Exercise for the Elderly

If you’re an elderly person who has retired, what can you do with 30 minutes of your day? Watch a classic TV sitcom? Complete a crossword puzzle? Try out a new recipe? These are all worthwhile suggestions for passing the time, but here’s another idea to fill a spare half-hour: exercise.

Your physical abilities might have diminished from your middle age years, but it doesn’t need to be hard exercise. A leisurely walk, cycle or swim allows you to get a highly beneficial form of exercise without leaving you gasping for air afterwards. Studies show that obtaining 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can be just as beneficial to an elderly person’s life expectancy as giving up smoking, which we all know is a major step in the right direction.

Exercise doesn’t just help you physically, either. Over time, you’ll genuinely enjoy going for your 30-minute walk, swim or cycle and warming up or cooling off with some handy stretching and balance routines. You’ll feel a lot happier and you’ll have a renewed vigour for other aspects of your lifestyle.

You’ll also experience a welcome self-confidence boost and you may even be the envy of peers who see you merrily describing your day while sporting healthy features!

The below infographic from Home Care Plus (http://www.homecareplus.ie/) outlines an ideal exercise plan for older people and offers encouraging pointers on how to take up (and, crucially, stick with) your 2.5 hours of moderate weekly exercise.

importance-of-exercise-for-older-people

Resource:

http://www.homecareplus.ie


THE AGING PROCESS AND HAVING FUN WITH IT

The knees hurt. Life is changing but as many great and simple philosophers have said, “It is what it is”. So, do we give up? Many folks have said “My running days are over” when they feel that it’s time to move on to lower-impact workouts such as swimming, walking, weight training, treadmill, among the many to choose from to prolong the fitness’ well-being years. So what do we do at sixty or seventy years of age? Do we run for fun or cutback our training routines? Do we retire from racing or stop running altogether?

It is the old adage of “pay attention and listen to your body”. Can dynamic stretching or more intense weight training, or having a personal trainer, help prolong your running days? I say yes to all the above but for sure this is indigenous to us, the individuals. Meaning, pay attention to injuries. You can do this by researching, doing the trial and error method, or seeking professional opinions. The professionals can be doctors, sport medicine specialists, chiropractors, or whomever you feel is deemed fit to help.

As a sixty year old man, I run 45 minutes in the morning, 5 days a week, and running at a seven minute per mile pace, or less. I lift weights at home, 7 days a week, and my routine is indigenous to me and not the norm. I rarely race anymore but this is more a personal choice, and it’s certainly not to discourage anyone.

It seems some people think that the more running and racing they do, these become the magic bullets to youth, or their savior of sorts. Well we all understand, but you must respect the aging process. I have the body of a 30 year old in my humble opinion, ha ha, but look-wise, of a 60 year old. I have long lean muscles and am at my optimum weight, not a sag on my body from the neck down. But I do not have the same physical ability I had when I was 50 years old. Why, it just happens. One can use clichés but you know them all, about mother time.

I have a long-term acquaintance who was a champion runner and was 8th in the 1968 Marathon Olympics in Mexico City. He is now in his mid-seventies and runs every day and is not fit for running but addicted. He is in severe pain and hobbles when walking. He has not paid attention to nature and it is sad to see. All he needed was a good weight lifting routine and he could possibly have survived if he had a running routine of calculated distances with other smart changes for his advanced age.

Sport is play and running is our favorite sport. I am no expert and I only know what works for me. I have a very interesting variety of a diet which really sticks to laws that are non-traditional. I eat lightly all day long and much heavier night time. I eat pretty much what I want but avoid processed food and eat a highly nutritional diet for breakfast which would be more like someone’s lunch with an off-the-charts salad. I believe strongly in building the immune system, which again is indigenous to me. I have not been bed-ridden from illness for 36 years now. But one must balance the body and not ignore that building strength through weights or resistance exercise will allow us to do what we love to do with a passion, and that is our running.

So get smart and learn. Do not do crazy things like running a marathon unless at the age of 60 or 70 years of age, you are a rarity and the accomplishment for you outweighs the pounding, pain, and the aftermath. But who am I to judge? Although in my opinion, 5k or 10k seems much better, and at our advancing age we can enjoy them. If you must compete and be at the top of your age group, there’s nothing wrong with that. Make sure to have fun!


Health and Diet

DIET PAGE

The best policy in my opinion is the old adage of if you leave it on the table and two days later it is spoiled then it is good for. But reality is as follows. We all have different constitutions.

I feel like crap after a Big Mac and fries so i stay away from that kind of food. I feel great after my breakfast which is a salad which consist of fresh broccoli and carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, hot chilies, beets, onions and any other fresh veggie i can find at my local market. Then i add any of my favorite salad dressings. This is my breakfast and it works for me but many think i am nuts.

Every time i eat a lot of fruit i feel the sugar highs in a bad way so i nibble only from time to time. But a chocolate bar before my weight workout and i feel great.

Rule of thumb is we are runners are taking care of ourselves and we have little weight problems because of our hobby so we need to find a diet that’s right for us.

I love pasta but can only eat it at certain times of day. If i eat oatmeal for breakfast i am shot as i feel like i my stomach has cement in it.But that same oatmeal as a night time dessert with a little fruit added and i feel great. Find out what works for you and perfect it. Tell us about your diet.

So when you first wake up and dread the thought of your early morning run or get home from work stressed and tired and the thought of the run makes you hate running. Or the first ten minutes of your run creates a venue where you say to yourself that reading or watching TV is a heck of a lot more fun then this physical torture, just remember that you benefit in every way by sticking with your discipline of trotting along and getting rid of the tension and reaping the health benefits of your daily running.

