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Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:11 PM   #1
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Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Dan's posting got me wondering about how much we keep ourselves physically active and, hopefully,* well in our retirement years.* As some of you know, I have developed Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure and am getting serious arthritis that never seems to let up, even in a warm, moist climate like south Texas.

I never seem to have enough time or energy to exercise and have promised myself that getting phyically fit will be a high priority for my ER in either August or December.* I don't want to end up retiring and not being able to function and* enjoy the ER life.

How do you guys deal with this?* What kind of regimes do you use?* I personally have favored jogging, swimming and using 5 & 10 lb weights and stretching exercises.
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:22 PM   #2
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

I put exercise and diet as a high priority in ER.* I get up every morning and workout: sit-ups, push-ups, various spring exercises, etc. for about 30 minutes.* Then I walk out to the canals and run just over a mile* and a quarter.* Then walk home.* (Just over 2 miles round trip that takes me about 1/2 hour).* *In the evenings, my wife and I walk about 4 or 5 miles together, which takes about 1 and 1/2 hours.*

I also went on the South Beach diet and lost about 30 pounds which I have kept off for almost 2 years now.* The combination of weight loss and regular exercise has made me more healthy than I've been in years.* I certainly don't want to give it up, and that keeps me motivated each morning.* *

I'm 51 years old and am fortunate not to have any health issues. Some people seem to do better if they join a gym.* That wouldn't work for me.* Some people seem to enjoy some sort of exercise machine (treadmill, bicycle, bowflex, etc.)* But I like fairly simple exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, squats, etc.* I do use spring chest pull and spring grips.* It's an LBYM work-out.* *
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:22 PM   #3
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor
How do you guys deal with this?* What kind of regimes do you use?* I personally have favored jogging, swimming and using 5 & 10 lb weights and stretching exercises.
If low-impact exercise has worked in the past then it could continue to work.

First, is there an unrelated problem? *Maybe a physical could identify a vitamin/iron deficiency or a medication reaction or some other physical cause for lack of interest. *Or maybe there's a different arthritis treatment that could be evaluated. *But you've probably seen too many health professionals to be interested in this approach, and I wouldn't blame ya.

Second, put yourself in a situation where it's easy to exercise. *We do tae kwon do three nights a week. *A couple hours before we get in the car, I mentally wish that I could be taking it easy and doing something else, anything else rather than sweating it out & getting pummelled. *But I get in the car anyway (my kid would never let me get away with it) and when we get into the dojang I start to get motivated. *By the time our class starts up I'm rarin' to go.

Are there other arthritis-friendly exercises? *Yoga, tai chi, walking? *I'm ignorant here so it'd probably need an Internet search or a consult with a physical therapist.

Stick with whatever works for you. *Many people start a program, hit a plateau the second or third month, and quit in frustration. *I felt like a clumsy oaf for most of my first year at tae kwon do but as the pounds melted away and I learned the kinetics, I'm much better at it. *

One of the best ways to get in the exercise mood is to ER. *When you have time to set your own schedule it doesn't seem so hard to find the time to exercise, and your stress level will already be way down!
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:23 PM   #4
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

I'm still not clear if the main benefit of exercise is to simply control weight or if there's something else there too. * In any case, I try to walk/run/bike 30-60 minutes a day, keep my weight down, and keep my carb consumption down. * I've lost 20 lbs since retirement, and my lipid profile has improved a bunch.

Type 2 diabetes takes years to develop. * At the first sign of "metabolic syndrome" or insulin resistance, anybody would be very wise to take preventative action. * It's still reversible in the early stages.
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:23 PM   #5
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Your profile does not give any information about your age.

Physical activity is what RE is all about.

Two key aspects about RE are physical activity and not having a TV.

If you have a TV get rid of it.

If you don't walk every day start.

Simple - no discussion needed.
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:24 PM   #6
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Excellent topic, professor. I'm sorry to hear about the HBP and diabetes. My BP is slightly elevated and I control it through lots of exercise and a low sodium diet. I know that at some point, I'll be on meds.

I've been a jockette most of my life, so having the doctor tell me my BP was borderline high was a shock. I still run 20 miles a week and lift light weights. My knees crack, my joints hurt and it's hard climbing the stairs, however, I still push myself. I think the majority of my joint issues came from jock abuse. I was in martial arts for several years and broke toes, hand bones and hyperextended myknees. I also was in body building. I think the abuse is catching up with me.

For you, walking sounds like a great alternative. Get an iPod and tennis shoes and start walking. Stationary bikes are good too.
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:31 PM   #7
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
Your profile does not give any information about your age.

Physical activity is what RE is all about.

Two key aspects about RE are physical activity and not having a TV.

If you have a TV get rid of it.

If you don't walk every day start.

Simple - no discussion needed.
Good advice!

