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Exercise in your Golden Years: August 02, 2011

Research shows 1 in 5 Americans over the age of 65 suffers from age-related muscle loss, or sarcopenia. Eighty year old Gordon Cook is determined not to become part of that statistic, so he’s a regular fixture at the gym.

“I’m there every day at least two hours and I do the bike I do the treadmill I do the elliptical and I do the weights and I do the rest of the machines.”

Studies find that older adults with greater physical function and higher muscle mass are about half as likely to be hospitalized than their less fit counterparts.

Exercises that work on agility, strength and speech can be done at any age.

“Because of the mobility and versatility in the availablity to do all age groups with it,” says Tina Johnson, group fitness trainer with Lee Memorial Health System.

The TRX Suspension System is well suited to the ‘senior set’.

“It’s a very healthy workout. Plus it’s working all your stabilizer muscles too; you know your core muscles,” says Johnson.

Working the core muscles promotes better balance, especially important in the health and safety of seniors. Even people recovering from a medical issue may work out to speed their recovery.

“We have pulmonary groups that we run here and cardiovascular groups so we get people from cardiovascular rehab and pulmonary rehab from the hospital,” says Heather Sines, another group fitness trainer.

Strengthening older Americans may help keep them out of the hospital and put them on the right track to good health.