Basic fitness minimums?

124»

Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,809 Member
    This is basic life and basic fitness

    well, no. i'm 52 and have yet to see anyone fall into a pool or slip in the shower. these are not 'basic' factors of life, even when transposed into less sensational scenarios.

    i think that's the ambiguity though - what time frame are people keeping fit for? there's the here and now life where, come on - seriously, people don't frequently get called on to lift or carry more than a few gallons of milk. if it were a basic part of everyday life people would probably be more capable of it than they are.

    and there's the long-term 'later' that we keep hearing about. essentially, staving off various things.

    I've known multiple cases where one spouse fell and the other couldn't lift them, among people not much older than I (admittedy usually in part because the faller was obese and so out of shape they couldn't help even if not much injured).

    One day my neighbor, about 5 years my senior, phoned me to help her get out of her chair (post-surgical but mostly very out of shape) because her husband wasn't home, she needed to use the bathroom, and couldn't get from chair to walker - happily, I could lift her.

    Quite a few friends close to my age (62) have required help from their children or others to do what I consider basic chores like flipping a mattress, putting a 25-pound bag of salt in a water softener, or moving a modest-sized piece of furniture.

    On trips with my artist friends (but not my rower friends the same ages) I routinely load/push luggage carts and such for them. I'm not confident they could (and neither are they).

    Weight limit on most airlines for a carry-on is 50 pounds, last I checked. While most go lighter even with roller cases, it would be rare among my non-athlete friends to be able to chuck even a 25-35 pound one into an overhead bin.

    @stanmann571 may be overplaying needs a bit, but he's not wildly wrong, IMO.
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
    This is basic life and basic fitness

    well, no. i'm 52 and have yet to see anyone fall into a pool or slip in the shower. these are not 'basic' factors of life, even when transposed into less sensational scenarios.

    i think that's the ambiguity though - what time frame are people keeping fit for? there's the here and now life where, come on - seriously, people don't frequently get called on to lift or carry more than a few gallons of milk. if it were a basic part of everyday life people would probably be more capable of it than they are.

    and there's the long-term 'later' that we keep hearing about. essentially, staving off various things.

    But if someone is frequently lifting and carrying heavier, then it wouldn't be necessary to train, would it? I think basic fitness can (and maybe should?) include being prepared for infrequent but not uncommon emergency situations. I think the example of being able to help one's spouse or parent is a great one. It's unlikely (although not impossible) that someone would be called upon to do this frequently, or possibly even at all, but it's not an uncommon emergency. Maybe this too is where a line can be drawn between exercise for health and exercise for fitness. I'd like to be fit enough to be useful in an emergency, whether that means lifting something heavier than I'd ordinarily lift, running for help, and so on. I guess that comes back around to the question of "why bother being fit in the first place?"
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    This is basic life and basic fitness

    well, no. i'm 52 and have yet to see anyone fall into a pool or slip in the shower. these are not 'basic' factors of life, even when transposed into less sensational scenarios.

    i think that's the ambiguity though - what time frame are people keeping fit for? there's the here and now life where, come on - seriously, people don't frequently get called on to lift or carry more than a few gallons of milk. if it were a basic part of everyday life people would probably be more capable of it than they are.

    and there's the long-term 'later' that we keep hearing about. essentially, staving off various things.

    But if someone is frequently lifting and carrying heavier, then it wouldn't be necessary to train, would it? I think basic fitness can (and maybe should?) include being prepared for infrequent but not uncommon emergency situations. I think the example of being able to help one's spouse or parent is a great one. It's unlikely (although not impossible) that someone would be called upon to do this frequently, or possibly even at all, but it's not an uncommon emergency. Maybe this too is where a line can be drawn between exercise for health and exercise for fitness. I'd like to be fit enough to be useful in an emergency, whether that means lifting something heavier than I'd ordinarily lift, running for help, and so on. I guess that comes back around to the question of "why bother being fit in the first place?"

    This exactly. We're a nation of 300 million people, which means that 1 in a million events happen every day.