JG
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:33 PM   #8
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
If you have a TV get rid of it.
And your computer. And your books. And your car. Toss them all out, and you'll find yourself magically exercising.
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:40 PM   #9
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Wab,
One step at a time.

Some people may think you mad to get rid of your TV.

In the book "How to Retire, Happy, Wealthy and Free" it states that watching TV is one of the major causes of depression in those that have retired.

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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:47 PM   #10
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor
I never seem to have enough time or energy to exercise and have promised myself that getting phyically fit will be a high priority for my ER in either August or December. *I don't want to end up retiring and not being able to function and *enjoy the ER life.

How do you guys deal with this? *What kind of regimes do you use? *I personally have favored jogging, swimming and using 5 & 10 lb weights and stretching exercises.
Some people are very disciplined, and they can pretty much make themselves do anything that they are convinced is good for them. I think many of the people here fit that category. They are good at deprivation, though I think most avoid using that term themselves.

I am really bad at that, so exercise has always been a bit more of a challenge for me. The absolute best is if you live very close to a gym where a lot of young people work out. The atmosphere will be upbeat, lots of nice looking young women around, lots of chrome, nice places to sit down and have some juice, a hot tub full of more good looking young women. Tennis clubs are good too, if you play tennis, although the women are usually older.

Anything fun is 500% better than something dreary. Lately I work out at home as a background fitness thing. I lift weights, heavy but short, twice a week. This is not fun, but it makes me feel macho so I do it anyway. Also, I still wear the same size, and in some cases the exact same jeans that I wore 35 years ago (Levi 501s), so it does work to keep a body in shape.

Then you need something for aerobic health. I use Latin music, a low stepping bench, and handweights from 3 to 5 #. The music makes it fun, and I can easily increase or decrease my exertion, depending on whether I use the bench a lot, or just stay on the floor and dance. I make CDs with the right sequence and speed of tunes to fit several moods.

I try to keep my sprint chops in good shape too, but this summer I had a shoulder injury that made it hard for me to play tennis, and tennis was my main path to anaerobic endurance. So I lost some of my speed.

With increasing age, one has to be more and more aware that an injury can really mess you up for long while, so try to start slow and work up more slowly than you might want to.

I think the main thing to remember is that any amount is way better than none at all, so do something and try to keep it up!

Ha


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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 07:53 PM   #11
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Most studies have shown that exercise is closely coreleated to to when you started.
Check out

http://www.newyorkbarbells.tv/

If you need equipment - it is reasonably priceed.
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-28-2005, 10:57 PM   #12
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

I turned 52 in September.* Several years ago I picked up the "Body for Life" book and did a 12 week "challenge" - cleaning up my eating and doing their recommended mix of weights and aero.* I lost 12 pounds.* But the 6X/week exercise sure left me feeling drained.* I'm still waiting for exercise to energize me, instead of just making me tired.* *

I did continue lifting after that, going to a workout routine that was a bit shorter on the reps but with heavier weights, but I find the aero to be horribly boring so I slacked off on that.* I did get a brisk 20 minute walk in most every day at lunch while at work though.* The eating control was slacked off too.* I gained the 12 pounds back, but there was noticeably more muscle in my body than when I started exercising.* I'm a couple of pounds down in my near 2.5 months of retirement, but I'm not eating my 6 small and monitored meals per day.

I continued doing weights 3X/week at home (I've never gone to a gym - that's too much extra effort and so would be easy to avoid, while having the weights in the garage eliminates one excuse) until the beginning of this year when I developed a mild-moderate pain above one elbow with certain motions.* I cut the weights out hoping things would get better, but it looks like it is going to be chronic, even after doing some exercises given to me by the physical therapist at the clinic.

When I retired at the end of August I decided to start making myself go out for an aerobic walk (and I walk quite briskly at all times) for 40 minutes every other day.* That started out at approx 3 miles in the 40 minutes.* A few weeks ago I started trying to jog, and I'm now doing 4.5 miles in the 40 minutes.* BUT, I've had to drop back to two days of rest between each session, or my distance covered drops noticeably (about a minute's worth over the 40 minutes).* It seems that I just don't recover that quickly.* Depending on how my hip and knee joints hold up I may have to alternate jogging sessions with aero walking.* A little sciatica-type nerve pain at night after the first jogging session seems to be avoided by doing a set of straight leg dead lifts with 90 lbf.*

Something I found with the BoL program (and while it may not be the "best" program, it is A program, and if people will just follow most ANY exercise/diet program they'll see some positive results) was the importance of keeping records of your workouts.* If I wasn't timing my jogging sessions and noting the distance I wouldn't be able to spot that the more frequent sessions were causing me to lose ground.* Keep your records, analyze what they tell you, and pay attention to how you feel.

