Dear Doug: Exercise Plan
Q: I just turned 70 and have always been in good health. Despite my luck, I'm noticing that I share the same aches and pains as my friends.
I've maintained my weight since my 30s. I don't smoke, and I rarely drink. I'm active but not with any particular plan. Instead, I've kept up with nature walks, the occasional tennis match and housework.
That said, my activity is becoming more sporadic as I feel weaker. I think it's time to make a regular exercise plan.
How do I start?
A: Physical activity is one of the best things we can do to maintain our health. Keeping mobile allows us to stay that way and enjoy more of our lives.
Before starting any exercise regimen, get a complete health checkup. It may be a good idea to discuss your aches and pains with your doctor. There may be an underlying condition contributing to the change.
With any new exercise plan, it's best to start slow and with a specific goal. This could be an amount of time per week or a benchmark.
Like before, choose a wide range of activities. Variation will ease the physical impact on your body.
If you don't know where to start, ask for help from a trainer or a friend who has a set routine. Many gyms or health clubs offer free, personalized advice. We all have different needs and abilities.
Be wary of overdoing it. Injuring yourself from overexertion is simply counterproductive! Doing simple stretches before and after exercise will make a huge difference.