Weíve been reading everywhere that daily exercising can reduce many health risks from heart attacks to cancer, even diabetes. My husband and I are ex-couch-potato boomers turned believers. We went on the treadmill. Unfortunately my hips and his knees started hurting. Next we joined an aerobic class for beginners and felt sore for days. What is an effective exercise program that puts no stress on our bodies?
Any regular exercise will help; even a simple brisk walk reduces stress and health risks. Specifically I can recommend two forms of exercising that meet all your criteria. Both are beneficial to your heart as well as your total body, and easy on your joints.
The first is the Pilates method, available for floor exercising at home. All you need to get is a floor mat and one of the many videos to follow very clear instructions. Alternatively you may prefer to attend classes at the gym and try more complex routines on the Pilates reformers, supervised by trained instructors. All Pilateís programs are tailored for beginners, intermediates and advanced participants and available at sport clubs throughout the US. For more info regarding your region, just contact www.pilates.com or Balanced Body at (800) 745-2837.
"Pilates is extremely effective for exercising any muscle group and itís gentle on the body," says Dennis Colonello, the top chiropractor in L.A. who looks after the stars of the LA Lakers and the Oakland Raiders. " It is excellent in developing core strength and increases flexibility. Itís great for anyone who suffers from chronic back or neck pain." I was impressed with the special programs that Balanced Body developed for females over 40 who are at risk for Osteoporosis.
We put three of our own employees on a three-week Pilates test. Rudiís chronic backache literally disappeared. "I can happily report that my underarm and stomach muscles definitely firmed up, and Isabelle feels that her body is more toned overall. So weíve become believers. The secret of this method is working against your own weight so you get the benefit of weight bearing exercise which increases bone mass as well as cardio-vascular benefits. Neither of us experienced any discomfort except for sore muscles the first couple of times."
The other program I can recommend highly isÖ. swimming. Swimming benefits the entire body and improves heart and lung capacity. It can be done all year and at any age. It brings amazing results and the cost of this sport is truly modest. Most of all, even if you suffer from certain pains and aches; itís always gentle on your joints. Many clubs now offer fun water exercises especially for boomers.
Remember, exercising increases your seratonin levels that boost your libido, and all aerobic activity counteracts normal aging and makes you feel better and look younger. So, Glady and John, are you going to do it in the water or on land?