So, where do we start? Let’s start with subject that affects a large number of older people. That is being a couch potato. We tend to get more sedimentary as we get older. Being sedimentary is the first step toward reducing our life expectancy. While some will try to justify being this way, saying they are conserving energy, it’s not what the body wants to do.
As we get older our internal systems start to slow down and stop. Our muscles begin to atrophy quicker. Our minds begin to slow down and we start to get bored which can lead to depression. If you are an avid book reader, you may not suffer from the boredom and depression, or at least not at first.
What can we do to increase life expectancy? One philosophy is, that to stay young as we grow older, you need to stay active. This may be nothing more than going walking and getting around. It doesn’t require swimming 20 laps or playing a brisk game of basketball, but it does take moving.
By doing this you accomplish numerous things that have a positive effect on your body and mind. Being active is good for the internal system to keep it functioning properly. It is good for the musculature to maintain its’ integrity. It’s good for the mind as you keep it active by absorbing new stimuli as you are moving around.
So you say, ‘I can’t walk around, I’m an invalid, what can I do?’ Depending on your condition, this approach may not be something that is for you. Before attempting to get up and get around, check with your physician.
Someone with emphysema, COPD, heart disease, or is bed ridden, needs the approval of their doctor, but read on. For the rest of us, increasing our daily or weekly activity is a good thing. Starting slowly, and increasing, if so desired, will yield some very important results.
After suffering from my heart attack a few year ago, I participated in the hospital’s Cardiac Rehab Program. There they introduced me to a very simple piece of exercise equipment that anyone can afford and work with.
It’s basically a long piece of rubber tubing, like we use to make sling shots with. Attached to each end is a flexible handle. This is easy to use and very flexible in all it can do. It is used to do strength type exercises. Whether bed ridden or not, this device can help you increase muscle tone, which will help to keep you active and healthy. If interested in this item, check with your local hospital’s Cardiac Rehab program. That is where I got mine.
Another piece of hi-tech exercise equipment is the large bouncing ball. They come in different sizes, so have an idea of how big you want before you go out and purchase one. The bouncing ball was also used in Cardiac Rehab. Just by sitting on the ball and bouncing, you will be able to keep active and stimulate different parts of the body.
Balancing on these balls is not as easy as it may look, so be sure to have someone with you when you use them. The last thing you want is to fall off and get hurt. Check with your physician to see what he recommends. Another good source of exercise is your local Cardiac Rehab group.