And exercise is the key.
So you already know that. As Maurice Chevalier put it, “Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternative.” He was referring to death as the alternative.
What triggered this post off was a weird pain in the knee. Oh heck, the concept of aging didn’t even cross my mind; however, I had to go browsing to research knee pain. It is common knowledge that most women suffer from some degree of osteoporosis. My orthopedic says that this situation is mostly because women just won’t take care of themselves. They are so busy tackling their already-overloaded plates that neglecting themselves becomes a habit. And we’re not talking about lip-gloss here.
There’s redemption, of course
A physically active lifestyle can go a long way in increasing joint and muscle performance. I’ve jumped to this angle now because I heard the creaking of the said joints and muscles, which are the first things to protest when you actually take action and make a physical effort.
Focus on bone strength
Presuming that you are already on a healthy diet – exercise is the next step to staying healthy. Exercise prevents disease and slows down the signs of aging. Exercise strengthen your bones and lowers your risk for stroke and heart attack. As you grow older (no – you really can’t avoid that) you’ve got to be even more careful to avoid injury and be safe.
If you are planning an exercise regimen after a somewhat physically inactive phase, here are some safety tips.
- Stretching and warm up – Don’t directly rush into your activity. Those stiff cold muscles will never forgive you and you’ll feel it via a pulled muscle or, God forbid, worse. Some ways to warm up are walking, jogging, biking on a stationary cycle, or doing jumping jacks. About ten minutes of warming up must be followed up with stretching moves.
- Daily exercise – Remember – exercise cannot be a one time activity. It is neither healthy, or smart. I remember when my friend and I enrolled for aerobics class (ages ago), the instructor warned us, threatened us – that if we did not turn up the next day, we were out of the class. We wondered why he said that. And discovered it for ourselves – because we couldn’t move the next morning. But we did get ourselves out there somehow the next day. We thought we were dead because the only thing we felt was pain. Thanks to mutual encouragement and Mom’s motivation, we continued the class and found that those stiff muscles (that was what the pain was all about) vanished in three or four days. Moral of the story? Exercise for at least 4-5 days a week. Set aside a time, make a plan and stick to it. Get a buddy – it is always easier that way. Keep that mood up by being physically active otherwise, also. This means opting for the stairs instead of the elevator, walking your dog, walking to work, gardening, biking…use your imagination. Sweat!
- It is a good idea to go for some kind of sports that you enjoy. Remember to take the necessary precautions to stay safe – which means gear if it is available. If you prefer brisk walking or jogging, get proper shoes that are comfortable and use those shoes only for walking. Make a plan to increase speed/time as you progress.
- Listen to your body talk. If you find the activity you have chosen too strenuous, it is probably not for you. Now me, I hate jogging because everything jiggles and that sucks. As we grow older (there, I said it again!), there’s the risk of damaging something in the works inside our body because it lacks the flexibility it once had.
- Go in for a workout that focuses on balance, flexibility, strength and endurance. Balance helps avoid injuries. And getting some workout the focuses on more than one thing will keep you from getting bored. You know what they say about variety.
- Be careful if you are doing your chosen activity or sport for the first time. If you happen to have a medical condition and are under treatment for it, please do consult a professional who can advise you about the best physical activity that will help improve your health, while letting you avoid any injury or – make your problems worse.
Finally – the takeaway point here is: physical activity is a must. Even a little goes a long way, when you do it consistently. So try your best to include activity on a daily basis. Small changes. Toe lifts. Leg Lifts. Whatever.
Since I plan to try out a few things in the coming week, I’ll share an exercise tip every day that I found easy to include into my routine.
I have begun the process by walking. Gotta get those muscles to loosen up, so I can tone ’em!
Stay healthy. Stay stress free with exercise
And do please share your thoughts. Every little helps, you know. Thanks.
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