Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Uh oh, but the two biggest trends don’t bode well for midlifers.
We baby boomers are the first generation to grow up with exercise as part of our post high school curriculum. Our parents did not transition from youth to adulthood expecting to work out the rest of their lives. (I’m talking national averages here as I don’t know YOUR parents, of course). With our years of continuous movement comes a toll: aches and pains — yes, I did teach up to 20 high impact classes per week back when I was young and immortal.
In Implementing Anti-Aging Solutions Into Fitness, session leader, Sue Hitzmann asked participants “who suffers from chronic pains that limit your life?” Out of 200 fitness pros, at least 195 of them raised their hands, myself included. And that’s a group that knows how to move with good form and body awareness. Youch and ouch! Apparently this high percentage of injury sufferers is the new norm, especially for the over 50 crowd.
You can believe that the companies at the IDEA trade show know this, as there were a lot of booths devoted to pain relief. Whether via creams, programs, massages, electrical stimulation, rollers, supplements, or mind/body techniques, the services and products addressing pain were in dramatic ascendancy! So you could say this is a good trend, insofar as solutions are out there. (Yes, I searched for the magic wand for better knee joints, but heard it was on aisle 245 ¾, which I never found.)
As Alexandra alluded to in her post, about feeling invisible as she ages hard core is in! “Go Hard or Go Home” is the new mantra. Oooommm, OMG! If you want me to do high impact moves, you’d better be ready to wipe up more than my sweat. (insert incontinence ad here). Back in the 80s and 90s, a common excuse for avoiding the gym was “I have to get in shape before I can head to the gym.” We have come so far since then. Let’s not return, but look ahead at how much tailored movement can help our midlife bodies and minds. Much as I’d love to go back to the future and bring back my younger body all gift wrapped and shiny, it ain’t a gonna happen. I love to work with purpose and to sweat puddles and oodles (I think those words combine to make sweaty poodles: Rough Ruff are you Tough Enough??!) But if you look again at Trend #1, workouts based on More, Harder, Faster, Louder, Sharper, Barfier actually hurt.
Ya feel me? Fortunately fitness professionals are creative and dedicated. They (maybe my sis and I??) will find more solutions for baby boomers who want to move energetically, work out intently, and age actively. We know it’s possible to do so while increasing body comfort, not adding to our dis-ease . Gravity has its benefits, just not on my joints and face. Am I right? Don’t drop down and give me 100. Stay up! Do what you enjoy and can sustain for your enlivened future!
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Readers: What is your least favorite or most painful exercise? What trend(s) do you see in the fitness industry? What crazy move do you want to try?
Actually, we’ll quickly outline our day at IHRSA for you, and you can decide if it’s something that entices you!
7:00 a.m. Arrived at the Los Angeles Convention Center after a 90 minute drive from Santa Barbara. Got our press badges in time to take a 7:15 workout at the Precor booth. More footage of that in our next installment of Harold & Kumar go to White Castle (er, Kymberly and Alexandra go to IHRSA).
8:00 a.m. Listened to a wonderfully “Enchanted” keynote speech by Guy Kawasaki.
9:00 a.m. Challenged Chuck Runyon, the CEO of Anytime Fitness to a push-up match-up. If you want to know why I’m counting to 212, you’ll have to read our Patriot Push-ups post. If you want to know why we love Chuck Funyon (that’s what we call him), you’ll have to listen to our radio interview him discussing his book “Working Out Sucks.”[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYgyKXrYaGg&context=C4907350ADvjVQa1PpcFPajXWkzgLidWf5uTvcgc2nNz0FnZUtWQ0=[/youtube]
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. We went up and down every single aisle of the Expo hall, checking out all the cool stuff. We were in fast forward, but not exactly as fast as in the video. And that Pavigym game floor was hysterical. For some reason, the lights wouldn’t change when I (Alexandra) pressed them – maybe because I have such a light touch!! A crowd gathered during our “testing activity phase” because we were laughing so hard. The Kangoo Jumps make me pee my pants (thanks a lot, big-headed kids of mine), but my kids loved trying this when they came to last year’s fitness convention with me. And the Queenax set-up is brillo (channeling my inner Brit). The video shows only a fraction of what can be done on the inversion rig.
6:00- 8:00p.m. We gathered up our stuff and went for dinner at a fairly bad restaurant, then drove home. We were so tired we didn’t even argue on the way home…much!
Reader Hot Flash: The people at IHRSA want fitness bloggers at this convention. Your press pass gets you into all the seminars too. Alexandra gave a presentation at the 2011 convention so she knows the topics & speakers are top-notch! And….if you don’t want to wait for a whole year to go to a great convention, check out the Blend Retreat in early May. . Much more intimate than the IHRSA convention, with lots to do. And it’s in Boulder, not smelly L.A. with the bad traffic.
Cool Flash: Anytime Fitness is giving you a 7-day free pass to try out their club. No strings attached, no push-ups required. They just gave it to us to share with you.