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Moving Toward Better Health

The official blog of Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic


Stay Fit As You Age

Posted by Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Thomas Konicki earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of Cincinnati and then went on to the Los Ange...
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in Health And Wellness

Question: I am in my 60's and know that I should be getting exercise. However, I don't know what to do and I am afraid I am going to get hurt. What do you suggest?

Answer: You're right to think that you might get hurt. One of the biggest concerns is aggravating a potential heart condition. Talk to your family doctor if you have or suspect a heart problem that might be aggravated with exercise.

Secondly, doing the wrong exercises may aggravate muscle, joints and arthritic conditions. With proper instruction you can exercise within your limitations and always benefit.

Remember, your body was designed to move, not sit all day!

So what is the best exercise for you? The optimal program would include both strengthening exercises and cardiovascular fitness.

Strengthening exercises may include weightlifting, push-up, squats, walking up/down stairs and even household chores -- vacuuming, carrying laundry and gardening. Cardiovascular fitness comes from raising your heart rate and breathing rate for a period of time, such as walking briskly, swimming or biking.

Simply being active rather than sedentary is a good start to exercise. Walking is the best overall exercise to pick. If you are unable to walk, you can benefit from light upper body exercises to strengthen arms and increase your heart rate. Just lifting soup cans 10 times every day can make a difference. The following tips will get you started:

Pick the exercise you enjoy. You will soon quit a program that you consider to be a chore.

Commit to a regular schedule. Schedule your exercise as you would any other appointment, then keep it!

Exercise at least weekly. The best exercise schedule is 3-5 times per week. If you have missed your exercise all week, at least complete one session. This will maintain your exercise fitness and you will not lose ground.

Don't skip more than two weeks of exercise. You can quickly get out of the habit of exercise and it can be 6-12 months before you get back.

Have an exercise partner. This helps make it fun and interesting. You can help each other stay accountable for your schedule.

You will feel better in 6 weeks. In the first 2-4 weeks, your muscles may be sore and you may feel tired. By the end of 6 weeks, people report they feel better, have more energy, sleep better and start to have less aches and pains.

Think positive about what you can accomplish. Studies show that while muscle strength decreases with age, muscle endurance does not.

This means as we get older, our muscles can still do endurance exercises such as walking, swimming or biking. Dancing is also a great one to pursue.

Water-based exercises, such as water walking, swim aerobics or swimming can be especially beneficial for those who are arthritic. Many of the recreation centers and YMCA's offer these types of instructional programs.

Your doctor of chiropractic can advise you on what's best for you. Exercise will help you remain healthy, viable, active and independent.

Copyright © 2008 - Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic. All rights reserved.

Dr. Tom Konicki is a board certified chiropractic orthopedist and has practiced for many years in South Dayton. You can reach him at www.kschiro.com or mail your questions to Ask the Chiropractor, 2165 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Dayton, Ohio 45459.

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