HELP—I Can’t Get Off the Toilet!

Ever wonder why aging adults end up in assisted-living facilities? One glance at the title, and you will have your answer… not being able to get up off the toilet! As blunt as this sounds, it’s a very real thing.

In general, most aging adults go to assisted-living facilities due to loss of independence. Each year we get older, and as we age, basic movement becomes more and more difficult. We already live in a sedentary society, and once we retire, we tend to become even less active as we have fewer reasons to leave the house. Sitting all day leads to our lean muscle slowly eroding away.

Therefore, it is CRITICAL we remain active as we age. It is vital we find, and stick with, a program that preserves our independence for as long as possible – not just for ourselves, but for our children as well. Most adults do not want to burden their children with caretaking responsibilities. Whether it’s the children providing the care, or the children finding someone to pay to take over the care, most aging adults do not want this for their children.

Fitness needs of the aging population vary in degree, not kind. Standing from the toilet, you’ve just done a squat. Falling and picking yourself back up, you’ve done a version of the burpee. Carrying groceries from the car, you’ve done a farmers, or suitcase, carry.

Our goal is not to break gym records as we train, but it is important to work on the same movements as high level athletes – and a good coach will show you how to modify the movement so it’s the proper intensity for your health & wellness journey. While intensity is relative from person to person, the goal is for range of motion and movement to be the same.

In order to prevent, or reverse, osteoporosis (brittle bones), strength training becomes CRITICAL for adults as we age. Low bone density can lead to broken bones from even minor slips and falls. By lifting heavy objects, we are able to strengthen our muscles, which in turn strengthens our bones.

At CrossFit Rebuild, we have a number of 50-plus-year-old athletes who do great in our semi-private or private sessions. Some choose fitness only, others choose fitness & nutrition, while others choose our fitness, nutrition, and life coaching option.

If you have followed my social media, you know I am not an elite athlete. I’m not a competitor, and I’m not going to break any records. However, that’s not why I work on my fitness and nutrition. Rather, I don’t want to end up in a nursing home, and I certainly don’t want to be trapped on the toilet. Trust me, as a former critical care nurse, I’ve seen too many people, far too young, in this position.

Inspiration provided by Nikole Gessler at

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