    The flip side as @AnnPT77 pointed out is being fit enough to be able to assist in your own care in that 1 in a million situation.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    ^^^^ sure, i agree with both people above. and i'm all about training for long-term function now that i'm spending so much time with my very-very-old dad. afai remember he never did anything much except play tennis like a fanatic and jog now and then, and he's still got legs i can only daydream about having some day. walked me a mile uphill without visible ill-effect just a few weeks ago. you go to hug him and you kind of bounce off, he's still so solid at 92. so the benefits are REALLY visible if you take someone at his age and compare his 'functioning' levels with those of his general peer group.

    i just think it's silly to call those examples 'basic' unless you're addressing specific populations. it's an unrealistic kind of way to motivate the average 20-40 year-old. actually, what made me realise i wasn't strong enough for my own standards of 'everyday life' a few years ago was moving :tongue: that convinced me like nothing else had.
  • spartan_d
    spartan_d Posts: 727 Member
    Being ready for a crisis situation is pretty basic. It's like knowing how to steer out of a skid or escape from a burning building. You probably won't need to do it, but you had better darned well be ready.

    You can also consider situations wherein you have to run through an airport, carrying your luggage, in order to catch a flight. Hardly an unrealistic scenario.

    I agree with @AnnPT77 and @stanmann571. These are entirely realistic needs.
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,653 Member
    I can make arguments for or against almost any recommendation in this thread.


    Train/exercise for the life you want to lead.

  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    How would you differentiate fitness vs. physical health here? What does one need to do to be "fit"?

    Exercising for health usually means avoiding the common diseases of inactivity (heart, joints, etc). Fitness includes that plus it is a readiness for life's challenges, including work (lifting boxes, etc), leisure (hikes, sports), and emergencies (running from a mass shooter, heheh). Strength training usually should be added, and if one doesn't have a strenuous job or lifestyle, it's good to include freeweight exercises unsupported by a bench (simulates the demands of real-world situations better). Speed & agility are useful skills to train too each week. :+1:

    When I think of fitness minimums I think:
    Walking up 2-3 flights of stairs
    Walking 30 minutes
    Running(really running) 100 meters
    Lifting BW from the ground
    Lifting Half BW overhead

    Just as some examples.

    I'm guessing these are just some examples and not a "package". My 89 yo mother in law can walk 30 minutes at a decent pace and walk the 2-3 flights of stairs. The sprint and lifts mentioned, not so much.

    It's a good baseline package as a start for discussion, There's a few things missing. And allowing for age is certainly one of them.

    Additionally, even if "really running" for her is slower today, if she can manage the 30 minutes and the stairs she'd probably surprise you if shots popped off.

    Honestly, unless she's morbidly obese, the other two are probably not as far out of reach as you would think.

    LOL, you don't see any morbidly obese 89 year olds. Unless of course you dig up a corpse of someone who died 20-30 years earlier.

    I could see bodyweight from the ground. There are YouTube videos out there of what look like 130 pound 85 year olds deadlifting over 200 pounds. By the time someone is late 80's if they've been active at all, their shoulder health would probably be a big limiter.

    There are morbidly obese live 90 year olds. Few. They're not on YouTube. Ya gotta go special places to see them - nursing homes. Lifestyle roulette has diverse consequences . . . personally, I wouldn't choose that one.

    The 130lb 200lb deadlifters are few, too. Dancing dogs: Part of the reason there are videos of that "light" a lift in the first place. Worth aspiring to, of course.

    Lots of space in between, too . . . some of it pretty rewarding.

    To the bolded: Quit with age per se as the limiter, K? That's bad thinkitude. I know active 20s with bad shoulders, and active 80s with decent ones.

    To the individual, genetics (and circumstance) is a crapshoot. Active, on average, is good strategy.

    JMO, JME as a semi-old person with semi- old and truly old friends.

    The average life expectancy in the US is about 80 years. Obesity/morbid obesity reduces lifespan 6-14 years. The morbidly obese person alive at 90 about the same likelihood as a unicorn.

    My point on the women in their 80's deadlifting double bodyweight, makes me think that the ability to lift 1X bodyweight from the ground as @stanmann mentions would be somewhat reasonable.

