Hello My Friends
Welcome To The Vitality Project!
As a professional health coach concerned with the health and well-being of my clients it is my intention to improve your well-being and longevity by using the principles of nutrition, fitness, diet, lifestyle dynamics, and anti-aging medicine.
Together you and I will work as a team to accomplish all of your health needs and to ensure that you practice prevention and live your life through the lens of quality.
Every year, many senior citizens fall in their homes or outside and this one of the leading causes of fractures, hospitalizations and morbidity. There are many causes for falls including medication use and problems with balance. However, the most common reason why older people fall is because they gradually become frail.
Frailty is associated with the sequential loss of muscle and bone mass which can cause instability of gait and an inability to support the body weight against gravity. The loss of muscle mass, or sarcopenia as it is also known, is a very serious consequence of aging which is completely preventable.
Recent evidence published in the British Medical Journal indicates that falls in people over the age of 60 can be prevented by the participation in exercise programs. This data also shows that the exercise also decreases the incidence of injury even if the fall occurs.
Researchers compiled data from a total of 17 studies into a meta-analysis which placed falls into 4 categories: falls causing injury, falls requiring medical treatment, severe falls causing an injury and falls causing fractures. The total number of participants totaled 2195 who participated in an exercise program and a control group composed of 2110 subjects who did no exercise. The average age of each subject was 76.
The different trials which were included in this analysis used various forms of exercise including home exercise, individual exercise and group exercise sessions. In addition, there were several different types of exercises utilized like tai-chi, walking, balancing and strength-training. The researchers found after the analysis of these studies, despite the different exercise programs, the subjects who performed exercise programs were much less likely to fall. The subjects who exercised also were much less likely of suffering from a fall-related injury or fracture. According to the study authors, “the estimated reduction is 37% for all injurious falls, 43% for severe injurious falls, and 61% for falls resulting in fractures.”
This study indicates that people over the age of 60 can decrease their risk of falls if they participate in a regular exercise program regardless of exercise design. This very important research also indicates a much more important point and that is exercise performed in people over 60 years of age can prevent serious injuries in those who do experience a fall. This is a very important fact to stress because fall-related fractures can account for hospitalizations and the increased risk of morbidity and at times premature mortality in those over 60.
Regular exercise in adults over 60 can improve balance, preserve bone strength and muscle mass thus allowing the normal weight-bearing movements of daily living to occur without undue risk of falling. If there is a fall, the increased bone strength and muscle mass serve to protect the bones and joint from fractures.
I recommend a combined approach to exercise in those over 60 years of age.
In my opinion, cardiovascular exercise, balance or core strengthening exercises and strength-training are all very important parts of the exercise program. All of these exercises should be highly encouraged in this age group to prevent sarcopenia.
Remember….your quality of life is the measurement of successful living regardless of your age.
Dr. Kevin. J. McLaughlin
Clinical Director: The Vitality Project