The Otago Balance and Strength Training Programme
There is one thing that each and every one of us has in common, we are all getting older. There is nothing that we can do about our chronological age (the number of years we have lived) but much that can be done to improve our functional age (how well we are and our ability to enjoy life to the full as we age).
As well as the many benefits that come with age there can be some down sides, one of which being the loss of muscle tissue, particularly the main muscle groups of the lower body, which over time, not only effects our ability to balance but also reduces functional fitness which is what is needed to maintain an independent lifestyle, enabling us to get out of the chair with ease, walk up stairs and maintain an upright posture enabling us to continue to live to the full. At any age, inactive lifestyles have been shown to be associated with a decline in functional capacity which is even more marked in older, inactive people. The old adage is very true ‘Use it or lose it’!
The Otago Programme is an evidence based programme designed at the University of Otago Medical School in New Zealand specifically to prevent falls. The programme consists of a set of leg muscle strengthening exercises (using ankle weights) and balance retraining exercises which progress in difficulty. In order for the programme to show results, as well as attending the studio class, clients need need to commit to doing a programme of set exercises at home twice a week, which includes a walking programme and stair climbing.
Clients will need to purchase an ankle weight in order to perform the exercises at home, these will be available to purchase at the first session or clients can obtain them themselves elsewhere. If you have any particular joint and muscle issues you may want to check with your health care professional before embarking on the course to ensure your suitability for the classes, and all participants will be required to complete a health and lifestyle questionnaire before being accepted into a class.
My name is Vickie Pauley, I am a qualified fitness instructor specialising in Functional Fitness Training for the over 60s, I am also trained as an Otago Exercise Programme Leader and am passionate about improving the functional fitness of the older adult.
If you feel that you could benefit from this programme, are suitable and are willing to commit to it then I look forward to meeting you and helping you to improve your functional fitness.
Please be aware that in order to get to the studio there is a set of stairs to climb so you must be able to manage the stairs and once there…it could be your first step to a stronger you!
In addition to my Otago classes, I also run Pilates classes in the studio here at The Broad Street Practice. Click here for more information
Qualifications: Functional Training for the Independent Older Adult, Otago Programme Leader, Diploma in Instructing Mat Based Pilates, Exercise to Music, Gym Based Exercise, Pilates for Common Orthopaedic Conditions, Pilates with Small Equipment, FABS Training Programme Instructor