This is definitely a popular question. In fact one student introduced herself to me this session by saying, “will this class bring my knees back to what they were?”
I always caution against making false claims so I told her that if her doctor has insisted that she start exercising, she is the right place to make positive changes.
I’m sure that she wanted to hear a different answer but the truth is every situation is different. What I can promise you is that coming to class and being active is far better than being sedentary. There really is truth to the phrase, “use or lose it.” Think about how stiff you get when you do not come to class, versus the joy of movement that you experience once you have warmed up, and participated in exercise of any kind.
That being said, I’m currently taking a course called, Active Aging, with Canfitpro. In this course, we are learning that after the age of 60-65 there are certain physiological changes that occur regardless of our fitness level. For example, we lose many of our fast twitch motor units. As a result, the remaining units end up serving more fibres, which can mean that we lose some fine motor control and coordination.
I do my best to challenge my students sense of balance, coordination and cognition during every class simply because I believe that the more we practice, the longer we can avoid long term negative changes. The truth is you are going to notice changes in your balance and coordination but my hope is that we can slow the process through practice.
In my humble opinion, I believe that the name of the game after the age of 65 is maintenance. We keep exercising so that we can continue to enjoy our favorite activities for as long as possible.
See you in class,