I know most of us want to skip posts like this when we see the title. Exercise is one of those things that you know you really need to do, but you just keep putting it off and putting it off (sort of like those mammograms, ladies!).
If you haven’t already begun a regular exercise program before your late 30s or early 40s, life can be a little more difficult. When you exercise in your 20s and early 30s, it is about looking good in that bathing suit, having a great set of abs, or really strong arms. Although there is nothing wrong with those things, there are some other benefits that come from the exercise.
Getting out of the bed in the morning
Being able to climb a flight of stairs without getting winded
Being able to get down on the floor and back up when playing with your kids
Stamina to run around and take care of your kids all day
Sanity to deal with your parents as they age
Keeping your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure low
Keeping the middle age spare tire from creeping up on you
Having a halfway decent sex life
Exercise once we hit our prime is no longer primarily about looking good. It is more about feeling good, preserving youth and slowing down aging as much as possible.
There is nothing that should stop us from exercising at any age. Obviously check with your doctor first and heed what he says, but most anybody can walk for 30 minutes a day. And that is the type of exercise I am talking about. You can take it further if you like, but walking 30 minutes a day, every day, should be the minimum that you do for your health’s sake. You may or may not lose any weight by doing this, but you should feel better, and your pants may be a little less snug.
This is a buzzword right now, especially with Baby Boomers. It is about being fit enough to carry out daily routines without significant pain. Normal activities like twisting to get groceries out of the car or raking leaves are examples.
Yoga and Pilates are two types of exercise that actually do a pretty good job of building functional fitness because they use and teach the muscles to work together. Things like walking or cycling or weight lifting do not necessarily. I have never been a tennis player, but it seems to me that would be a pretty good one as well.
Below is a line taken from the ACE website that may explain it a little better than I can:
Exercises that isolate joints and muscles are training muscles, not movements, which results in less functional improvement. For example, squats will have a greater “transfer effect” on improving an individual’s ability to rise from a sofa than knee extensions.
This is not to say that weight lifting is not good or useful. It just needs to be part of an overall fitness and wellness program. To learn more about functional fitness, do an online search or start at Lance Armstrong’s site.
My husband, dear soul, thinks that exercise will affect him by osmosis or something. I laugh at him and tell him that I am going to order one of those chairs that lifts you up because he struggles every time–huffing and puffing to get up out of his recliner!
So, do you move it every day? You know what they say…use it or lose it!
When I grow up, I want to be like the 73-year-old woman, Ernestine Shepherd, in this video!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://primeparentsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/40MomsClub-Self-Contributor-Bernice-Wood.jpg
[author_info]About the Author