Betsy LaMond, Founder and Owner of BoomerFit ™
When people ask me why I chose to focus on boomers and seniors when I started a new career as certified exercise professional eight years ago, I tell them it was self-serving. When I left my 23-year corporate career I was almost 50. According to the latest studies on the ‘longevity bonus’, the extra 30+ years added to our lifespan, I could work for many more years, making a positive impact on other people’s lives while having fulfillment in my own. To do that, I needed to keep myself healthy and energetic. As a baby boomer, I needed to research how the body ages and what exercise strategies would slow and even reverse the effects of aging. I feel fortunate to have entered the exercise science field at a time of revelatory studies on the amazing benefits of exercise to reverse the effects of aging. Gone is the thinking that we inevitably grow frail as we age. Although we begin to lose muscle mass starting in our 30’s and it accelerates as we age, not only can regain it but we can build muscle and bone into our 90’s and beyond with consistent, focused exercise.
Reverse Aging with Strength!
An effective exercise program to reverse aging starts with strength training for two important reasons. First, we need to re-build the lean muscle mass we lose as we age. Secondly, we need to increase neuromuscular adaptation – a fancy term for getting the body and brain to work together to improve the fluidity of movement. I think of it as getting your body and brain to be best friends. My most rewarding moments are when clients tell me they’re taking on new challenges like booking a trip they thought they’d never take but now feel strong and confident. Beating pals at Pickleball or golf is fun too!
Most importantly, as we enter old age, we can stay independent. BoomerFit programs are designed to incorporate all aspects of fitness for all boomers and seniors at all fitness levels.
Train the Body and Brain to Reverse Aging
The Aging Body
- Repair and replace of tissue and bone slows down after age 30 and accelerates quickly after age 50
- If we’re sedentary, we lose 5% to 8% of cells per decade. If we exercise, we get that number down to 1% to 2%!
The Aging Brain
- Exercise has been proven to assist the brain in building new connections – a process called neuroplasticity
- Exercise increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor – BDNF – which improves cognitive function
- Exercise improves and even creates new connections between the brain and the body – a process called neuromuscular adaptation improving functional movement leading to better performance in activities of daily living – ADL’s – which are crucial for independence
How do we get the body and brain to work together to improve health? By targeting specific muscle groups using correct form, posture and movement, signals travel from our body to our brain through our nervous system. The brain makes new connections telling the body we’re getting stronger.
There’s no debate now that we know so much about how exercise improves our health and reverses the detrimental effects of aging.