My garage cleanup needs a bit more work before my weight bench is uncovered, but when it is I'll start back in with the weights.* 30 minutes 3x/weekly isn't too onerous (though I do not enjoy it, I can usually force myself to do it).*

I think you are best off if you have a recreational activity that gives you the exercise, rather than exercising for the sake of exercising.* But unfortunately there isn't much opportunity to ride dirt bikes here in San Francisco, so I'm stuck with lifting weights and walking or running.* Still, 4.5 miles in 40 minutes is a world record for me for both distance and time, so I have some some satisfaction from not letting myself wimp out, though I usually start whining to myself after the first block of jogging.*

cheers,
Michael
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-29-2005, 06:26 AM   #13
 
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Be sure to get some really good walking/running shoes, and to replace them promptly when they start to lose their cushiness. I was too cheap to do so, and wound up with a bad case of plantar fascitis, which kept me from any serious walking for about a year.

HH
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-29-2005, 06:48 AM   #14
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Engage in physical activity at least 30 minutes daily. The key is to make it a habit and don't let up.

Before retirement, my family, job, and hobbies were most important. Notice the lack of regular exercise?

After retirement, I placed simple, daily exercise at a higher priority than hobbies. I walk or bicycle 7 days/week and engage in more physical yard work.

When in hotels and shopping malls, I walk up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator.

Though I have more aches and pains, my endurance is greater now than it was 10 years ago when I was in my 40s and had a desk job.
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-29-2005, 06:49 AM   #15
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Professor,

My mom also has mild diabetes (weight) and both my parents had high blood pressure. Up until they were 60ish they just weren't active. Retirement has done wonders for them. Now in their mid 70's. My mom does a water-aerobics class every day (both knees replaced) and my dad plays tennis about 3 days a week and a light health club workout. They eat smarter. They have a social-activity calender that puts DW and me to shame. Oh, and they still laugh and fight like two mischievous kids.

Based on my folks, not only do I think you can do it, I think you will be amazed at how you will feel. Maybe one of the best parts of retirement. Pick your activity and have fun.
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-29-2005, 12:09 PM   #16
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

I think the Professor has an excellent topic going on here.

It has made me think about what are the things that we at the forum do to improve our health..our well being...brighten our mood...to address weight control and health challenges...and just maintain our great bodies that support such great minds.

Would anyone be interested in a poll? One that has the option of voting up to around a dozen options or so?

I could do it or if someone else would like to that would be great.

In any case, we could get a list together here of our favorite activities that we do on a regular basis. I would be interested to see what are the popular ones and ones that I hadn't thought of. I saw one in a magazine this week that combined martial arts, yoga & meditation.
We could then use the list as a starting framework for the poll.

I've been doing yoga, meditation, walking, Bodyflow(yoga-tai chi-pilates),and biking regularly and oh yeah, laughing 400 times a day
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-29-2005, 12:17 PM   #17
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

I'm impressed by how people manage to stay on a regimen. I'm all over the map, sometimes exercising my butt off for weeks as a triathlon I signed up for closes in, other times I'll realize I got so busy with work, family, etc. that I haven't excercised in a couple of weeks. Case in point this week, I've run 3 miles and lifted weights once! :P
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-29-2005, 12:30 PM   #18
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

I use the gym 5 days a week. I lift weights 3x per week, yoga 3x per week, pilates 2x per week, and a 30 min cardio daily. For me working out at the gym is a social thing. I have a workout buddy that helps me to stay motivated and I do the same for her. Joining the gym has definately improved my life. I feel wonderful.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
I'm impressed by how people manage to stay on a regimen. I'm all over the map, sometimes exercising my butt off for weeks as a triathlon I signed up for closes in, other times I'll realize I got so busy with work, family, etc. that I haven't excercised in a couple of weeks. Case in point this week, I've run 3 miles and lifted weights once! :P
I think this is a case of having other committments. Your child is young and you have a job to go to every day. Not much flexabilty there. For me, I feel it is my job to try and stay healthy and in good shape.

LL
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-29-2005, 03:39 PM   #19
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

I had major back surgery when I was 18 years old (I'm now 58) and now have a variety of back problems that limit my physical activity to swimming and walking. Also my stamina has never fully recovered after heavy radiation treatments for cancer at age 36. My community has an indoor pool and walking trails so I have developed the following exercise routine:

Every morning - 20 minutes of isometric exercises prescribed by a therapist to strengthen weak core muscles without aggrevating my back.

Every other day:
Swim 1.5 miles freestyle in 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes in the hot tub
or

Walk 3.5 miles in 50 minutes

That's about all the energy I have! Being retired allows me to use that energy to keep myself healthy rather than for earning a living.

Grumpy
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER
Old 10-29-2005, 04:59 PM   #20
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Re: Exercise & Physical Fitness in ER

Hey, Dan--

Count me in for a poll. I think swimming (weather permitting), jogging, walking and light weights are great. I've also been doing stretching exercises to keep the "creakiness" at bay.

I think a lot of us put physical fitness on hold to do other things that at the time seemed important. I've found--and I hope not to late--that your health is everything!!!!!!

Professor
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