How to Launch Extensive Fitness Programs for the Old People

Contrary to old-fangled notions, your level of fitness can continue to grow throughout your lifetime. One weight-training program for men in their 60s and 70s showed that they were able to increase their muscle size by an average of 11 percent and their strength by 170 percent — after just 12 weeks.

Taking a walk somewhere peaceful is one of the world’s best antidotes to everyday woes. Heavy with worry though your mind may sometimes be, things naturally start to lighten up when you’re stepping through a pretty park, along a meandering river’s edge, or strolling down a quiet, tree-lined street. And relieving stress helps avoid the urge to overeat, even with two specially designed poles in your hands, you can get Nordic walking in a cheap way. Actually the better way is to walk with a pal. As part of their hospital exercise program, a group of men were assigned to walk every day. A study following their progress after they left the hospital found that the men who walked with their wives were twice as likely to continue their program for a year as those men who walked alone.

Howeverexercising on gym or health club equipment, rather than walking or running on your own, tends to give you a harder workout. Treadmills, rowing machines and equipment like the Stair-Master get more of your body involved. What’s more, many people find that the sight of other people sweating it out at a gym pumps up their own energy levels.

Riding a bike provides an excellent aerobic workout. Ride indoors on a stationary bike or go outside and enjoy the scenery. Start your routine slowly, spending 5 to 10 minutes warming up your muscles and getting your heart in gear. Then speed up for 10 to 20 minutes and finally slow down for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Most stationary bikes help you clock your pace. Set the bike to an easy resistance level and pedal about 40 rpms (revolutions per minute) to start. Then increase your pace to 6. 0 rpms and hold it steady for about 20 minutes. Finally, slow down to 40 rpms or less for about five minutes. Afterward, walk around the room for a few minutes to let your heart re-adjust to a non-exercise pace. And don’t jump into the shower right away — that could seriously stress your heart.

You can also play with your pet just around your house; every dog owner knows that Poochie isn’t happy with a walk around the block only once a day. Pet experts say that a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise is ideal for your dog, giving him a good stretch, improving his health and keeping him lean. Enjoy these benefits yourself by making Poochie your walking or running partner.

Cat people, whose pets’ favorite activities tend toward eating and sleeping, won’t find their feline friends as eager to engage in organized sports. Nevertheless, you can and should play games with them to perk them up. Throwing a ball or catnip toy around a room and fetching it is good for both of you.

Having a great relationship with a pet is also good for your mental health, studies show. And best of all, sharing good times and bad with your pet will make you less likely to turn to food to feel good.
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