Fit at Any Age : Exercise and Fitness are Not Reserved for the Young
Aug 27, 2013 02:09AM
By Natasha Michaels
Maintaining a regular exercise routine is a necessary component of healthy aging, but starting or implementing a routine can be a challenge. Illness, ongoing health problems or fear of falling and injury may deter seniors from beginning a fitness program and unfortunately, many living environments and caretakers actually discourage exercise for the elderly in their care. There is no question that exercise can improve the quality of a senior’s life, regardless of their ability. Benefits of regular physical activity include mood elevation, stress relief, management of illness and pain and improved sense of well-being.
Frank Callahan, RN, is principal of SilverFox Fitness, LLC in Fairfield, which works with people of all ages, but emphasizes supporting men and women over age 55 in their quest for healthy aging. Callahan is 72 years young himself, and credits his 20 years of nursing experience gained while working in nursing homes and hospitals as leading him to his current path. “As I aged, that work environment began to scare and depress me. I began to notice many of the patients were younger than I,” he explains. “In 2010 I decided to shift gears and move away from the sickness-death-and-dying end of the healthcare spectrum to the wellness-fun-and-frolic side where prevention is the emphasis. Since I always have enjoyed sports and exercise, I decided to help folks stay in shape, especially those who are of a certain age.”
After earning his certification in personal training from the American Council on Exercise, Callahan launched SilverFox Fitness, which is based on Jack LaLanne’s teaching that the secret to good health and longevity is nothing more complicated than movement. His mission is to show people, especially seniors, how to establish exercise as an essential habit of daily living, like eating and breathing. “The human body was designed to keep on moving,” Callahan says. “Just about everyone can benefit from exercise, and recent research proves it.”
Callahan prefers to coach one-on-one in the privacy of clients’ homes, so he can customize workouts and include some time on lifestyle skills such as healthy eating habits. While the majority of his clients are older, he is willing to coach anyone that is sufficiently motivated. His youngest client was a 19-year-old boy who was de-conditioned by his cancer treatment.
Callahan’s coaching doesn’t use a lot of equipment—a few free weights, some isometric bands, a yoga mat, a jump rope and a dining room chair are the mainstay of his equipment—he also likes to incorporate music and dance into routines because it’s fun and his clientele enjoys it.
First-time clients at SilverFox Fitness receive a free health and fitness assessment and Callahan will consult with a client’s physician, if necessary. New clients are asked to commit to three months in order to establish healthy habits. Callahan meets with clients once a week and provides them with a customized daily workout and journal to track their progress.
For more information, call 203-895-2155, email [email protected] or visit SilverFoxFitnessllc.com.