Friday, February 17, 2023

Staying fit after age 65

 I, Darrell, a "senior citizen" living in a large retirement center in Oregon, find myself wondering how to keep fit at my age.  I decided to get some professional help.

I discussed the question with three medical doctors:  one, a primary care physician; two, a cardiologist; and three, a neurologist.

The three gave similar answers.  The most direct was from the cardiologist, believe it or not.  That doc. said:  "Walk! That's our primary advice to patients."  Another M.D. said:  "Exercise walk.  Get the blood moving to the brain."  

These doctors and other sources help me to realize that daily walks are perhaps as important as the bulging list of medications physicians have prescribed for me.  I'm surprised that walking is so high on their set of recommendations.  

I do walk and I love my walking route.  From my front door I turn south and walk to a golf course.  A stream runs through the golf course; the walkway dips down about 60 feet from normal ground level on the western side to the bottom of the miniature canyon, then slopes up on the eastern side. Just walking briskly up that slope causes my heart rate to rise to just over 100 beats per minute.  I realize, "Yes.  I'm certainly gettin' my blood to flow by walking this way."  Incidentally, there's a lot of entertainment on such a walk:  I'm most amused by pets owned by the dog-walkers I encounter on my trips.  I like the trees, the clouds, neighbors' gardens.  But above all I prize the health results.

I try to avoid rainy days.  Here, near the Pacific coast in Oregon, it's not that easy to avoid rain.  The availability of hourly weather forecasts on the cell device alleviates a lot of guessing.  

Another angle for exercise is to work out at home or at a gym.  Your general practitioner M.D. or your physical therapist likely will suggest exercises to help you avoid risks.  Obviously, you don't want to trigger a heart attack.  Common sense tells me that exercising at home 30 minutes a day works well, for me and maybe others too.  Main goal: maintain and perhaps even build strength.  Again, consult a medical professional for advice.

My goal in posting is to tell you my story, what I've learned, what I do, and how it's helped me.  Best wishes to you as you seek to maintain or increase health quality.

Even helping with a harvest can provide some exercise and a lot of happiness




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