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Old 09-24-2011, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,756,785 times
Reputation: 32309

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
Our bodies are not built for desk jobs (or retiring to the barco-lounger) and eating processed food. Diet and exercise are not only the key to maintaining a desired weight, but more important, to maintaining good health, forestalling or preventing some of the again diseases such as arthritis, improving balance (and reducing falls) and other such benefits.

In my early 30s, I began to notice my first weight gain. I loved food and knew I had three choices: get fat, give up the rich foods I enjoyed or exercise. I nixed the first two and chose the 3rd and have been exercising regularly since that time. Rather than slacking off when I retired late last year, I took advantage of my new flexible time and actually upped the time I spend exercising by about 50%. BTW - walking, while better than nothing, isn't enough. Exercise that will improve health entails a routine of aerobic sessions that will increase our heart rate coupled with some days devoted to strength training. Both are what our bodies are programmed for, not doing them regularly invites decay. Exercise is actually more important when we age than when we are younger.

As for using surgery and illness as an excuse - hogwash. A few years back, I injured my back. Rather than laying off, I was told to adjust my workouts so as not to inflame my injuries, as exercise would help my recovery. In fact, I added twice daily stretches to my day to help strengthen my back and hopefully help me avoid re-injury.

Adjusting diet doesn't have to be a real downer. I love pizza and beer too. When I enjoy it, I simply compensate by having a salad for dinner the next night.

It is easy to log on and complain abut weight gain, seeking kindred spirits who will offer similar excuses and/or reenforce our poor decisions rather than do something about it. Ultimately, if one is serious about health and weight, the only way to go about it is step away from the keyboard and take some action.
Thank you for that wonderful post, jm02. It should be required reading for everyone over age 50. I have one little quibble, a minor one in the overall scheme of things; my quibble has to do with the part I bolded about walking not being enough. First, I agree that aerobic exercise needs to be supplemented by strength training plus balance and flexibility work. But if you are implying (and I'm not sure you are) that walking is not enough for the aerobic component of exercise, that's where some discussion may be possible.

Brisk walking, especially if it includes some hills (or elevation on a treadmill) does elevate the heart rate and if done five days a week for at least 30 minutes per session is enough to meet the U.S. Surgeon General's guidelines for physical activity for the general population. I personally strive for more intensity and include jogging about twice a week, and I agree that greater intensity than walking creates is desirable, and that the increased fitness has increased health benefits.

I hate to think how discouraging your statement about walking could be to some people who desperately need to begin a regular program of physical activity, such as the overweight/obese, the total couch potatoes, and anyone over about 65 who may think (erroneously) that they are "too old". For them, walking is the best and only place to start. In fact, even activity at the level of walking brings tremendous health gains vis à vis being inactive. Greater fitness levels bring increased health gains, but not as much as the difference between couch potato and walker.

Strength training should be started too, but it is a bit much to expect someone to start off with everything at once. Therefore, let people get used to their walking on a regular basis, and they will feel better for it, then add strength training.

What do you think, jm02?
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:29 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,590,441 times
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Ditto with EscortRider on the reply to jm02 re: walking.

With a daily routine of 5 miles in 75 minutes, after only five months, I saw muscle definition on my thighs and legs, something I had not seen since I was in my early 30s. My stamina is much better today than it has been for at least two decades. After we stopped walking and started water aerobic, my husband couldn't believe what I could do on the first day of underwater jogging: 5,000 steps in 45 minutes without running out of breath. It might not mean anything to a man who is used to exercising, but I would dare to say it's not something to sneeze at for an almost 59 year-old woman, and I owe it to walking.

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 09-24-2011 at 07:46 PM..
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,784,379 times
Reputation: 2307
To The OP:
Water is your friend!

Suggest you do as much exercise as is comfortable in the pool every day you can handle it. No high stress stuff, just motion that is comfortable and keeps things flexible. The key is to do it every day, low stress and think about that great pizza and cold brew you're going to have later as a reward. Be comfortable with the body you have, just keep it functional.

Marine Corps rule - no pain (keep it VERY minor), no gain. The pain for us retired types should be more akin to the minor nuisance of treating daily exercise/body maintenance as simply another chore. I give you my word - you will enjoy life far more with just a little bit of effort every day.

As to diet, my personal prayer is that I'll croak with a half finished Five Guys' double cheeseburger in my hand and having just consumed a large order of fries. (I'm really fond of great fries, please pass the salt.)

