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A lazy person's exercise plan...
Old 02-13-2016, 09:19 AM   #1
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A lazy person's exercise plan...

This is a "just sayin" comment about exercise and a new personal approach to the challenge.

First off... being retired for some time, wOrk isn't in my plans.

If it's tiring, I won't do it.
If it hurts, I won't do it.
If it's a mandatory schedule, I won't do it.
If I have to go somewhere to exercise, I won't do it.
If it's just to satisfy the doctor, I won't do it.
If it's boring, I wont do it.
If it costs money, I won't do it.
If it can only be done in fair weather, I won't do it.
If it involves running, lifting, push ups, sit ups, weights, or even walking long distances, I won't do it.

We (DW and I)knew we couldn't sit in our recliners all day long, so a few years ago, began "walking the mall", three or four times a week. She was okay with that, but I got tired of driving the mile to the mall, just to walk a mile around the same ole stores. Since I more or less "waddle", walking isn't my forte, and it hurts my leg and hip joints. Arthuritis don't you know...

Anyway...about 8 weeks ago, browsing our local Salvation Army store, I came across an old VitaMaster exercise bike. A little worse for wear,with wheel locked up and a bit rusty, the $8 price tag seemed worth a try. A few hours of rebuild and some paint, and it's as good as new.

It's my new lazy man's exercise toy. Set up in the den, in front of the TV, it is now my daily regimen. No real schedule, but a half hour in the AM and a half hour in the PM, a very comfortable seat and a stable base, means I can pedal without even thinking about it, while watching my favorite TV shows. Biking is a fluid motion, with no pounding of the foot, leg, or hip joints... similar to swimming, which would be my real choice.

But what about the rest of the body?... Well, I'm not sure, but here's what I do... at my own pace, and with absolutely no stress... (it's easy because the cycle base is so sturdy, I don't have to hang on to the handlebars)
.stretch... hands overhead, out to the side, wrists turned up and don, fingers stretched and clasped, neck looking left and right, twisting body, left and right, turning head back and forth and up and down....

Yes, all of that... easy, with no excess stretching of muscles and with minimum effort. Only do this when I'm totally relaxed and when it feels
good.

So that's where it stands... DW has also "climbed on" and finds it to be easy and fun.

Does it work? Damned if I know... Am sure it goes against the common knowledge that "if there's no pain, there's no gain". Anyway, I feel pretty good, and am beginning to be able to do some of the things I used to do, like getting up off the floor without using my hands. Now, when we do walk the mall, I don't hurt anymore.

Everyone has his/her own thoughts on what to do to stay fit. Judging from the number of people I see walking the park, going to the "Y", running and jogging or parked in front of the fitness centers, (our greater mini metro area serves about 40,000 persons) many people aren't following a strenuous exercise regimen, so maybe in a small way, our lazy man's approach can help. Most of the other stuff gets harder, after you reach 80.

That said, what do you expect your exercise program to be, when you reach the four-score mark?
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:36 AM   #2
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No question about it: the best exercise is the one you do.
Keep up the good work!
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:10 AM   #3
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Four score is a long way off for me, but I anticipate I'll have to stop running by then. And be down to hiking/walking, biking, and weights.
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:12 AM   #4
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That said, what do you expect your exercise program to be, when you reach the four-score mark?
Heck, I don't even know what it will be tomorrow! But everything I've read makes me believe that we don't need to kill ourselves to stay fit, and that there are diminishing returns as training goes on. The first 2 hours of exercise per week pay off more in improved health than the next 2. What you are doing now probably does a lot to keep all the joints and ligaments flexible, and the exertion (cardiovascular and leg muscles especially) is higher than the daily activities you do, so your workout is probably going to assure you can keep doing those things without getting worn out or straining something.
If your doc says it's okay and you feel like doing it, you might throw in a few "sprints" while you are on the bike. Just 20-30 seconds long, and enough effort so that you wouldn't want to do it for a long time. (Maybe do it for the first commercial of each set while you are watching TV). This kind of effort builds up lactic acid in your muscles that your cardiocascular system has to clear out, and it has been well established that this "overload" helps make the cardiovascular system stronger. It doesn't add any time to your workout, and your present pace sounds like it would let you recover between "sprints". Anyway, take it easy--we're not kids anymore!
But the biggie is that you find what you are now doing acceptable and may keep doing it. Don't do anything that changes that!
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:20 AM   #5
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I am sorry to report that unless you are suffering the exercise will not help. In fact, not only should you be physically suffering, but you should also be shamed and humiliated by a loud-mouth, arrogant trainer. If your injure yourself or get sick it is because you are defective in some way. I know this to be true because I saw it on TV.

OK, seriously. I have a stationary bike myself and I use it for cardio especially during the winter months when getting out for a fast paced, hill climbing walk is not always an option. The idea of also sitting on it and peddling at a more leisurely pace when watching TV is intriguing. It's so easy to sit and sit and sit when occupied with the days activities, that I might fire up my ancient iPad, take it down to by the bike, and give it a try.

Thanks for a good idea.
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:31 AM   #6
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I use a stationary bike in the winter and a nice Husky adult tricycle to ride outdoors the rest of the year. I used to ride a bike but decided a trike at my age was safer and with a basket on the back can be used to run errands such as grocery shopping.
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:32 AM   #7
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:32 AM   #8
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:07 AM   #9
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That said, what do you expect your exercise program to be, when you reach the four-score mark?
The reasons to exercise probably do not change with age. How you exercise certainly does. I'm 54 and already have limitations... no running or jumping.

