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Exercise for the older person
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phil2020 posted:
I walk 2 miles a day and do stretching and aerobic exercises 5 days a week, yet I find no improvement in strength or limberness. I am 81. Why do I not see improvements?
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Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
Hi Phil,
It's hard to say for sure without seeing you, seeing how you move, or knowing how long you've been at it and how you're measuring your strength and flexibility. I don't see that you are doing any resistance exercise to make you stronger. There's plenty of evidence that strength improves in people of all ages. This study is one of the most well known http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8190152 and there are many others.

Maybe you can post back with the following information:

1. How long you've been working out

2. What stretching exercises are you doing and your technique? You should be holding stretches until you feel looser, whether it's 30 seconds, 2 minutes, or however long it takes. Hold gently until the muscles stretch. Yoga is great for flexibility and that might be something to consider. There are plenty of yogis in their 80's who are flexible.

3. Once you start weightlifting or other resistance exercise, you should record how much weight you start with and make note of the progress. It's difficult to believe that once you start lifting you won't notice improvements in your strength.

Let's start there. And feel free to post back if you have more questions. Rich


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