You receive emails, mailings, continual TV ads, infomercials, and friends telling you, “Stay Healthy”. And as we age, this becomes more important, but it also becomes more challenging. But like anything else, getting past the “Nah” factor and starting and continuing an exercise program is the first step. There are many places you can find info on exercise programs; WebMD, Mayo, etc., but you should always start with your doctor, who knows your health history and can recommend a program. The benefits, which are not only physical, can also be social, possibly even spiritual depending on your program, will help stimulate your metabolism, give you a more positive outlook, and keep those muscles from losing strength.
I have exercised my whole life through jogging, hiking and an early morning exercise program. Some years back, I realized that my knees were saying “Enough” and I had to move from jogging outside to an elliptical to minimize the joint impact. About six years ago, I had both meniscuses removed, and both doctors told me it would soon be time for knee replacements. Well, that happen last month, completing both at once, and everyone said 12 – 15 weeks of physical therapy to be back to normal. I resigned myself to it, and simply prayed and hoped for the best.
When I started PT a week after surgery, my first physical therapist told me that since I had stayed in shape, she expected the recovery time would not be as long. Of course, I was most thankful, but knew that the long-term therapist would be the judge. When I started with him the next week, he told me eight weeks and for the same reason. The exercises I had been doing all along kept the flexibility and strength in the muscles and the endurance work from the elliptical would help with the endurance required for the PT. I was elated. I would be done before the holidays and be able to get back to my regular exercise regimen must faster than expected.
So, I consider myself a case example of why continual exercise is important. And yes, I have been doing it for some time, but starting and maintaining a program is critical as you age since you never know what is around the corner. Why not be prepared as best you can? So, if you don’t exercise, begin. If you are exercising, continue and maybe even add another day to the regimen. It will keep you prepared for the unexpected. Again, check with your doctor to make sure you have a program tailored to your needs, and then go for it. You’ll feel the benefits immediately.