Exercise: Beneficial at any Age
It’s never too late to start exercising, and it’s always too early to stop. Even people in their 90s who have not been active can strengthen bones, muscle, heart and lung capacity when they start an exercise program.
Moderate activity that gets your heart pumping a little harder and causes you to break a sweat is what you want to strive for. Walking is an excellent exercise, and so is swimming. A little bit of strength training is also a good idea. You don’t have to exercise every day if that seems like too much. Aim for every other day. Eventually, you want to work out at least 30 minutes each day, but you can work up to that gradually.
As always, talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Be sure to warm up before you work out and cool down afterwards. If you experience shortness of breath, dizziness, cold or clammy skin, nausea or chest pains while you are exercising, stop right away and call your doctor.
Source: The Administration on Aging
Winter, Fall Family Exercise
Make your family plans now for the cold-weather exercise that’s right around the corner. Don’t just sign the kids up for activities. Make sure you schedule exercise for everyone in the family.
- Get everyone to the ice rink for hockey and figure skating (including the parents).
- Investigate exercise opportunities at the local YMCA.
- Take family walks when it’s not too cold. The cool air can be invigorating.
Whatever you do, keep moving this winter.
Maintain your Rehab Schedule
For the positively best results after surgery or an injury, promise yourself you’ll stick to your rehab schedule, even if it seems like a time-consuming, sometimes-painful process.
Whether you’re recovering from something like repair of a torn rotator cuff in your shoulder or serious brain injury, the action you take now will make a big difference in your quality of life down the road.
Take your physical therapist’s recommendations to heart. Rehab work is often tedious, and sometimes you might feel discouraged. But it pays off in the long run.
If you’re not the one recovering but you have a friend or family member who is, you can be a big help if you provide encouragement, help with child care and transportation, meals, etc.
Source: National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation
Another Reason to Exercise
You hardly ever exercise, but you’re fairly happy with your body weight, and in general you feel pretty good. You think of yourself as one of those lucky people who doesn’t have a “weight problem.” Why bother to take up time with a regular exercise program?
One short answer: regular exercise can increase you levels of “good” cholesterol, or HDL. You may not notice symptoms for a long time if you have more “bad” cholesterol than good, but you’re at higher risk for heart disease if you don’t have enough of the good kind.
Source: The American Heart Association
Consider Aqua Jogging
Did you get hooked on swimming this summer and now you want to keep it up? Think about joining a pool for the winter months. Check your local YMCA or area health club, for starters.
If you have problems with joint pain, consider doing a water exercise like aqua jogging. You wear a simple belt around your waist to hold yourself upright and then use hand and arm movement that simulate jogging, skiing and other moves. There’s no pounding on your knees and ankles, but your heart gets a good workout and your muscles get toned. The jogging belts are not very expensive—about $30.00 dollars or so at a sporting goods store.