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Fighting the Good Fight

February 21, 2018

Staying physically fit may seem like an uphill battle as you age, but it’s a battle worth fighting! Regular exercise contributes to heart health, bone strength, even mental outlook. But the biggest motivator for many people is a desire to keep their weight in a healthy range.

“Beginning in our 30s, the body’s metabolism naturally slows down, which can cause weight gain even if you are eating the same way you always have,” says Rita Detmer, an athletic trainer at Kettering Health Network. “Many people become more sedentary as they age, and all the time we spend on phones, tablets, and computers doesn’t help. We have to counteract all of that with cardiovascular exercise and strength training.”

Make it count Finding activities you enjoy is essential, whether it is walking or something more vigorous, like kickboxing, rock climbing, or hip-hop dance routines on YouTube. The key is to elevate your heart rate—you should be breathing hard but able to sustain the exercise for at least 30 minutes.

Many people overlook the importance of strength training, which can include lifting weights or calisthenics. “Strength training is essential for building muscle, which can improve your metabolism and affect your overall quality of life,” says Brady Wingert, an athletic trainer at Kettering Health Network. “It also can protect bone health and slow down the progression of diseases such as osteoporosis.”

An athletic trainer or exercise physiologist can help you get started, and exercising with a friend or in a group setting can keep you motivated. The sports medicine team at Kettering Health Network offers one-on-one sessions, as well as adult fitness programs, including:  

  • FITT for Life, a group fitness program for seniors that meets twice a week for six weeks, with an optional third day.
  • Get Moving, Get Fit, an injury prevention group exercise class for runners of any fitness level or experience. Meets Wednesday nights for six weeks for strength training, stretching, and circuit training.
  • Therapy 2 Fitness, a personalized, one-on-one program for patients who have completed physical therapy and are continuing to work toward their fitness goals.  Individuals who have not had physical therapy also are eligible.

Also available is a metabolic rate evaluation. The evaluation includes a review of your current physical activity and diet, and testing to determine your resting metabolic rate, which is an indication of how many calories you need in a day.

To learn more, visit the Kettering Health Network Sports Medicine Adult Fitness page.