In the June 25, 2007 US News and World Report magazine, a section on injury-free workouts and other exercise tips for middle age and older individuals was presented. This stressed the importance of exercise in general and the need to continue and/or start exercising as we age. It is important to consult with your physician prior to starting an exercise regimen if you have not been physically active in the past. It is also useful to obtain the services of a personal trainer to show you proper exercise and weight lifting techniques. With regard to cardiovascular training, as we age and our joints before more susceptible to arthritis, it is important to cross train, concentrate on lower-impact activities, and substitute high-impact activities where appropriate.
The bottom line is that exercise can help maintain muscle mass, joint flexibility, and decrease the symptoms of arthritis. It will allow us to improve our overall health, decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and perhaps increase the time before significant joint problems occur. With one-third of our population obese, now more then ever it is important to take up exercise if you have not done so in the past and if you have been active in the past, continue to be so in the future.
William P. Barrett, M.D.