Live whatever life the gods may give you hence forth to enjoy on your own terms, living forever would be a bore.

JMHO and totally non-PC viewpoint.

PS - long ago the medics said I'd never walk again, then they said I'd never have use of my leg/foot, then they began to say I was a medical outlier. I spent a LOT of time in a pool. I refused to believe them. WATER IS YOUR FRIEND, BELIEVE IT.

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 09-24-2011 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:19 PM
 
796 posts, read 777,594 times
Reputation: 1964
I agree that the best thing to do is to eat right and exercise but it also makes me think of those situations where there doesn't seem to be an explanation.

For example, you have someone who is say 100 lbs. overweight and who is in good health, no diabetes or high blood pressure. I realize they could have that in the future but you would think they would have had those problems long before they reached the extra 100 lbs.

Then you have a thin person who eats healthy and yet they have high blood pressure.

I have being reading lately of athletes in high school and college who are collapsing and dying on the football field or basketball court. You would think they would be in good health.

You hear of joggers having heart attacks.

You read about people who are in their 80,s who when interviewed about their health say they ate whatever food they wanted, drank frequently, never exercised and here they are.

I think about a friend of my mine. I thought for sure he would live to be 100. He had a set exercise routine he did every other day and nothing would stop him. Inbetween he would bike for miles and play tennis. He drank lots of water and ate all the right foods. Wouldn't even take a bite of a hamburger or ever eat sweets. Had a heart attack and died in his late 60's.

Of course it makes sense to try and eat right, exercise and be healthy but there are no guarantees you will live longer or even be happier than those who don't.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,756,785 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgrim21784 View Post
As to diet, my personal prayer is that I'll croak with a half finished Five Guys double cheeseburger in my hand and having just consumed a large order of fries.

Live whatever life the gods may give you hence forth to enjoy it on your own terms, living forever would be a bore.

JMHO and totally non-PC viewpoint.
Your implicit (unstated) assumption about the pleasures of an unhealthy diet is that it will simply make you die younger. But that is not the only result! Much debility can occur years before death as a result of being overweight and having high blood sugar (which is frequently a result of being overweight), just to name two things. The build-up of plaque inside our coronary arteries can give us chest pain on exertion, a scary and uncomfortable thing! And high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, and you do not always die of a stroke; instead, you may be partially paralyzed, or have speech problems, etc. If only things were as simple as you implied.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:34 PM
 
796 posts, read 777,594 times
Reputation: 1964
This isn't about eating but relates to being healthy.

I read an article in my local paper today. It was about a woman and her husband who had owned a local restaurant for many many years. Talking about her personal life she is 101 years old and going strong. Here's the part that made me smile. She quit smoking at the age of ....are you ready?.....97 because she felt the cost per pack of cigarettes was too high.

Smoked her whole life until 97 now 101 and still going strong.



Now how am I going to explain this to my brother. I have been trying to get him to quit smoking telling him he will live longer.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,784,379 times
Reputation: 2307
ER, I speak only for myself, live your life as you so choose. As to an unhealthy diet and related presumptions you imply about me (quite erroneous): my body mass index is 23.7, my blood pressure is spot on and I do 50 pushups, 50 sit-ups and a series of other exercises every day of my life.

You have an apparent habit of taking generalized information and applying it as if it were Scripture. Such is not the case in real life. Life is indeed not simple, nor is it subject to some prescription that you may prefer. To each their own.

PS - is there some obscure reason why you think anyone over the age of 50 is unaware of the issues of weight, arterial plaque, blood pressure, etc., etc, on a retirement forum? Really?

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 09-24-2011 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Center City
6,865 posts, read 7,815,386 times
Reputation: 9492
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Thank you for that wonderful post, jm02. It should be required reading for everyone over age 50. I have one little quibble, a minor one in the overall scheme of things; my quibble has to do with the part I bolded about walking not being enough. First, I agree that aerobic exercise needs to be supplemented by strength training plus balance and flexibility work. But if you are implying (and I'm not sure you are) that walking is not enough for the aerobic component of exercise, that's where some discussion may be possible.

Brisk walking, especially if it includes some hills (or elevation on a treadmill) does elevate the heart rate and if done five days a week for at least 30 minutes per session is enough to meet the U.S. Surgeon General's guidelines for physical activity for the general population. I personally strive for more intensity and include jogging about twice a week, and I agree that greater intensity than walking creates is desirable, and that the increased fitness has increased health benefits.

