Many times it’s not motivational enough to know that exercise is good for you. I certainly knew that throughout my methodical twenty-year march toward 234 pounds on my 5’7” frame. Perhaps if something stronger hit home I would not have waited until I was a sextagenarian to stop the progression (degradation?).
Perhaps the words of David Satcher M.D., Ph.D., former U.S. Surgeon General (1998-2002) are on point. He states, “essential to staying strong and vital during older adulthood is participation in regular strengthening exercises, which help prevent osteoporosis and frailty by stimulating the growth of muscle and bone”.
As added incentive he goes on to let us know that strength exercises “have been proven safe and effective through years of thorough research.” This is from his introduction to “Growing Stronger: Strength Training for Older Adults” a book from experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Tufts University.
WebMD in Causes of Spinal Compression Fractures points out that if you’re nearing age 60 and have back pain you could be affected by spinal compression fractures as a result of soft, weakened bones, often caused by bone thinning osteoporosis.
Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S. in his many articles points out that over time poor posture can take it’s toll that results “in problems such as joint pain, reduced flexibility and compromised muscles, all of which can limit your ability to burn fat and build strength.”
Now that we have your attention, please know that you can find significant hope. A vast majority of experts feel that these problems, which build as you allow your muscles, bones and other body systems to weaken, can all be slowed and at times stopped and even be reversed.
Proper exercise promotes bone density thereby lowering that individuals risk of suffering bone fracture. It can strengthen or stretch the appropriate back and chest muscles that contribute to poor posture.
Proper exercise can help you burn fat, increase your lean muscle mass and increase your metabolism to help you take off that extra weight which contributes to aches, pains, bad knees, breaks and falls. It can help build many peripheral and stabilizer muscles that will improve your balance.
I could build up a laundry list to make the case that a proper, regular exercise program can improve blood sugar levels (stave off diabetes), improve cognitive ability (stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia) and improve many circulatory system functions (staving off heart disease, high blood pressure etc.) However, I am hopeful you get the picture.
If this helps motivate you to start a lifestyle change relative to regular physical activity (and food intake by the way), that is what we are all about.
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Bob Rossilli, President of Fitness over Fifty Inc., is a Certified Fitness Trainer and a Specialist in Senior Fitness both through The International Sports Sciences Association.
Bob holds a B.S. in Pharmacy and MBA from St. John’s University and a J.D. from Seton Hall University.