(Your guide to Senior Citizens Health and Exercise)
by Lyiang Ju Yen
Notice how people at a young age dare to do so many activities; participating in Sports, Working out in the gym, etc… But as we grow old, we choose to slow down a bit and take things a little easy. As we go further in the cycle of life, the things that we do tend to lose it’s intensity.
This is very common with the elders especially those who have been working in the office and led a very sedentary lifestyle. The moment they quit working, they focus on light activities such as gardening and sitting down sipping hot tea. I am talking about the majority of the elder people here in the Philippines.
Everybody knows that exercise is vital for the health of our body and mind. Like a car that need revving up everyday even when not in use. But does a person need to retire from exercise when they retire from office work? I am not however saying that our elders need to do rock climbing and other stressful sports, but I think they have to do low key activities that equate being sedentary.
I found out through the research I made, that most elders lie low because they say that they’re “too old to do many things.” Many of them have the misconception that exercising can lead to body pain that they cannot tolerate. They conceptualize exercise as food that does not taste good, so therefore they don’t swallow it. They don’t understand the “fun” behind exercising.
Another factor is fear. My grandmother, like any other elder that I meet, prefers doing the “safe stuff.” They are scared of breaking a bone and making it more difficult for them to do more chores. In spite of people knowing the beautiful benefits of exercising, most elders feel “too old” for those activities and those they are simply retired from the huzz and buzz of life, and it’s time for them to relax.
Here’s an inspirational phrase from Dr. Maria Fiatarone of Harvard Medical School; “Some of what we have been calling aging all these years, really isn’t aging at all. But is due to prolonged periods of inactivity or less than optimal levels of activity. Some of what we think is aging is in fact reversible and preventable at all stages of life.”
In the next issue, I shall give you all senior citizens, the low impact exercises that can give you high benefits. Happy Living!