No Excuse to Not Exercise!
Submitted by Allison Bakke, OTR/L Above & Beyond Senior Services
Almost anyone, at any age, can do some type of physical activity. You can still exercise even if you have a health condition like heart disease or diabetes. In fact, physical activity may help. For most older adults, brisk walking, riding a bike, swimming, weight lifting, and gardening are safe, especially if you build up slowly. But, check with your doctor if you are over 50 and you aren’t used to energetic activity. Other reasons to check with your doctor before you exercise include:
- any new symptom you haven’t discussed with your doctor
- dizziness or shortness of breath
- chest pain or pressure, or the feeling that your heart is skipping, racing, or, fluttering
- blood clots
- an infection or fever with muscle aches
- unplanned weight loss
- foot or ankle sores that won’t heal
- joint swelling
- a hernia
- recent hip surgery
- Start slowly, especially if you haven’t been active for a long time. Little by little build up your activities and how hard you work at them.
- Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. That could cause changes in your blood pressure. You should breathe out as you lift something, and breathe in as you relax.
- Use safety equipment. For example, wear a helmet for bike riding or the right shoes for walking or jogging.
- Unless your doctor has asked you to limit fluids, be sure to drink plenty when you are doing activities. Many older adults don’t feel thirsty even if their body needs fluids.
- Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist.
Remember: You are more likely to keep up an exercise program if you are doing activities that you enjoy. So, no more excuses find an activity or activities that interest you and start working them into your schedule