Whether an exercise is good for you is determined by goals or reasons to exercise. I have 5 goals.

1. Maintain cardio vascular health. I do this with various forms of low impact HIIT; swimming, cycling, ellipitical trainer.

2. Maintain muscle mass. I have to lift heavy things to stress the muscles. There is no pain once you get into a steady routine.

3. Maintain flexibility. Stretching and yoga and foam roller work.

4. Maintain bone mass and bone strength. You have to stress your bones (bend them). This is done by lifting heavy things.

5. Maintain functionality. The most important function lost by not exercising is balance. There are recent studies showing that one's balance is a good predictor of longevity. I maintain balance by performing a variety of one legged exercises.

My plan is to find ways to meet these goals as best as possible.... according to my physical limitations.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:19 AM   #10
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As an aside - I went to the chiro a few days ago with running related hip/glute issues. He told me "You shouldn't run unless someone is chasing you with a knife"
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:23 AM   #11
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That said, what do you expect your exercise program to be, when you reach the four-score mark?
My goal is to still be skiing at 80. From the effort it took to ski my way in shape this year, building a house during the summer isn't going to cut it. Maybe I'll do some mountain hiking and biking. I'm with you on hating exercise for the sake of exercise.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:21 PM   #12
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If I'm still alive at 80, I'm just going to be happy to be there. Well past my family life expectancy. As far as exercise, I'll do whatever I'm capable of whenever I feel like it. If I'm capable, probably tai chi, more for balance than exercise.
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Old 02-13-2016, 06:37 PM   #13
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At 80 I'd love to be as good as my DF was. He guided fishermen(read he went fishing and someone else paid for gas) until 85.

I'm in the camp the best exercise is what you're willing and able to do. Watching my parents age there was a big difference in my semi-couch-potato DM and my more active DF.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:17 AM   #14
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Many years ago I heard Dr. Ken Cooper lecture. For those who don't know, he was a physician with NASA in the 60s, charged with monitoring and improving the early astronauts' health and conditioning. He is credited with being the first one to observe and understand the "aerobic" conditioning effect, and in fact coined the phrase "aerobics" as it pertains to exercise and conditioning, and literally wrote the book "Aerobics", bringing that information to the general public.

A few nuggets he threw out there: 1. the most important exercise you do is the first exercise you do. e.g. getting off the couch and fetching your own mail, or walking around the block instead of watching TV all day. A teeny-weenie bit of exercise is so much better for you than no exercise at all, that doing ANYTHING is a lot better than doing nothing.

2. in his book(s) he has tables relating intensities and durations of exercises to "points" gained, the more points you gain, the more your body will exhibit the "aerobic effect" HOWEVER, relating to mortality, if you get about 20 points a week (which as I recall you were probably getting walking at the mall), you are there. After that you are exercising for some other purpose, such as making you feel better, or for better athletic performance, but for the sake of helping you live longer, it doesn't take much.

This BTW is very consistent with another recent study done to evaluate the health of office workers stuck in cubicles at computers all day. The upshot of that was that those who just got up a few times every hour and walked to the water cooler for a minute, or stood up and did a few squats, were way better off than those who didn't.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:44 AM   #15
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Many years ago I heard Dr. Ken Cooper lecture. For those who don't know, he was a physician with NASA in the 60s, charged with monitoring and improving the early astronauts' health and conditioning. He is credited with being the first one to observe and understand the "aerobic" conditioning effect, and in fact coined the phrase "aerobics" as it pertains to exercise and conditioning, and literally wrote the book "Aerobics", bringing that information to the general public.
Cooper will be 85 next month and still active in running his clinic in Texas.
CooperAerobics - Preventive Medical Services Dallas | Cooper Clinic
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:36 AM   #16
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80 is 15 years off for me. Currently quite fit and active and hope to be able to keep this up till 80 albeit in a less intense way. Currently 30-60 minutes of cardio and stretches most days, weights twice a week. Could work on balance more. Biking and skiing are other activities I really enjoy. DW is 7 years younger and just as active. The benefits of exercise is just so overwhelming, it is almost irresponsible not to do it in some form. Don't be a couch potato.
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:47 AM   #17
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Before I saw this thread I started a new one with an article from NY Times citing 2 studies that strongly imply the need to exercise regularly. But the studies also demonstrated that any exercise is better than none (no surprise, there, I guess).
I exercise because I enjoy it. I doubt I'd do any exercises just for health benefits, if I didn't enjoy doing them. But I think everyone should find an activity they enjoy, and make it a point to do that activity (or, activities).
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:58 PM   #18
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I walk the dog for 2 miles every day. In addition I wear a Fitbit and if I don't have 10,000/steps/day then I run in circles in the living room while I watch TV at night. I read an article by a doctor years ago that was titled -"Sit yourself into an early grave." The premise was you needed 10,000/steps/day to stay healthy. When I was younger I walked at least 4 miles a day and sometimes double but at 61 no longer do that.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:55 PM   #19
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Our ROMEO group does 8.8 km 3x a week.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:41 PM   #20
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Our ROMEO group does 8.8 km 3x a week.
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ROMEO meeting at the local Burger King started with a serving of Manny Randazzo King Cake, flown in from New Orleans by UPS especially for us (haha).

https://www.randazzokingcake.com/

We have a New Orleans member and he was nice enough to spring for the $52 to acquire the cake. With the sugar high from the cake, I am set for the day!

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If you have deserts like aja8888 at their ROMEO meetings, 8.8 km is probably not enough!
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