What are your experiences?

WEIGHT TRAINING

Most runners i know do not like the gym as we are loners by nature.

Running is a sport where we run right from our house door step to where ever and back. So no need for a partner or team mates like tennis or basketball or softball. Most of us understand that running alone as a activity will not strengthen our upper body and so in essence we are in great shape for the muscle we use while running bu out of shape with a whole set of other muscle groups.

So we runners mostly hate the gym but want to maintain a base of strength in other muscle parts. So whats good. I like dumbbells and push-ups. I personally sit on a chair and watch some tube to get rid of the boredom and pain and spend ten to fifteen minutes a day with some curls and reverse curls followed by a set of push-ups. I become very creative on the curls to hit a wide range of the muscle groups in that area.So whats your routine. The forum is now open. And remember many of us seniors have the bodies of twenty year old kids.

VICES AND RUNNING

When i first started the planning for this site i did not want it to be stereotypical. I get tired of the same information over and over on health and diet. We all know whole foods are great in general and everything else a matter of opinion. I think for example Vitamins are a big forest. Years ago when healthy foods like special margarine’s were advocated i knew they were fake food and always told folks to stay away and the experts have since agreed. Now having said above, i want to give you my very uncharacteristic views on vices.

I have a friend of mine who is a world class senior runner. He at 64 years of age still runs under 3 hour marathons. He when in his late fifties ran 2 hours and forty minutes and change in the London Marathon. Yet he smokes three to four cigarettes a day. Another friend of mine ran in the 1968 Marathon in the Olympic games in Mexico City and he can pound the booze when in a party environment. Many runners have this over indulgence personality like their running.

We runners feel that a good run with negate the effect of vices. I love to drink. I think for some of us it goes with the territory. We feel after taking good care of ourselves by our exercise routine we can abuse ourselves and get away with it.

So let’s get down to it.A nice run and a hot shower and three to four beers.love it.Runners i know love the reward. Or a weekend party of over indulgence. I say running does help the negative the effects of drinking and maybe even a few cigarettes a day. I believe runners who enjoy smoking might be heavy smokers if not for running as they know it’s bad for them, but still enjoy a smoke or two each day.

So i am not advocating vices but do believe that running helps to wart off the negative effects. So if you love to drink like i do, then nothing better after a big party night on Saturday night, and next day feeling the effects, and then a morning run and presto after the run i feel nothing from my Saturday nights evening abuse. Enough said, so i now want to open the floor to your opinions.

VICKS MAPLE RUB −− GETTING OUT THE DOOR

Getting out the door is the hardest part of the run for most.

A lot of my running is done after 2 cups of coffee after dragging myself out of bed. I am not one of those of happy go lucky morning types. Over the years i have developed personal techniques to make it from the bed to my coffee to out the door to start my run. Vick’s has been part the equation. I smear it on my knees and neck and back and lower back and it has the effects of bringing these old bones alive. Then i smear it on my fore-head and the sides of my neck and wow i am alive. So what is your technique to get you going?

YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

I believe if one is conscious of some basic laws of nature that running can increase the immune system to wart off illness.

With proper rest and a decent diet combined and respecting the law of nature, i have not been ill to the point of bed ridden for over 20 years now. My formula is the following.When feeling a cold or flu coming on, slow down your running and activity but don’t stop your daily cycle,just slow down. Take it at a slower pace. Most medical doctors agree that resigning oneself to the bed may be the worst thing one can do and there are many reasons physiologically and mentally.

Then there are antibiotics. I have not take even one in over twenty years. I am not a medical doctor and if i have a real illness which i understood antibiotics were needed then for sure i would follow my doctors advise. But i believe they can break down over time ones immune system.

So what to do when you feel a cold or flu coming on. Drink plenty of water.During your run try to spit out as much Flem as you can. Shorten your runs. Be a little more conscious about diet and use your instincts about your work and daily activity. And relax when you can as you need to slow down. As many doctors say,that the common cold is a necessity because it is the warning signs that your system is breaking down.So accept the warning signs and follow some rules of nature and you will find your immune system will strengthen and will be able to combat off major illness and not have full blown colds or flu’s.

So we all have different methods,so what is yours?

RUNNING IN VARIETIES OF WEATHER

Running in the outdoors requires one to adjust to the elements. Some love the hot summer weather or some the beauty of Fall and Spring and others the freezing cold of winter envigirates one to run farther and faster.

Run in hot weather requires precaution especially as a senior runner to make sure one takes care of proper hydration. Best to stick to morning and early evening rather then the hottest part of the day for most. I am not a lover of hot weather running although a nice run in the early morning or early evening is quite nice to get the sweat rolling. For me just need to pick the right times of the day as i prefer cooler weather.

I do not think i have meet a person that does not love to run in the Fall or Spring.Nothing more needs to be said.

Winter can be brutal. I love it. The colder the better within reason. One problem is serious runners do not hydrate enough being one sweats less in cold weather, but never the less the water is leaving your body.Do not forget to drink and dress properly for cold weather if needed. Many dress more heavily then needed in cold weather and later in the run and peel clothing layers as they get further into their runs.

Lastly is running in extreme weather, as a rain storms, or snow storms and different kinds of nasty weather. I love it as it makes me feel special. While people are all nested in during a snow storm i love a nice long early evening run and then the aftermath of a hot shower and a good couple of brandies while sitting at the fireplace.


I have run during hurricanes and Asian typhoons and the worst conditions one can imagine and love it. So how about you?