(Meg Stikl of AIM Fitness works out with a senior client – pre-COVID.)
Seniors often live and spend lots of time alone. Since the COVID pandemic hit a year ago it really amplified this isolation, especially among the most vulnerable older adults. This past year, Meg Stikl of AIM Fitness, noticed two most common issues from her clients. First, many of them are feeling extremely lonely and isolated. And second, they are losing their strength and ability to do everyday activities. This is concerning since many of them live alone and they are unable to rely on their families for support.
Starting AIM Fitness in 2013, Meg realized the number of older adults wanting to retire, but yet thrive in their own homes. Although fitness is top of mind for Meg, she also loves to hike, garden, and try new recipes.
Meg tells us, “before the pandemic hit, my main focus, as a business owner, was providing local in-home personal training to adults 50+. Knowing that many seniors don’t have cars and have a hard time getting out of the house, I founded AIM Fitness as a mobile fitness company to serve my clients directly in their homes”.
With COVID still prevalent in the community, AIM has set-up the goal of keeping adults 50+ active and healthy through online workouts. With online workouts, the senior adults become part of a community where they can make friends and motivate one another.
One of AIM’s Stittsville clients, Brian, told us, “before hiring AIM Fitness, my lifestyle consisted of walking in a pool 7 days a week both in Ottawa and St Petersburg, Florida. Covid quickly put an end to that. We started with personal training in my home, then switched to Zoom. Sometimes technical issues have come up, but we manage well! Some improvements I have noticed from AIM Fitness Personal Training: breathing and balance“.
Meg wants to see all adults 50+ remaining fit, healthy and motivated. She shares the top three Strength and Motivation exercises and tips to assist all adults to experience more energy and help keep you motivated at home:
1. Reverse Sit Up Exercise. Have you lost core strength? Does your back bother you from sitting for long hours? Strengthen your core by sitting on the edge of your chair. Place your arms across your chest and lean backward towards your chair. Pause before you touch the back of the chair, then tighten your stomach muscles and lean forward with a straight back. Repeat this 10-15 times. The reverse sit-up exercise is a great way to strengthen your core to help reduce back pain.
AIM Fit Tip: Schedule time every morning to stretch and do a short workout. Have a timer go off every morning to remind you to take 10-15 minutes to move, before your start your day.
2. Squats (or Sit-to-stands) Do 15 sit-to-stands or squats daily to build strength in your legs so you can walk further, bend over and work in the garden, or go up and down the stairs with more ease.
AIM Fit Tip: Before you sit down at your desk or on the couch, do 15 sit-to-stands or squats. When you do this every day, you’ll build a healthy habit and improve your leg strength for spring hobbies.
3. Bicep Curl to Shoulder Press. Lift light weights (or cans) up to your shoulders, and press them over your head. This arm strengthening exercise will help you lift plants and soil, help you with spring cleaning, or other hobbies at home. Do this 10-15 times on each side.
AIM Fit Tip: Keep your weights beside your favorite chair where you spend the most time. When you see them every day and can easily access them, you are more likely to use your weights!
Brian adds, “I’ve been lucky to find a compatible personal trainer who I get along with so well. With Zoom, my Trainer invites me into her home and due to the pandemic sometimes the youngest son helps with the cadence. This type of service is important to the program and having someone who can joke with the client is most comforting”.
AIM Fitness is a local Ottawa company that offers virtual personal training, weekly Zoom fitness classes, and an online fitness membership to help adults 50+ stay active, motivated and ready to live their best lives! Connect with Meg on her YouTube channel: AIM Fitness-Activities In Motion for over 200 fitness video workouts you can do at home. They also offer a free 15-minute health consultation to learn about how AIM Fitness supports older adults at home, visit www.activitiesinmotion.ca to find out more.
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