Nancy Moves

Nancy Moves

Over a year ago, Nancy, age 59, discovered the Younger Games through COCC Community Learning, and has been a regular exerciser at CBF ever since.

Nancy started riding horses when she was 8, skiing when she was 16, then hiking when she was in college. Except for tennis in high school, those have been her loves and passions ever since.

Very self-motivated, Nancy has always had a gym membership, participated in circuit classes, and worked out on her own. She keeps fit, strong, agile and well-balanced to support her sports and everyday life. Her horses take lots of hard work, and she feels maintaining a high level of fitness helps protect protect her from injuries.

As you’ll see, she moves with excellent form and boundless energy.

Ed – Aging Is Just A Flesh Wound

Ed – Aging Is Just A Flesh Wound

Ed, age 73, was working out with CBF before we even had a facility. In those days we exercised outdoors at Juniper park or in an empty room at a community center. He was a true pioneer in the Younger Games and valued member of our community of exercisers.

In his youth, Ed participated in track and wrestling. Although through his 20′s he didn’t exercise much, in his mid-30′s he realized he needed to get back into a gym routine to augment his outdoors pursuits – back packing, mountain climbing and cross-county ski racing (including 7 marathons). He’s maintained a regular gym routine ever since.

Today Ed exercises to maintain muscle strength, cardiovascular health, coordination and mental health.   “It’s all a gestalt,” he explains. “They all contribute to total health.” He still skis, bikes and hikes with his dog every day.

He lives the words in this song. He’s gets up and nothing gets him down.

Tracy – Return of the Jedi

Tracy – Return of the Jedi

Tracy, age 61, returned to exercise at CBF because she was on a mission – after a year long break from exercise to be a care giver for an older relative and to recover from her own surgeries, she was determined to gain back her strength, flexibility and balance.

As a young girl, she swam, participated in a bowling league, and danced ballet. But by high school, she became less active, mainly because she felt that she had limited athletic skills and also school sports opportunities were few and far between for girls in those years.

As you’ll see, she’s accomplished her mission. Outside the gym she hikes with her dog and horseback rides. In the gym, she’s dedicated, determined and athletic, a true Jedi.

Getting It Right

Getting It Right

Don’t you just hate it when that trainer nags you to correct something about the way you are exercising? Your posture isn’t just so or your feet are out of position or yada yada…something isn’t just perfect. After all, you are trying hard. You resent paying to get criticized, and you aren’t trying out for the Olympics.

If this is you, maybe this blog will help you understand the WHY of nagging corrections, which we try to minimize at CBF, but are sometimes necessary.

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Back in the 1960′s, exercise scientists identified three stages when learning a complex physical movement. The first was the cognitive stage – where you really have to concentrate to get your muscles to do the major shape of the movement. The second is the associative stage – you are starting to get it and are able to refine the details of the movement with less mental effort. The third is the automatic stage – you know the exercise well and can perform it consistently.

Now jump to the present. With new technology, neuroscience has been able to observe exactly what is going on in the brain as new motor skills are learned.

In the Bend library you’ll find an excellent book on exercise science for the lay person with the unlikely title  Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero.  The author is E. Paul Zehr, PhD, a professor of neuroscience and kinesiology at the U. of Victoria and an accomplished martial artist. (If you want details about what is discussed below, read it. The call number is 613.7. Check the section entitled “Teaching an Old Bat New Tricks” on page 113.) 

Here’s what Zehr explains so well. As an exercise is learned, different parts of the brain are involved in a predictable sequence as you progress through the three stages. In the first stage, it’s the cerebral cortex as you slowly figure out what motor units are required to do the exercise. In the second stage, the movement starts to get  coordinated and coordinated via the basal ganglia. This second stage is where the nagging and corrections become important because of what happens in the third.

In the third, the movement no  longer requires conscious effort because it resides, much like a read-only computer program, in the cerebellum – in other words, it’s become automatic. If you’ve practiced and learned the exercise incorrectly, it will be very difficult to reprogram yourself to do it the right way.

You might think, so what? If I sweat that’s good enough. I still feel good.

It’s great to sweat and feel good. However, most exercises and equipment in the Younger Games are included to condition specific muscles and joint complexes. If the exercise isn’t practiced and learned correctly, it might either be ineffective or, worse, unsafe.

Remember that nagging voice is your friend, trying to help you get all the performance bugs out of the movement program that you’re putting into your cerebellum – for a long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cindy – Always Athletic

Cindy – Always Athletic

Cindy, age 57, was always athletic. She started as a kid with backyard games, then moved onto organized sports like softball, basketball and tennis in high school. Nowadays she spends her time hiking, snow shoeing and kayaking.

She moved to Oregon a couple of years ago after leaving a stressful job as a manufacturing engineer for a medical device company. That gave her the time to re-focus on her physical training, which she realized was necessary as she aged to maintain muscle mass to sustain her active lifestyle.

To accomplish this goal, she searched for an alternative to the traditional gym. She discovered the fun people, sports drills, and diverse and challenging format of the Younger Games worked for her. As you’ll see, Cindy’s outstanding effort in the gym has paid off – she’s an inspiration to her friends at CBF and, like always, very athletic.

Rachel – Going Strong

Rachel – Going Strong 

This is the first of a series of video profiles of the wide variety of cool people who train at Cascade Boomer Fitness. 

Rachel, age 75, is wonderful example of what grit, determination, and a positive attitude can accomplish when life puts a big rock in your road. Always active through the years – first as young a swimmer and alpine ski racer, then working in the family logging business and ski patrolling at Mt. Bachelor in middle adulthood, she was still an avid skier when she suffered a stroke a year ago.

She came to the Younger Games to get solidly back on her feet. Now look what she can do.

On the Ropes

On the Ropes

One of the most dreaded exercises in the Younger Games is the battle ropes. When CBF exercisers show up for workouts, their eyes scan the gym to see what equipment is out. You often hear some groans if the ropes are coiled and waiting in the corner like giant snakes.

When you arrive at the ropes during the circuit portion of the workout, you know that for the next 40 seconds your muscles and lungs will burn. No way to avoid it, because the ropes are demanding, as Tracy demonstrates in the video below. One of the best moments of your day will be when you hear the timer beep so you can throw them to the floor. Afterwards, your heart is hammering  and you are gasping for air. But you are elated because you did it.

Although they are very low tech simple to use, battle ropes are a very effective tool in developing a high level of fitness. Anyone who uses them regularly knows this because you feel the ropes from head to toe. There’s no such thing as taking it easy with battle ropes.

Researchers at Adelphi University in New York recently studied the beneficial effects of battle ropes. In the short span of time you sustain waves with the ropes, you improve both cardio-respiratory and muscle endurance. You also enjoy a significant expenditure of calories so they are very helpful in weight loss.

The battle ropes also develop coordination and power throughout your entire body. Because they can only be moved by rapid muscle contractions, they use the Type II muscle fibers that release human growth hormone and insulin-like growth factors critical to preserving muscles in older adults.

You might never learn to love how the ropes feel, but you’ll love what they do.