Thursday, April 1, 2010

Creative Exercise for Older Adults

We all hear that we need to exercise; however, if you are not into going to the gym, there are alternatives.

While visiting my parents recently, I was shocked when my dad announced he was going out for his walk. At 70 years of age, I’ve never really seen him exercise. But since he has had knee surgery, he has had to ‘work’ his knee. So, off he went to the backyard.

Living on and acre and a quarter with a fenced backyard, he measured the distance between the fence posts and calculated every lap around the yard would equal part of a mile. He created a counter to know how many times he made it around the yard and is keeping track of his walking success on a notepad.

After he explained this to me, I asked why he had to large cans of yams next to his chair in the living room. “Those are my weights,” he explained. He uses them as ‘barbells’ to exercise his arms while watching Judge Judy (he loves that show). Accomplishing two things at once!

My encouragement to you is to find a creative way to exercise. There are many different ways that you may accomplish this – from walking around your yard or neighborhood, to using something that comfortably fits in your hand as a weight (try to find something that is five to ten pounds). Maybe it’s gardening or any other chore that gets you moving. But most importantly, document your exercise sessions to see how you can increase your workout. Start of slow and then increase your routine as the days and weeks go by.

Happy ‘creative’ exercising!

-- by Patrick O'Kane, Director of Operations

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