If you want to… So much follows those few words. Little partial phrases like: lose weight, feel younger, get flexible, be stronger. Well, you get the idea. This is a followup to my post, “Over Fifty? Exercise is not an Option”. You really do not have to read that post to benefit from this one. But you may want to….
In the book, “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley & Henry S Lodge, M.D“ , the authors postulate over two-thirds of, “Old Age Disease” is avoidable, and is brought on by lack of exercise. Imagine that, over seven out of ten people in a nursing home are there because they choose to be, not because they have to be.
I do not have references for this, but information should be easy to find if you search on, ‘exercise and aging’. One study I read, took ten people out of a nursing home who were wheel chair bound. After some weeks, most of them were out of their wheel chairs and could dance and enjoy lawn games outside! One man was climbing trees again! Current estimates on aging say that after sixty, almost thirty percent of your life remains! How do you wish to spend those years, living life, or getting ready to die?
A month before my post I referenced above, I had slowed way down. Bending to the floor was a process, not a movement. My shoulders and hips hurt, I had ghost pains, and I was more tired than I should be. When I wrote the post, I had about a month at the gym doing High Intensity Training with Weight Machines. I was feeling slightly sore in places I had forgotten about, and was wondering if it was all worth it as I wasn’t noticing a lot of improvement. Then the changes started!
I kept at it, and I can say it was worth every minute I have spend in the gym. I am more solid now. I have more strength and energy, and I sleep better. The only pain or discomfort I feel lately is the night of and day after the gym when some of my muscles are complain about the workout.
I am slowly working my down to failure at 5 – 8 slow repetitions using the weight machines. On most of the weight machines I have doubled or more the weight I am able to manage at the end of my first month. I thought I was done adding weights until I received a flu shot a few weeks ago. This years flu shot had me feeling less than stellar for almost a full week. Not really sick, just not good, nor energetic.
When I went back to the gym after a week of no gym, to my surprise, I almost doubled some of the weights. I think I am going to take a week off in the future every six or so weeks to let my body really recover. I think being older, real recovery takes longer. I was resting three days between HIT Weight Training, but maybe that is too fast for me just starting out. I will know more next long break.
Weight Training Machines are simple to use, usually have pictures of how to use them. Stick to the basic machines, no need to try them all. Some could get you hurt, especially those that stress knee or shoulder joints should be avoided. Search youtube for weight machines to avoid for more. Start with the minimum weight, and add ten pounds only when you go through three workouts in a row with no pain or soreness.
Move slowly. Slow motion is safe motion. Do not jerk and move rapidly like most of the people you see around you in the gym. Most of them are working their way to pain or injury, and will stop going. Don’t go there! Slow and steady movements, maybe three to eight seconds each direction, and after some months, others will be looking at the amount of weight you move!
After ensuring I am loosened up, I use two leg, and one arm weight machines. Then I use a stationary bicycle for thirty to forty minutes depending on the amount of time I have, keeping my heart rate up. Next I do an ‘Ab’ crunch machine, and three upper body and arm machines. I am done in an hour or less. If I wanted to cut the time to thirty minutes, I could do weights one day, and cardio on a second or third day.
I have gained so much! I thought HIT Walking is an excellent exercise, but it doesn’t hold a candle to HIT Weights. As I mentioned I have little pain, except minor workout soreness. I have flexibility I never saw while walking, even HIT Walking. The floor is no farther away now than it was when I was twenty. Balance and body awareness is much improved! I have also lost a few pounds while watching my muscles grow.
Sleeping as I mentioned is improved. I do wake up occasionally the night of going to the gym, but it is tired muscle from exercise, and not nerves getting irritated because there is so little muscle to hold joints in place. Whether you are a Teen, Forty or Sixty Plus, you set your life direction by the amount of exercise you do each week – exercise, not work. If life in a wheel chair in a nursing home sounds good, don’t bother exercising. If you want to enjoy life as you did before you started school as a child, get out there and and play with some weight machines!