Age Doesnt Mean You Cant Exercise

By Mary Bodel

At least once a week, I hear a news segment about our need to exercise on a regular basis. It’s usually associated with a healthy diet, and both are a good idea. As you get older, though, the ability to exercise can change. The question comes up, how old is too old?

The answer is no one is too old to exercise. Your routine may need to be changed, but the need remains. You may be amazed at how even those who can no longer walk can still do cardio programs. Here are a few examples, some of which I’ve tried.

Aquatics: Swimming and other water exercises may be ideal. Even if you can swim, water aerobics can still be beneficial. These are done at the shallow end of the pool, so anyone can participate. This form of exercise is no impact, so your joints are protected. The pull of the water can help burn more calories, as well.

Chair-robics: Some park districts and senior centers offer classes in this form of elderly exercise. You sit in a chair and move your arms and legs in rhythm with the trainer. This allows something akin to cardio, and can be done by people who have difficulty standing and walking. When I shattered my knee, I used this method to try to maintain the rest of my body while I was healing.

Elliptical Trainers: Like aquatic exercise, this is no impact, which comes in handy when you have arthritis or other problems in the joints. Some of them have handles that you can use like ski poles, which helps tone your arms and upper body. Some of these can fold up, so having one in the home could be done with a minimum of space.

Exercise Bikes: If you can handle it, this no impact piece of equipment can provide aerobics. It is the first machine recommended after my knee healed and the physical therapy got my range of motion back. It does take up a good deal of space, so it might be best to use one at a gym unless you have plenty of room.

Leg Extensions: Part of my physical therapy involved this exercise. The instructions are to sit on the edge of a bed or chair, then slowly raise one leg up as far as you can. Do this ten times, then rest. You may need to ask your doctor how many repetitions you need to do to be effective.

Weights: Light hand weights may be ideal if you are capable and have access. Start with small weights and gradually work your way up. If you belong to a gym, there are exercise machines that will let you do the same thing with your legs.

Before starting any exercise program, it’s important to talk to your doctor. He or she can discuss with you which to choose and how long to do them. It may be suggested that you follow up a few months later to re-evaluate your program. Also mention any medications, supplements or herbal remedies you are using, and any medical conditions.

My eBook the Complete Guide to Complementary Remedies, has information from all of my mini books, plus much more. Topics include:
• Blood pressure: Page Eleven
• Depression: Page Fourteen
• Kidney stones: Page Fifty-Six
• Herbs and weight loss: Page One Hundred Two
• Interaction list: Page One Hundred Fifteen
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