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Just What the Doctor Ordered, Exercise Over Fifty

Updated on March 5, 2017
dumb bells
dumb bells

Exercise Activity Changes as We Age

What kind of exercise fits your lifestyle now that you are over fifty? After several health setbacks, I have to slow down the speed setting and make allowances for where my fitness level is at this time. Yet, one of the most important things I can do to regain health, and become the person I hope to be in my latter years is to exercise!

What I'm Doing Now

I've been easing back into the Yoga tapes (some of my favorites), and my husband set up an area of free weights to go with the elliptical . The other day we took a walk together, but the weather has been less than cooperative most of the time, so if I can rise to catch the PBS chair exercise at 5:30AM I will occasionally do that. We have a Wii for the kids, and I recently discovered that I can watch youtube on it, which is full of all sorts of full length fitness videos. That means I just have to find the free yoga and senior workouts to have plenty of motivation.

Of course that takes time. In the past I loved using home workout videos, by Jane Fonda, Kathy Smith, and others.

What do you do?

Exercise serves several purposes in aging well, going gracefully into the years, instead of stumbling, shuffling, or God forbid, falling. These are some I have been considering:

  • Exercise keeps us flexible and improves our circulation
  • It is recommended for managing almost any serious problem that age sends out way: high blood pressure, glaucoma,diabetes, heart problems, mental attitude, and more.
  • It helps us keep our strength and improves balance.
  • Exercise makes you improves your overall health in many ways (mood lifter, self sufficiency, movement). If you keep moving, it even lessens the pains of old age in many cases.

What Kind of Exercise Should We Do?

As always, each individual should consult their health practitioner. They can best advise you which forms are safe and monitor the possibility of problems form overuse or types that are too strenuous. Check first before starting an exercise program.

Generally:

  1. Include some weightlifting for strong bones and building muscle.
  2. Stretching and yoga for flexibility and balance, for recovery after other types of working out.
  3. Some Cardio to get the blood moving and strengthening your system.
  4. Walking is always good, especially if it gets you out into the great outdoors.
  5. Relaxation and deep breathing. You can do this on your own or with yoga and relaxation tapes.

A.M. and P.M. Yoga
A.M. and P.M. Yoga

This is one of my favorite yoga videos. It has two short, but stimulating routines one for morning and one for calming at the end of the day.

Simple, but effective.

 

How To Use Reviews

Look through a list of workout videos and the fitness equipment. It is important to have personal, first hand experience in what has been reviewed.

  • Does the reviewer have experience in the exercise form (yoga, strength training, ballet)?
  • Is information on the equipment accurate? Are instructions on using it or the opinions on its use clear and supported with expert information?
  • Does the reviewer have similar circumstances or address your circumstances? (age, level of fitness, etc)

Choose something you have tried, or you want to try.

Compare your experience with the reviewer, check out social media to see what others say about it.

If it promises to help you age well and get fit, what reliable information and science supports those claims? Research the claims yourself by using a review's list of ingredients or beneficial actions.

Why value reviews? They are one of the best ways we can help each other find the most effective solution, the product we've been looking for, and find better quality. Everyone benefits from that type of knowledge.

My dad was a very frugal man, and one of his favorite pastimes was to read Consumers Reports. We never bought anything in our family without doing some research prior to shopping.

My husband's approach is a bit different. He asks an avalanche of questions, he calls every expert he works with or knows, he talks with the guys at the hardware store or the appliance store. Now of course, he looks up info on Google. And he looks at reviews.

However, we know that there is just so much info to look through and how much time that takes. And sometimes marketers do their job too well. so I like to hear what other people who have used the product have to say.

I can tell you I like Scott Cole and Jane Fonda, but if I tell you why I like their style and the particular exercise form and how it helped me... well, then we will get an idea of whether it will fulfill our own need for a good workout.


Utilize Resources

After checking reviews on equipment, do you go out and buy it? There is no real need for that.

A fitness membership can provide equipment, classes, and more (swimming, anyone?) I joined the YMCA, and other's might have a community fitness center... there are endless sources to help gain fitness.

Depending on your goals or ability, anything from a walk in the neighborhood park to working out on the treadmills in your local Y might be the key to working out for you.

Whether you use videos in your home, workout machines or free weights, or any other mode of exercising, the important thing is to keep moving as you age. There is nothing that is more important in controlling many age-related health troubles. It is included in every doctor's advice: eat right, rest properly, and get moderate exercise!

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    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 3 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Exercise is vital as an aid to maintaining health and quality of life as we age. I am fortunate to be close to a fitness center that has many exercise classes suitable for seniors. I also do Tai Chi, walking, kayaking and swimming in addition to structured workout classes. Daily exercise of one type or another is a priority.

    • Ilonagarden profile image
      Author

      Ilona E 3 years ago from Ohio

      @junecampbell: Lucky you !:) You are now my new hero/role model, and I think I want to try tai chi. Thanks so much for your comment, it is motivating and encouraging.

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