The fitness path

The fitness path

Twilight days

The fitness path

The benefits of exercising are indisputable and as you age, remaining fit becomes even more important. Regular exercise can help boost energy, improve your confidence and manage symptoms of illness or pain. To keep up with a city which is always on the go, senior citizens are taking firm steps forward.

“I like walking in the mornings on wide, open roads rather than inside parks,” says 76-year-old Raja Raja Varma. “I feel that walking is wonderful as it not only rejuvenates your mind but also gives you a chance to meet new people. Once I met a man who knew only Telugu, a language I was not at all familiar with. But we struck a deep friendship which continued for a long time, going for walks together and talking about ourselves, with neither of us understanding what the other was saying.”

For Gopalakrishnan Veliyannoore, 63, yoga is the preferred way to a healthier life. “I go with my wife to the Indiranagar Park at 6.40 am everyday. While she is a member of a laughing club, I practise my own combination of yoga and pranayama till 8.15 am. I feel wonderful after this morning routine and believe that I am fit and strong for my age.”

While walking and yoga are eternal favourites, new sports too are catching the fancy
of older adults. Water sports like aqua aerobics, aqua yoga and aqua pilates are gaining a large number of followers, especially from the elderly population. These non-impact sports are ideal for people with back pain, knee pain, arthritis or other inflammation issues.

Maintaining a regular exercise routine may seem to be a challenging task. Elder people are likely to be concerned about health problems, injuries or may just think that they are too old to exercise.

      However, while these are valid reasons, it is also true that regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and
dementia, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and high blood pressure. Exercise
also helps improve one’s balance and coordination while inactivity can lead to loss of mobility and flexibility and make one more prone to illnesses.

Make exercising fun by combining it with activities you love. Listen to music while working out, take your pet along for your daily walks, watch a TV show while running on the treadmill, find a buddy to accompany you in your routines, or enjoy a vigorous game with your grandchildren.

      “I click a lot of photos while on my morning walks. It makes my routine interesting and every click is picture perfect during the early mornings — with green landscapes, fresh air, light traffic and fewer people around,” says Raja Raja Varma.

Exercise is the key to healthy ageing but there are certain factors that need to be kept in mind. Says Shruthi Choudhari, a professional trainer, “Older adults must check if their body is ready for the programme or sport they are planning to take up. For minimal injury, it is better to work with an experienced physical therapist or trainer to develop an exercise plan. It is important to start slowly as the body would have started showing degenerative traits. Remember to divulge all medical conditions to your trainer before starting.”  

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