Modern Fitness: Strength training and exercise tips for older adults

Yesterday, we brought you some tips from Modern Mississauga's lead fitness writer, Alicia Jones. Alicia also interviewed Mississauga’s top fitness experts for their most valuable insights. Today, we're proud to share her conversation with Christina Nowak about fitness for older adults.

Christina Nowak

Christina Nowak

Christina Nowak is an up and coming fitness expert you must watch out for. She is an NSCA fitness coach and physiotherapist for Element Cross Fit, and is currently completing a PhD focusing on preventing the decline of strength as we get older. She’s enabled clients who were previously walker-dependent to go walker-free and conditioned clients in their mid-80s to advanced fitness levels where they were successfully completing complicated movements such as burpees. Her website Stave Off provides informative programming and health information for the aging population.

Christina says: “As we age, we are placed at increased risk of different illnesses that may make people believe that they cannot exercise when they can! My hope is to work on health PREVENTION so that we don’t get sick (or more sick!) or lose our independence as we age.”

Are you over the age of 60? If you are over the age of 60 and not currently doing any strength training or physio, Christina is currently recruiting participants for a research trial that aims to start in February. Please do not hesitate to email her at

Christina’s tips revolve around one very important principle:

Sometimes it is fear that prevents a person from taking the next step and asking for help with fitness. She hopes the following tips provide the confidence and understanding that strength training is appropriate (and imperative) for individuals at any age (As long as you scale your progress appropriately).

  1. Incorporate Strength Training: Strength training is the cornerstone of maintaining your movement and independence in your 40s, 50s, 60s or even 90s!
  2. Sometimes a picture says a 1000 words but it doesn’t say the correct ones: bone on bone arthritis in the knee or bulging discs in the back frequently do not relate to the level of pain of movement that a person may have.

Keep an eye out for more tips throughout the week from the rest of our fitness experts at Modern Mississauga!