Lifelong Fitness

Staying active and living independently for as long as possible is the goal for our parents and grandparents, right? So how do we accomplish that? We’ve all seen parents or grandparents lose strength, endurance and work capacity that hinders their daily life and activities. I saw this happen after my grandma fell and broke her hip. She attended physical therapy, but even then she had limited functional movement and stopped doing her normal activities. That’s when I really started thinking about exercise for the older adult population. The best we can do to help those older loved ones live independently and prevent or rehab injury is to find, promote and support an exercise program that works.

“Done right, fitness provides a great margin of protection against the ravages of time and disease”- Coach Glassman

What are the benefits of exercise for older adults? Studies have shown that training and exercise promote similar benefits for those that are older than 65 as it does for those younger (6). These benefits include increased cardiovascular and respiratory function, lean body mass, bone density, flexibility, self-esteem and work capacity (4).  All of those are important factors to slow or reverse the signs of aging but maybe, more importantly, a training program for older adults reduces their susceptibility to depression and mortality (4). sick_fit_continuum-2CrossFit fosters a social environment that benefits everyone especially older adults. Let’s tie this into the Sick, Well, Fit Continuum described by Greg Glassman. This continuum uses measurable data to establish health. Glassman says “Done right, fitness provides a great margin of protection against the ravages of time and disease” (1). Older adults may be living in absence of disease and doing okay or well but wellness without function is equally problematic (2). The goal is to live on the fitness end of the continuum and pursue health. We want to keep parents or grandparents out of a nursing home and we can do that by establishing a road to fitness through CrossFit.

“Being older is not a disease, and to toss out proper methods of training and progression because of some assumed biological limitation is nonsense.” – Lon Kilgore

I am sure you are thinking that all sounds great but my (insert person here) can’t do CrossFit. Think again. Kilgore explains, “Being older is not a disease, and to toss out proper methods of training and progression because of some assumed biological limitation is nonsense.” (3) CrossFit, Inc describes CrossFit programming as “Constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.” Let’s break this down and relate it back to an older adult. Constantly varied, we don’t perform the same routine every day. We train for life and the challenges each individual may face. Functional movements, actions that we can apply to everyday activities. We have all seen those Life Alert commercials “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” It’s great that we have a tool to help those in need but what if we could have prevented the fall by training balance and mobility? Or if the lady had the capacity to perform a burpee to get down and up on her own? Burpee=functional movement especially for senior citizens. Another example of functional movements in CrossFit is the box step up step down. This helps to go upstairs and step over tripping hazards. Functional examples can be created for all 9 Fundamental Movements of CrossFit. Finally, let’s talk about the high intensity, this is going to be relative to the person. I would not expect nor encourage my grandma to perform a workout at the same level as Mat Fraser. Would I want it to be a challenge for both of them? Yes, but the intensity will be catered to the athlete’s individual needs.

Giving our athletes guidance to establish a healthy lifestyle and increased quality of life is the building block for everything we do at CrossFit Torrent.

This is true for athletes of any age. No one is ever too old to make a positive change to their health. Our long-term objectives are to be healthy, stay active and live independently for as long as possible. We will continuously cultivate the idea that human beings can create quality longevity through the CrossFit methodology. Stop by CrossFit Torrent, bring your parents and grandparents and improve your health together.

Still not convinced?  Listen to CrossFit grandmas, Betty and Freda.

Grandma Freda 65 years old:

Grandma Betty 96 years old:



  1. Glassman, Greg. “What Is Fitness.” CrossFit Journal, Nov. 2016. Accessed 1 May 2018.
  2. Kilgore, Lon. “Aging, Performance and Health.” CrossFit Journal, Dec. 2016. Accessed 1 May 2018.
  3. Kilgore, Lon. “Walking: No Path to Fitness.” CrossFit, Nov. 2017. Accessed 1 May 2018.
  4. Lampman, . “Evaluating and prescribing exercise for elderly patients.” Geriatrics, vol. 42, no. 8. Accessed 1 May 2018.
  5. O’Brien Cousins, Sandra. “Social support for exercise among elderly women in Canada.” Oxford Academic, Dec. 1995. Accessed 1 May 2018.
  6. Wilenga, , Huisveld, Bol, Dunselman, and Erdman. “Exercise training in elderly patients with chronic heart failure.” Coronary Artery Disease, vol. 9, no. 11, pp. 765-70. Accessed 1 May 2018.


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