I hate to think how discouraging your statement about walking could be to some people who desperately need to begin a regular program of physical activity, such as the overweight/obese, the total couch potatoes, and anyone over about 65 who may think (erroneously) that they are "too old". For them, walking is the best and only place to start. In fact, even activity at the level of walking brings tremendous health gains vis à vis being inactive. Greater fitness levels bring increased health gains, but not as much as the difference between couch potato and walker.

Strength training should be started too, but it is a bit much to expect someone to start off with everything at once. Therefore, let people get used to their walking on a regular basis, and they will feel better for it, then add strength training. Charles in PGI's post is a beautiful example of what happens if you simply start with waht ever you can do, and gradually you will see your stamina grow and your body and hopefully health respond in kind - well done!

What do you think, jm02?
Thanks for your kind words. I am glad you posted and gave me a chance to elaborate if there is anything I said that might in any way discourage people from becoming more physically active.

Frist of all, I am not medically trained, nor am I a physical trainer - just someone who has been lucky enough to have access to the expertise of some of these professionals. It is my understanding that any exercise would be better than none, inducing walking, if done on a regular basis for recommended periods of time. I further understand that our bodies benefit more greatly if the aerobic exercises we do increase our heart rates to certain levels for sustained periods. I am in my mid-50s. At this age, it takes a certain level of intensity to reach those heart rates. If I am lucky enough to live to a ripe old age, it will take less energy to reach those levels as my body continues to slow down, and I will count myself as very lucky if I will be able to maintain a brisk walk when I get there.

You are right that people should start where they are, and if walking is it, by all means, get outside or on the treadmill. You are also right that people should start slowly and gradually build their exercise programs. Trying to tackle every aspect of an exercise program at the same time can be too much physically. Charles in PGI's post is an excellent illustration of someone who started out walking regularly, and her stamina improved allowing her to do more - well-done!

For someone who has not been physically active but wishes to start, it is wise to discuss your plans with your doctor first. He or she knows you and your medical history best, and can offer advice on how to get started. Before starting strength training, I asked my doctor to send me to a physical therapist who tailored a training program for me that would, if not improve, at least not exacerbate my latent disc problems.

Finally, I recommend a very good book on this matter designed for us geezers called Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge. The authors convey a lot of good sense, but do so in a very readable manner and with a healthy dose of humor to boot.

Thanks for your post, Escort Rider.

Last edited by Pine to Vine; 09-24-2011 at 09:51 PM..
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
3,442 posts, read 5,615,946 times
Reputation: 3980
If you are "serious" about losing some extra weight there have to be a few cutbacks on the diet. To say you cannot give up or at least cut way back on the pizza, frys, beer etc. then you are not going to lose a thing.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,756,785 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgrim21784 View Post
ER, I speak only for myself, live your life as you so choose. As to an unhealthy diet and related presumptions you imply about me (quite erroneous): my body mass index is 23.7, my blood pressure is spot on and I do 50 pushups, 50 sit-ups and a series of other exercises every day of my life.

You have an apparent habit of taking generalized information and applying it as if it were Scripture. Such is not the case in real life. Life is indeed not simple, nor is it subject to some prescription that you may prefer. To each their own.

PS - is there some obscure reason why you think anyone over the age of 50 is unaware of the issues of weight, arterial plaque, blood pressure, etc., etc, on a retirement forum? Really?
Thanks for clarifying and congratulations on maintaining your healthy blood pressure, weight, muscle mass, and more. I was responding to your statement about wishing to die with a half-eaten cheeseburger in your hand, having finished the order of fries. You pointed out (correctly) that we are all going to die sometime of something, and that is what I took to mean that you were saying that an earlier death is O.K. if you can have the pleasure of the foods which you enjoy. I was attempting to point out that an earlier death may not be the only consequence.

As far as what people are aware of, I apologize if you felt like I was insulting your level of knowledge, which was not my intent. My intent was to talk about diet and health on a general level. One thing I have discovered in reading this Retirement Forum as well as other forums on City-Data for the past year and a half is that one can make no assumptions about people's awareness or knowledge one way or the other. The most astounding ignorance sometimes pops up. And the previous sentence obviously does not apply to you personally.

Best wishes for your continued success with your exercise program, which should serve as an inspiration for others. I do stick to my opinions on the consequences of diet, which are not mine in a personal sense but which are the distillation of much reading on the subject.
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