Benefits of exercising

Published 4:42 pm Monday, October 4, 2010

The benefits from exercise throughout life, are obvious to most of us, but is it safe for persons over 65 years of age to exercise? Absolutely according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. The benefits of regular exercise include improved mood, protection from chronic disease, and lower chance of injury. Even people with chronic disease, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes, can exercise safely. In fact, many of these conditions improve with exercise. It is true that as we age, it takes longer to recover from exercise, but with proper strategy, you can make tremendous progress at any age.

When I first came to Landrum, I had a new client who came to me with an abdominal injury, for rehabilitation. He told me that after the rehab was complete, he wanted to start an exercise routine. He was rather thin, and had never exercised before. The first exercise I had him do was bicep curls, with ten pound dumbbells. I was shocked when he had trouble lifting the weight.&bsp; He didnt give up though. Today, he can do bar curls with 55 pounds, and can even do wide grip chin ups. Heres the thing though. This past August, he turned 91 years old. Now, Im not suggesting that everyone over 65, try to get that strong. What I am saying, is that you can tremendously improve your health by starting an exercise program.

Some other conditions that improve with exercise are Alzheimers and dementia, arthritis, obesity, and colon cancer. Another condition that exercise dramatically improves in seniors, is osteoporosis. Our bodies have cells called osteoblasts that originate in our bone marrow. These cells bring calcium into bones. Exercise increases the rate at which these osteoblasts bring in this calcium to strengthen bones. Inactivity slows this process. Remember, if we lived long enough, we would all have osteoporosis, and if youre not exercising, at any age, youre setting yourself up for osteoporosis.

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If youre going to start an exercise program, start slowly. Also, get instruction from someone who is experienced , not only with how to do exercise properly, but from someone who has experience working with older individuals.

David Crocker of Landrum has served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., strength coach, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team,

USC-Spartanburg baseball team, and Converse college equestrian team. He taught four semesters at USC-Union. David is also a regular guest of the Pam Stone Show. David also served as lead trainer to L.H.Fields Modeling Agency.