How To Integrate Exercise Into Just About Everything You Do.

SeniorsSkiing’s readers all know and appreciate the value of fitness and exercise. Our surveys have shown that when the snow season is over, out come the golf clubs, bikes, tennis racquets, kayaks, hiking boots, and the like. Active lifestyles are us and part of who we are.

Enter the Corona Virus which, for reasons still unknown, goes after some people more viciously than others. Several risk factors are correlated with severity, according to Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, an internationally known infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota. “If you’re over 65, you’re male, if you have underlying heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, certain lung or blood cancers or if you’re moderately to severely obese, then these are all risk factors for developing the disease,” said Dr. Osterholm in a recent interview. 

He goes on, “Healthy lifestyles are so important in reducing your risk for severe disease.”

Maybe your gym has been closed, you can’t ride trails in locked up parks, you’re bored beyond belief with walking your usual three mile loop, or, after four months of lock down, you’ve retreated to the couch and binge 0n Netflix. These are strange times, requiring new ways to do old things. Fitness is one habit to figure out how to maintain.

We recently received a brand new book that gives us 300 ways to keep that healthy lifestyle going.  Exercise specialist K. Aleisha Fetters’ Fitness Hacks For Over 50 is strike-zone for senior athletes and actives like us.

Fetters has created a number of simple things you can do—she calls them “hacks”—that build fitness activities into your day.  The book is divided into four major sections: Balance and Coordination, Flexibility and Mobility, Muscular Strength, and Aerobic Capacity and Endurance.  Note that while you are probably already engaged with a couple of these—we are overloaded on muscular strength—there are others that need attention.

For example, how many readers focus on Balance and Coordination activities, a skill critical to aging? Here’s an interesting one. Close your eyes when you’re exercising in place, brushing your teeth, making the bed, or washing dishes. Use your senses like hearing and touch to compensate.  Simple? Try it. This is a mental game—brain-body coordination—that’s really important to master as we age.

Fetters defines flexibility as being able to touch your toes—the ability for muscles to lengthen and stretch. She calls mobility the ability to get up off the floor—how your joints actually move.  Different things.  Some hacks here include Lifting A Knee while standing against a wall, Reaching Behind your back, one hand over the shoulder, the other coming up the back. In this category, there are a number of yoga asanas (poses) including a full Salute The Sun sequence.

In Muscular Strength you’ll find a number of class gym-type exercises as well as novel ideas like Hover Over A Toilet Seat, handy in public rest rooms, or Squeezing Your Cheeks. Yes, those cheeks.

Fetters has 75 ideas for upping your heart rate from Hitting Intervals to Tickling Someone to adding steps in the mall, the parking lot, the airport.

This is an excellent reminder to us that it is important to move the body in a variety of ways every day.  Fitness Hacks For Over 50 makes exercise accessible to us all, so we can continue our healthy lifestyle even though the gym is closed, and the couch is calling us.

Fitness Hacks For Over 50: 300 easy ways to incorporate exercise into your life, by K. Aleisha Fetters, CSCS, is available on Amazon for $12.99 (Kindle) or $15.99 (Paperback).

 

 

 

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