No Excuse to Not Exercise!

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:

  • Ÿ any new symptom you haven’t discussed with your doctor
  • Ÿ dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Ÿ chest pain or pressure, or the feeling that your heart is skipping, racing, or, fluttering
  • Ÿ blood clots
  • Ÿ an infection or fever with muscle aches
  • Ÿ unplanned weight loss
  • Ÿ foot or ankle sores that won’t heal
  • Ÿ joint swelling
  • Ÿ a hernia
  • Ÿ recent hip surgery

Here are some things you can do to make sure you are exercising safely:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Use safety equipment. For example, wear a helmet for bike riding or the right shoes for walking or jogging.
  4. 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.
  5. Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist.

Exercise should not hurt or make you feel really tired. You might feel some soreness, a little discomfort, or a bit tired, but you should not feel pain. In fact, in many ways, being active will probably make you feel better.

  1. Ways to maintain an exercise program:
  2. Believe that you will benefit from the exercises
  3. Feel that you can do the activities correctly and safely
  4. Have access to the activities on a regular basis
  5. Able to fit the activities into your daily schedule
  6. Do not feel that the activities are a financial or social burden
  7. Having few negative consequences from doing the activities.

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