the local ethics committee on September 23, 2013.
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