All things being equal, becoming a senior citizen in today’s world is much like being a senior citizen in days gone past. We get old and we die. Yes, we all die but if we do it right we can age gracefully and hopefully, slowly. But, I guess, most of us older people don’t always do it right.
We eat way too much junk food and then we sit way too much and watch television or play video games, again, way too much. It finally gets to the point where the elderly have to overcome that huge stigma, namely that the older you are the more weaker and the more fragile you become.
This is unfortunate and it doesn’t have to be true, unless you want it too. That’s right! If you think you are weak and fragile than you really are weak and fragile. It’s all in your attitude baby. If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, than stop thinking that garbage and change your attitude and, while you’re at it, SMILE.
Having that “adjustment” done to your way of thinking in itself is beneficial for your health, but to take it to the next level you need to feed that brain of yours with fresh blood. And you guessed it. The best way to do that is with EXERCISE. There’s nothing like fresh oxygenated blood running through your body and brain to make you feel great…again.
And, unless you want to spend the rest of your life in some wheel chair waiting for your caretaker to change your diaper because you’re too “weak and fragile“, you’re gonna want to exercise every damn day. Heck, exercising done correctly doesn’t have to be hard at all, but it is effective and making you healthy.
Daily exercise is the single most important thing that you can do to stay healthy throughout your senior years. Remember all those sports and games you used to play as a kid. We had a lot of kids on my block so we played a lot of football and baseball. My favorite used to be TAG. I never ran around so much in my life. Why should any of that change just because you turned 40?
The point is, any form of physical activity that you were able to do when you were young should still be appropriate today. Yes, there may be some limitations when first starting out, but anyone can increase muscle mass and resiliency at any age. Many forms of prolonged exercise are excellent for endurance and the preservation of your health. Just do it slow and do it steady.
Jogging has been cited as one of the easiest ways to start, though there are some reasons to start out more slowly that you once might have when you were very young. Advancing too far too fast will result in injury and disappointment. What I like to do is a combination of fast and slow walking. I would walk at a regular pace for one minute and then pick up the pace for another 30 seconds.
Incorrect aerobic exercise won’t improve your aerobic capacity, or the functional capacity of your cardiovascular system (your heart, lungs, and blood vessels). In fact, it will shrink your muscles, heart, and lungs. Not only that, but it will eliminate your reserve capacity, the heart and lung’s ability to deal with strenuous situations (heavy lifting, for example) or physical trauma.
When you start out swimming, it’s important to monitor your body’s signals. Breathlessness, dizziness or pain should signal you to get out of the water and rest for awhile. One of the reasons swimming is such excellent exercise is that it makes all your major muscle groups to work together. It’s easy at first to get carried away and become exhausted the first few times out. You’ll find that swimming can be the miracle exercise your body’s been looking for.
The PACE program focuses on variation; alternating between periods of exertion and recovery. By increasing the intensity and changing the duration of the intervals, your heart and lungs will build up the reverse capacity that was lost over years of the wrong kind of exercise.
As with any age, it’s important to rest an average of one day a week to allow your body to heal from this accelerated activity. Once you have put in a few months of pleasant, enjoyable physical exercise, you may suddenly find you’re feeling at least 20 years younger.