Time – Like the flick of a finger.

Five years has just gone by in a flash.

A few weeks ago I was speaking to Larry, one of our lovely neighbours who, as with me, is the wrong side of 65 (as with me, by quite a lump) and he was bemoaning how more quickly time seems to pass by the older one gets. It had never previously crossed my mind but in that instant I knew exactly what Larry meant.

For today I have been a Permanent Resident (aka Green Card holder) for precisely five years. And in seven months time I will be 72 years old. Where did it all go!

So it seemed very appropriate for others who are staring at their ‘senior’ years to republish an item that recently appeared on the Dr. Sinatra website. It is all about the amazing benefits of regular exercise.

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To Live a Longer Life, Even Moderate Exercise Gives You Big Benefits

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, General Health
Last Reviewed 02/29/2016

As you know, exercise is essential for your heart and overall health. Now, a new study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise has quantified the powerful impact exercise can have on the length of your life.

For this study, researchers looked at data collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study which included 3,000 participants ages 50-79. All of the study participants wore highly sensitive activity trackers, called accelerometers, for seven days. Then, they compared the participants’ activity levels with recorded deaths during the following eight years. What they found is that the participants who had the lowest level of activity were five times more likely to have died during the follow-up period than those participants who had the highest activity level. Those with the lowest level of activity were also three times more likely to have died than those who had moderate activity levels.

There’s no question that inactivity is a prominent risk factor for many health problems, and even minimal amounts of regular activity can have immediate benefits. Plus, for seniors the benefits of exercise go far beyond good cardiovascular health, increasing strength and flexibility so you can stay independent in your senior years.

What Type of Exercise Should You Do?

My answer is always the one that you will enjoy and stick with for the long-term—whether it’s walking, tennis, dancing, swimming or another activity you enjoy. My personal favorites are pilates and yoga, which are good for range of motion, flexibility, and strength.

But regardless of the type of activity you choose, here are some tips to get you started:

  • If you haven’t exercised in a long time and you have a medical condition such as osteoarthritis or cardiovascular disease, talk to your doctor about what kind of limits you may need to abide by. You don’t want to take on more than your body can handle. Also, consider having your feet checked for irregularities that require shoe inserts.
  • Start slowly and pace yourself. Should you experience shortness of breath or pain in your chest or arms, see your doctor as soon as possible. If you feel ill, stop. If symptoms persist after 3–5 minutes of rest, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms may occur up to an hour after exercising, so be mindful of how you feel as you cool down and resume your regular activities.
  • The joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles aren’t as forgiving as they were when we were younger, and they require an appropriate level of training. If you train with weights—even light ones—you must use correct form to avoid microtrauma and aggravation to joints. A personal trainer who is experienced in working with middle-agers and seniors can help with this. Long term, strengthening the muscles around ailing joints can help reduce pain.
  • Warning signs that you may be doing too much exercise include light-headedness or dizziness, palpitations, jaw pain, tingling or numbness in the arms, a tight feeling in the lungs, and shortness of breath (being unable to carry on a conversation).

Now it’s your turn: What are your exercise goals?

You May Also Be Interested In:

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 And to close this post with nothing at all to do with exercise but everything to do with loving a dog, here’s a picture of Brandy taken on Tuesday morning.

Very good exercise for the heart! :-)
Very good exercise for the heart! 🙂

15 thoughts on “Time – Like the flick of a finger.

  1. great article (again) but what I really, really wanted to say is: I love the photo so much I couldn’t really focus on the article properly! it really is true: a picture is worth a thousand words!

    1. Frankly, we are loving Brandy so much that we are having trouble focussing on the rest of our lives! There will be more pictures of this most magnificient animal. The most benign, mellow, gentle dog one could ever wish for. Lovely to hear from you!

    1. Both Jean and I are going to see a physio each week. Seems to be working well but I wouldn’t reject yoga if that could better help us stay fit and healthy. As always, Val, love your interest in this place. 🙂

  2. Good info. Don’t forget that, no matter what your age, but especially us seniors, exercise is good for the brain. You want that intact the whole way.

    1. Tony, you are spot on. Three sessions of thirty minutes energetic exercise per week is what has been recommended to us. We are both very focussed on maintaining that regime.

  3. I especially love the last exercise Paul.. 🙂 So very good for heart muscles. 🙂 and yes I will be a spring chicken again in May.. 🙂 exactly 10 years junior 🙂 May day.. And we are off to Scotland to do the Highland Fling. 🙂
    Great post.. Couldn’t agree more about exercise.. And can not wait to get my own muscles in gear in the garden again..
    In the mean time the finger muscles are supple, with typing and learning guitar.. Which all helps the brain to tick over.. 🙂
    Lovely photo of Brandy and Jean

  4. Great post but incredible picture. He is one gentle loving giant. We have succumbed to the world of crossfit. We love it but being the two oldies in the gym pat (husband) and myself realise we cannot compete with younger members but crossfit is not about competing it is about being the best you can be on the day.

    1. And recognising that and not being tempted to compete is not as easy as you make it sound. Delighted to have your response to our “gentle loving giant”. 🙂 Thank you.

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