SoCal fitness center Q4 Active aims to keep older adults healthy in both mind and body

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Friday, January 12, 2024
Woodland Hills fitness center focuses on keeping older adults healthy
Q4 Active in Woodland Hills is a fitness center that caters to older adults, focusing on proper techniques as well as engaging the mind.

WOODLAND HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One of the most commonly selected New Year's resolution is to improve fitness, but how you do that in '24 is different than when you were 24 years old. Staying fit after 50 requires a different approach to avoid injuries and have a positive, overall effect on your health.

"I like to say you should exercise your age, when people say act your age. I think some people need to realize where they're at in their life and what's good exercise," explains Phil Swain, the CEO and co-founder of Q4 Active in Woodland Hills.

As we age, it becomes more important to warm up and cool down properly. More attention should also be given to smaller muscles which help with stability, and while cardio is important, strength and resistance training has been shown to improve bone density.

It is important though to modify high intensity programs. But the overall benefit goes beyond how you look.

Recent studies show exercise can reduce Alzheimer's risk and possibly slow cognitive decline.

"Much of that can be avoided by the right kind of activity, physical and cognitive activity, and they're particularly powerful when they are done in conjunction. When you are doing cognitive tasks while you are doing your physical workout," says Dr. Neil Martin, a neurosurgeon.

Q4 Active caters to aging adults. Its personal trainers help teach proper form, with a focus on engaging the mind during workouts.

"People should start thinking about this in their 40s, not waiting until they're 60 and 70. Research has shown you might have Alzheimer's maybe in your late 40s, but you don't get the symptoms until you're in your 70s," Swain said. From a high-tech version of whack-a-mole, to an exercise as simple as picking up and stacking cups of a similar color, the focus is on engaging the mind and body.

"There's also a word thing, where you are balancing on a ball and looking at words that match and then wo or three stations later, you're trying to find those same words that match, and so you're challenging yourself all of the time," describes Donna Sheanin, Q4 member.

"The effects of physical exercise prime your brain to allow cognitive task -- memory, thinking, judgement -- to work on the neurons to improve their capacity, to improve their ability to function at the highest possible level," Dr. Martin said.

Not everyone can make the trek to Q4 Active in Woodland Hills, but they do provide a free Q4 Active audio app for people who like to walk or use the tread mill or a stationary bike. The important element for mental health is to engage the brain and to be patient when it comes to your physical fitness.

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