Sunday, June 8, 2008

TOO OLD FOR EXERCISE? Its all in the mind!!!

The old adage “ Its never too late to start” was probably written, to answer this very question.
We are forever in the quest to improve/maintain a good health status, since it is fundamental to everything else in life. So, why should it be an exception in the later years of life, where infact it is most needed.
And it has been established beyond doubt that EXERCISE is the best & safest bet, when it comes to good health. Infact the right kind of Exercise, in the right amount, is the best anti-dote to whatever problems aging brings along with it.

Exercise, because

  • Improves strength, stamina, Flexibility, Co-ordination, Posture
  • Helps deal with stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness and unhealthy addictions
  • Rev up your metabolism, particularly by strength training
  • Sarcopenia-- which is age related loss of muscle-mass (atrophy), leading to loss of strength
  • can be countered with Resistance training (weight / strength training).
  • Helps prevent Osteoporosis, Cardiac complications, Diabetes, Obesity, etc.
  • Excellent anti-aging potion for the skin
  • Improves Sexual performance
  • Focuses on all aspects of “ Wellness”- Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social, spiritual !

    Complications generally arise due to faulty lifestyle habits cumulated over the years—like obesity, diabetes, Cardiac problems, etc. Though problems like arthritis, especially Osteo-Arthritis, (which is an age-related wear & tear problem of the joints), Asthma, may have other causes.
    But no matter what the case, Exercise science has so rapidly advanced, that there exists some exercise, which can help improve any condition positively. Just as an example, a person with knee-problems, but still interested in losing weight, may find walking difficult, but can alternately use cycling, Aqua-exercises, Chair-exercises .

    The right kind of exercise will take into consideration
    Individual’s goals
    Health History, Present health status & level of conditioning
    Medical history — Medications & Complications.
    Contra-indicated & Risk factors

    Cardio Training
    Regular walking(outdoor/treadmill), cycling, dance-aerobics, step-climbing,
    aqua-aerobics, Tai-chi
    Recreational sports, like tennis, etc.
    Strength Training
    A set of exercises focusing on all major body parts
    Light-weights & more repetitions is the norm
    Active / Passive stretching, Yoga asana are the way to go!

    Try out different exercises, combinations, or the latest trends like Salsa dancing, Power Yoga, etc.
    Any time of the day is fine, as long regularity is maintained.

    A few precautions-- and you are ready to go!
    Obtain a “Physician’s Release” document
    Obtain information about exercise precautions & restrictions, Training-Intensity Limit (esp. in case of post-stroke individuals on heart rate lowering medications )
    Do-not over-exert. Watch for signs of fatigue.
    Maintain “pain free Range of Motion” of the movement / exercise.
    Maintain healthy Nutrition & Hydration
    Guard against climate changes by proper clothing, hydration levels.

    Its rightly said that “ Exercise not only adds more life to your years, and more years to your life”. So gear up, get your shoes on, and get out to enjoy the best years of your life in the best way possible. The bus is waiting!!!

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