Monday, June 15, 2009

Get out and Move!

It's summer again, and there are more opportunities to get out and exercise. Bicycles come out of the garage, we get new walking shoes, we try to get rid of the winter bulges that we accumulate over the winter.
While studies have shown that we are undoubtedly the first and largest generation to take to exercise on a widespread basis, it is important to remember, and I'm sure that everyone is aware of this, that you go into it slowly. If you haven't run, or walked, or cycled, or swam for twenty years, don't try to do it all in one day. I speak from experience. Just because it wasn't a problem in your twenties, doesn't mean you can do it now!

There are four or five important exercises that most doctors will tell you are the most beneficial.
In the following article at,2933,319246,00.html, these are the big five.

I. Stretching- Limbering up, and gradually, over a period of time, getting those muscles and joints and tendons to stretch and move again, is essential for all the rest of your activities.

2. Strength training- For a girl, I could always lift fairly heavy loads, (which in hindsight probably wasn't that great for my back), and I never thought that the day would come when I couldn't. However.........I have recently found out that lifting weights is not only good for strength, but my bad shoulder, my upper back, abdomen, and those "wings" that form under the arm. I also discovered that if you haven't done this for several years, you shouldn't pick up where you left off and start with the 25 pound weights!

3. Cardio- This, obviously, is to build your endurance and strengthen heart muscles. Again, build slowly. This doesn't mean running five miles your first time out. (Most of us would never make it anyway).

4 .Balance-This is really important as far as I am concerned. Falling is not a good idea at an y age, but as we get older, bones are much harder to mend.

5. Core- I don't like to think about my core. In fact, I only just learned what that meant from watching infomercials. Anyway, building the abdomen (part of core) is important for the strength of your back as well, and clothes fit way better.
Blond Woman in Pink and Red Riding a Purple Bike Clipart

As I get older, I find that I am thinking more and more about exercise in terms of the limbering up, rather than the vanity side. Of course, I do want to be able to get into last summer's clothes, but I find that a couple of miles on the bicycle everyday does wonders for my arthritic knees, and the weights do strengthen my bad shoulder.

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