    I don't have bad thinkitude regarding age as a limiter.

    I never said age was a limiter. I speak this as a 61 year old that has been lifting/active on a consistent basis since high school. My point on the lifting overhead is many people, not just older individuals, have shoulder constraints that impair overhead movements. As one gets older, the chances of cumulative issues causing impaired shoulder motion from acute injuries, chronic overuse injuries, etc increases and makes the act of raising one's arms overhead more challenging. Pure fact. An average 80 year old is going to have more issues with shoulder range of motion than an average 20 year old. Another pure fact.

    I have trouble sometimes putting an empty plastic cup on the top shelf in the kitchen cabinet due to overuse and traumatic shoulder injuries resulting in 6 operations, so trying to lift half my bodyweight overhead is stupid. Not saying I don't work out as hard as anyone at my gym and lift more weigh than many individuals my size. I realize I need to do some modifications to some movements and sure don't accept age as an excuse.

  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member

    well, no. i'm 52 and have yet to see anyone fall into a pool or slip in the shower. these are not 'basic' factors of life, even when transposed into less sensational scenarios.

    Fwiw lifting someone into, and out of, a wheelchair on a regular basis isn't too dissimilar to the "lift someone from the shower" scenario.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,470 Member
    Or being able to lift a large injured dog into a car to take to the vet, or to carry that dog up and down stairs to the back yard.

    I first got interested in fitness years ago because I loved to travel. I knew I wanted to be able to walk around strange cities and, since I am a budget traveler, I'd need to be able to carry my luggage. I wanted the fitness to climb the hills of Rome, Paris and San Francisco. I met an older woman who had gone on her dream cruise around the Mediterranean, but couldn't do half the things she wanted to do because she was so unfit. I swore then that wouldn't be me.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    This is basic life and basic fitness

    well, no. i'm 52 and have yet to see anyone fall into a pool or slip in the shower. these are not 'basic' factors of life, even when transposed into less sensational scenarios.

    i think that's the ambiguity though - what time frame are people keeping fit for? there's the here and now life where, come on - seriously, people don't frequently get called on to lift or carry more than a few gallons of milk. if it were a basic part of everyday life people would probably be more capable of it than they are.

    and there's the long-term 'later' that we keep hearing about. essentially, staving off various things.

    If you don't know anyone who's fallen in the shower or elsewhere at home, you don't know many people older than you.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    If you don't know anyone who's fallen in the shower or elsewhere at home, you don't know many people older than you.

    i do know people who've fallen. know of quite a few too, but i've never been within arm's reach of any of them.

    i don't understand why i'm having trouble communicating what i meant. if you took a room full of people in their 20's and 30's, with partners also in their 20's and 30's, and tried to motivate them all with 'one of you might fall in the shower' . . . i just don't think it would resonate much. it's 2000% valid as a scenario; it just doesn't have relevance until you get to a particular age, or unless you're living with someone of a particular age.

    imo it would make more sense to say 'get or stay strong so that you'll be a) less likely to fall in the first place, b) less likely to break bones if you do, and/or c) be able to help yourself if you do.'
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,809 Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    If you don't know anyone who's fallen in the shower or elsewhere at home, you don't know many people older than you.

    i do know people who've fallen. know of quite a few too, but i've never been within arm's reach of any of them.

    i don't understand why i'm having trouble communicating what i meant. if you took a room full of people in their 20's and 30's, with partners also in their 20's and 30's, and tried to motivate them all with 'one of you might fall in the shower' . . . i just don't think it would resonate much. it's 2000% valid as a scenario; it just doesn't have relevance until you get to a particular age, or unless you're living with someone of a particular age.

    imo it would make more sense to say 'get or stay strong so that you'll be a) less likely to fall in the first place, b) less likely to break bones if you do, and/or c) be able to help yourself if you do.'

    On average, I think no one learns from anyone else's experience or exhortations anyway, honestly.

    Maybe the culture's default way of selling this to young people - "get slim and work out so you'll look hawt and be happy pretty people!!!!" - really is the best, most effective way we have to reduce old people falling in showers. :(