Exercise

Not All Exercise Is Created Equal

There are a few things we need to think about when we discuss exercising.health-images-seniors walking

That is not to give excuse to no exercise, but rather to give attention to what each individual needs, and where they are in the health cycle.

If you are at risk in any area of your health, be sure to discuss any exercise routine with your doctor.

For example: If you have type 2 diabetes, your exercises may be different than those who don’t.

What is important to know is the evidence shows that having a routine of regular exercises can be helpful when it comes to blood sugar control. Exercise can also be effective with the control of cardiovascular risk factors.

Weight loss is of course a benefit of regular exercise when combined with a healthy diet.

This page is not intended to be your personal trainer. The purpose is to point out two things.

  • The need for exercise.
  • Over 60 types don’t exercise like we did thirty years ago.

Important areas of exercise include:

Strength exercise
Balance exercise
Endurance exercise

What ever exercise you feel is appropriate for you, remember to check with your doctor before beginning. We all have different health histories and will have different needs and precautions.

I find the subject of exercise an interesting one. My work life was for the most part physical. I never felt the need to attack the gym.

Being older, having health challenges and being more sedentary, regular exercise makes a difference.

Once cleared by your doctor, be sure to do some basic stretching before your work out.

Strength exercise

There are some basic safety tips.  Training for strength does not mean getting ready for the Olympics.

health-images-seniors with weightsBreathing is important. Don’t hold your breath. Inhale as you exert your strength and exhale as you relax.

Use slow and steady movements and don’t lock up joints.

Soreness and fatigue are normal. If your soreness seems hard to manage, then cut back your routine and strive to gain strength in a more gradual method.

It is not normal to be exhausted, to feel painful muscle pulls or sore joints. Stop your program and talk to your doctor.

When I was being treated for prostate cancer, the drugs I received brought me to the point of not being able to lift a coffee pot. Recovery takes time.

A good routine and staying dedicated will make a difference.

Balance exercise

As with all exercise, be sure to ask your doctor before you begin.health-image-senior chair exercise

Basic safety is important here. If balance is a problem, don’t exercise without having something to hold onto.

A table or chair can do the trick. If possible, have someone with you.

Balance exercises will help strengthen the lower body and reduce the risk of falling.

As you progress, try exercises without holding on to a support like the table or chair mentioned earlier. Over time you may be able to complete the routine with your eyes closed.

Eventually, move to doing leg raises and movement to strengthen your hips and legs.

Something you can try nearly anywhere is standing on one leg. Simply lift a foot a few inches and hold it. See how well you do.

Another trick is to walk on your heels and toes. This can help with confidence. It is a good one if you’re trying to get back on the golf course. Maintaining balance in a golf swing is important. Try it.

Endurance exercise

When I think of endurance the idea of being active for a longer periods of time comes to mind. I can use the example of playing golf. Having good endurance might mean playing nine holes. I use a cart but there is still walking and climbing a few small hills.

When we spend time doing little things like walking or swimming, we can slowly increase our distance. Our endurance will get better. Playing nine holes of golf a couple of times a week without a feeling of exhaustion will lead to an eighteen hole round.

If exhaustion continues, talk to your doctor. The effects of medication and/or diet will also have an impact on endurance.

health-images-men on golf cart