Michelle Rupp: Joining me now is
Dr. JJ Mayo and we are talking about being active over the age of 60. That’s really when life begins right? Hi, Dr. JJ. How are you? JJ Mayo, PhD: How’s it going, Michelle? Excited to be here.
MR: Thanks so much for talking to us. So, let’s just jump right in. Let’s first start by talking about mobility training, particularly when we’re in a retirement age.
JM: Yeah, so as we get older, I think one of the most important things that we’re arching ideas here is that we’re trying to maintain our independence. I don’t know about Y’all, but I’ve always told my classes my students that I never want to really end up in a nursing home. And so, I always want to be as active as I can for as long as I can and live a quality life and that’s what activity does for us into our older years and I’m almost there you said 60. So I’m getting close to that. But you know, age is just kind of a number because I know a lot of people that are in their sixties and seventies that are way fitter than folks that are in their thirties and forties and so being mobile and being able to be a lot of times we call it functional doing functional activities, things like stretching things like strengthening because one of the things we know as we get older is that we lose bone mineral density and we lose muscle and so to try to maintain that, Then strength training is important as well and all the components of fitness. You know, having a little bit of cardiovascular fitness is important along with the flexibility and the strengthening is important for just overall health. And so simple things that as you’re 30, you don’t really think about even my students at 18, 19. They don’t think about the fact that when you’re driving, you need some flexibility to turn your head to see cars behind you and on the side of you and stuff like that, being able to bend over, you know, um, get up and down off the floor. Those are simple things that a lot of times when you’re younger, you take it for granted, but as you get older, they’re very important. And so, maintaining that mobility is extremely important.
MR: So, if someone is watching this and they’ve not really led much of an active lifestyle, but they want to begin, what are some ways that they can begin to prepare themselves or set themselves up for a little bit better later on in life.
JM: Yeah, it’s never, I always say it’s never too late to start because, and it doesn’t matter what you got going on because a lot of people will use excuses that maybe they’ve got some kind of injury or they’ve got some kind of, um, you know, limitation. Whatever it may be a knee or a hip or, but there are always things you can do to work around that. One of the suggestions I would make if you’re just getting started is to join a class, you know. I’m kind of biased, but my mother in law teaches a class, it’s called Forever Fit. Sometimes they call it Body Recall and it’s a, it’s a class, an hour class that’s done in a chair and they do some standing exercises too. But it is extremely effective in maintaining strength and flexibility for these older individuals. And there have been people in our classes that are in their seventies and eighties, maybe even nineties and with all kinds of disabilities. But there’s still, because here’s the truth of the matter is that if you don’t do anything, it’s just going to continue to get worse. So you got to do something right, start where you are, make small steps and like I said, if you’re at home, you can always just and it doesn’t take much, right, just five minutes and if you get tired you just take a rest and maybe do another five minutes. So it’s just really small incremental steps to become fitter.
MR: How long should a retiree or someone over the age of 60? How long should they exercise?
JM: That’s a good point. I mean, the guidelines for older adults are really similar to the guidelines for younger adults, they recommend around 150 minutes a week of activity and that’s going to be to promote health and when we talk about promoting health, we’re talking about improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels and blood sugar and that type of thing. But if you’re really looking for weight loss, it’s going to be upwards to 60 minutes a day. And I know that can be a little challenging for folks to think, oh, 60 minutes, but that’s going to help burn those extra calories and that’s important for a lot of us and it doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise, It can be a light walk or easy bike, you know, just something like that, or a class exercise group, exercise class like my mother in law teaches.
MR: Someone might be curious and think, okay, well this all sounds great and I want to jump in and start moving around and getting more mobile, but then how do you prevent injury? Because sometimes if you do too much too soon, it ends up backfiring.
JM: Right, right. And that’s where I think a class could come in handy where you have somebody that’s leading you and instructing you and watching your form and your activity. Um, you know, injuries do happen, but I think the risk of Not doing anything and not being active at all or way worse than the potential risk of injury, especially if you’re just going really, you know, shorter distances or the intensity is really low, the risk of injury is pretty small.
MR: And then my last question would be, can we still build muscle even over the age of 60?
JM: Oh, that’s going to be really difficult. Michelle. You know, you may be able to, but most of us at that age it’s, you know, we’re on the decline. So really the goal would be to maintain the muscle that we have. I would like to think that you could. You’re never going to end up looking like you know, Arnold Schwarzenegger or something like that bodybuilder type. You might be able to gain a little muscle, but it’s not going to be something that you’re going to be wanting to show off in a mirror to or something like that. But just being active is going to help maintain the muscle that you have and that’s one of the most important benefits of exercise, is not necessarily maybe burn a few extra calories, but really is to maintain the muscle. And the bone mineral density because that’s important too.
MR: All right, Dr. Mayo, thank you so much for joining us today.
JM: Thanks Michelle, bye.
MR: And thank you for joining us. We’ll see you back here next week for more AFMC TV.