The Whole-body exercise program for older adults & seniors
Whole-Body Breathworks is a complete program of exercise, especially designed for the older adult, to improve and maintain the health & well-being of all the systems in the body and the brain.
What makes this program unique, is that the same exercises that will help increase bone densily and build and strengthen the muscles on the body, also strengthen the neural circuitry in the brain…they will help you think clearer, focus better and improve your short term memory!
The program grew out of the Breathworks For Your Back program created by Nancy Swayzee, MES,NMT,ACSM, in 1989. The exercises are designed for personal use, as tool for instruction or as a therapeutic modality by a health care practitioner.
These original CORE exercises recognized strengthening the transversus abdominus and the internal oblique abdominal muscles as the only effective method of stabilizing the spine, correctly approximating the ribcage and pelvis and supporting the abdominal contents in the pelvic bowl. Although these CORE exercises were great for athletes, construction workers, firemen, truck drivers, physicians and nurses…they are also the BEST kind of abdominal and back strengthening an adult over 60 can do. (Check out the For Your Back link)
This logical, common sense approach of addressing the whole body when exercising, led to the development of practical, portable and functional methods of getting exercise anytime, anywhere.
Strengthening Exercisesare effective combinations of more then one traditional exercise, designed to have a greater “whole-body” effect, by moving through several muscle groups to complete the exercise. They are more applicable to everyday function because they strengthen the multiple joint positions and synergistic muscle relationships of normal activity.
The Portable Exercisesare simple versions of traditional strength exercises, but are designed to use what-ever is available in your surroundings as necessary tools, i.e., office chair, counter-tops, any bare wall surface, etc. They are effective exercises for the whole body that can be done at the work place, in a hotel, in a recreational vehicle or visiting family and friends. They are appropriate for any age group, the positioning and number of repetitions or resistance being adjusted for individual physical condition.
Exercises for Special Populations are those designed for specific individual groups: Seniors and Older Adults with some physical limitations, people recovering from severe illness, injury or surgery, stroke or other brain trauma and systemic auto-immune diseases like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fybromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis and many others.
The Balance & Coordination section are exercises or activities that address “body awareness” as well as physical strength. The ability to “know where we are in space”, as well as what we are doing with our body, is known as Kinesthetic awareness and is crucial to injury prevention and personal safety. These exercises challenge the vestibular system and have an enormous affect and musculo-skeletal stability. In addition, they are a superior method of strengthening even the smallest muscles in the body.
Physiological Principles are those Laws that govern the body’s responses and relationships to external and internal forces, changes and stimuli. A cursory introduction to these physiological laws will enable you to understand how and why the Whole-Body Breathworks program works.