It is never too late to get healthy

Published 9:51 am Tuesday, March 30, 2004

By Staff
The question for this week is: I am a 75-year-old woman and want to be active. I cannot walk for a very long time or do vigorous exercise and I do not like to swim. What could the YMCA offer for me and is it too late to begin exercising?
Answer: The best program to start you out with would be our chair aerobics. This is a basic class that each individual can take at their own pace. The basis of this class is using a chair for support so you're not on your feet, and you are still able to get the heart rate up and strength train with weights. It is a great class because if you cannot stand for long, you can sit and do the exercises. We only expect you to do what you can and have fun! We have these classes at the YMCA and we also teach a class at the Senior Center in Niles and Buchanan.
As for the question pertaining to it being too late for you to begin exercising; NO WAY! It is never too late to start! There are so many benefits to exercising no matter what age you are.
Let's look at how the cardiovascular aspect of working out helps us.
Benefits of cardiovascular fitness:
Reduction in high blood pressure
Decreased total cholesterol
Decreased body fat stored
Increase in aerobic capacity
Fights against stress, depression, anxiety, anger, and tension
Increases the heart's function
Helps against cardiovascular disease
Lowers risk factors of obesity
Helps relieve symptoms of diabetes
Can alleviate or reduce effects of sleep disorders
It conditions your heart, lungs, and blood vessels
It will generally help give you more stamina, which translates to less fatigue and fewer risks of certain injuries
Since we have looked at the cardiovascular benefits let's look at a few facts about why weight training is so important.
Importance of weight training:
Increased bone density – Resistance training has shown to help increase bone mineral density. This is important because it helps in the treatment of osteoporosis.
Weight training increases your percent of lean body mass which is a positive considering more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight.
For every pound of lean muscle mass you gain it is estimated that you will increase your metabolism between 30 and 40 calories. This is a pretty good deal. If you were to gain five pounds of muscle, you could increase your caloric intake to a possible 250 calories per day. But beware; if you stop resistance training and lose those five pounds of muscle, then you are down those 250 allowable calories per day.
Weight training can help the average person with everyday tasks such as: lifting groceries, doing housework, carrying around grandchildren.
With all of this in mind there is no reason why we all should not be doing some type of exercise no matter your age or starting level. This may all seem like a lot to do, but just imagine how much better you could feel. It's is not a big price to pay for your health.
Sign up today for the Niles-Buchanan YMCA Adult Coed Softball League – Deadline May 3.
Thought of the week: Take time to work, it is the price of success.