What Do You Do to Stay Healthy? by Bob Lowry

What Do You Do to Stay Healthy? by Bob Lowry

Regular reader, Madeline, asked if I would take a look at an area that many of us struggle with: exercise. A recent study found that a higher percentage of those 65+ are more concerned about health issues than financial stability. That makes sense since a major health crisis can do major damage to one’s financial situation, even with Medicare and supplemental insurance in place.

It is a given that moving our bodies is helpful. Suggestions for people our age center on both cardio or aerobic and well as weight bearing activities. Thirty minutes a day for at least five days a week of walking and a few days of muscle strengthening exercises seems to be the consensus. If you jog or run, the total time can be reduced by half.

I can only speak for me, but that exercise frequency is not always met. Since Betty rejoined our gym we are doing better; 4 days a week is pretty typical. We start on the treadmill and then move to free weights or machines. During the cooler months of the year I will ride my bike a few miles a few times a week. Because of bad knees and hips, Betty has tried biking but finds it is painful.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a good summary of the needs of older adults. One section deal with the amount and intensity of exercise we need. Another area details how to make physical activity a part of your life. Of course, there are thousands of other web sites that may give you important tips and ideas that help you. I have listed a handful at the end of this post.

For us, the primary concern is making exercise a part of our life without injury. I have the unfortunate habit of deciding to add more to my exercise life, only to pull or strain something that forces me to back off again. Learning our personal limitations becomes an important part of the process.

So, I am turning things over to you for ideas, support, and suggestions. What have you found works best to stay as healthy as you can? How do you find the time to do what you should? Do you have to force yourself to meet your exercise needs, or do you look forward to physically pushing your body?

Here are a few web sites that you might find helpful:

Senior workout needs

Physical activity for older adults

Activity Guidelines for Older Adults

Choosing the right activities

Easy home exercises

By Bob Lowry

3 responses to “What Do You Do to Stay Healthy? by Bob Lowry

  1. Bob, I also find this a challenge, especially as I was never a person who exercised when I worked. I’ve bought class passes for Zumba (gold class -low impact!) and yoga. When I’ve paid for the classes, I’m more likely to go! I also walk with friends instead of meeting for lunch…most seem to like it since many struggle to fit in the steps everyone says we should take everyday. I’ve never joined a gym; that feels too out of my comfort zone. I’m curious what others might add for this exercise avoider.

  2. My goal is to stay healthy until I die. I walk everyday, and I exercise at the YMCA every third day. When I’m at the YMCA, I swim a quarter mile, use the weight machines, and stretch using moves that I learned in a yoga class. I also gently stretch every morning after I awaken. I’ve exercised my whole adult life, but I’m spending more time exercising since I retired. We all have things that we need to do. For me, exercise is one of the most important things to do so that I can remain healthy. Exercise is what I need to do, so I do it. It’s like eating three meals a day. I need to do it, so I do it.

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