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Exercise before you get too old.

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Exercise before you get too old.

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Old 03-13-18, 09:35 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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Exercise before you get too old.

This is BikeForums.net and I don't think I have to tell any of you to exercise. Especially when I'm talking strictly about aerobic exercise, the kind that riding a bike provides in spades. But we all have family and friends, and they don't all love bikes like we do. One of my coworkers is still following through with his resolution to be less sedentary - it's March - so I send him articles like this to help him stay motivated.

"The sweet spot in life to get off the couch and start exercising [if you haven't already] is in late middle age when the heart still has plasticity," Levine says. You may not be able to reverse the aging of the vessels if you wait.

"We put healthy 70-year-olds through a yearlong exercise training program, and nothing happened to them at all," Levine says. "We could not change the structure of their heart and blood vessels."

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...-with-exercise
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Old 03-14-18, 01:37 AM
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Old 03-14-18, 01:47 AM
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Yup. I've seen the effects in my own family -- not only immediate family members for whom I've been a caregiver, but extended family.

That's one of the main reasons I try to get out and at least walk every day, and ride my bike even when I'm not really feeling well. I wake up aching all over every day, but have some coffee and ibuprofen and finally decide I can't possibly be any more miserable walking or riding the bike, so I might as well get out there and move the body. I almost always feel better once I get going.

Folks who think exercise is too much effort and a burden aren't thinking about how much effort and burden they're shifting to other people -- often family members -- to care for them as they deteriorate from years of being sedentary.

I watched my mom go through this for years, doing less and less, walking less and less, using her power wheelchair more and more, until she had no strength in her arms and legs. Like my granddad, she resisted physical therapy from visiting therapists. Eventually she could hardly get up from the sofa or chair or bed. Then osteoporosis worsened from lack of exercise and her femur just snapped spontaneously while walking at home. Now she's in a nursing home because her condition demands 24/7 care, beyond what Medicare/Medicaid will cover in home care.

In contrast my family and extended group of friends included women who remained as active as possible well into their 80s and 90s -- one even lived to 102, although she slowed down after age 100, the last year she attended the opera with us. They walked, puttered around the house instead of parking on the sofa or bed all day. One still bowls. They've slowed down a bit, but had remarkably full lives much later than some folks who became sedentary at middle age and declined rapidly.
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Old 03-14-18, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Yup. I've seen the effects in my own family -- not only immediate family members for whom I've been a caregiver, but extended family.

That's one of the main reasons I try to get out and at least walk every day, and ride my bike even when I'm not really feeling well. I wake up aching all over every day, but have some coffee and ibuprofen and finally decide I can't possibly be any more miserable walking or riding the bike, so I might as well get out there and move the body. I almost always feel better once I get going.

Folks who think exercise is too much effort and a burden aren't thinking about how much effort and burden they're shifting to other people -- often family members -- to care for them as they deteriorate from years of being sedentary.

I watched my mom go through this for years, doing less and less, walking less and less, using her power wheelchair more and more, until she had no strength in her arms and legs. Like my granddad, she resisted physical therapy from visiting therapists. Eventually she could hardly get up from the sofa or chair or bed. Then osteoporosis worsened from lack of exercise and her femur just snapped spontaneously while walking at home. Now she's in a nursing home because her condition demands 24/7 care, beyond what Medicare/Medicaid will cover in home care.

In contrast my family and extended group of friends included women who remained as active as possible well into their 80s and 90s -- one even lived to 102, although she slowed down after age 100, the last year she attended the opera with us. They walked, puttered around the house instead of parking on the sofa or bed all day. One still bowls. They've slowed down a bit, but had remarkably full lives much later than some folks who became sedentary at middle age and declined rapidly.
I found your comments here interesting as well ... especially the bit about flopping into chairs. I've observed that as well.
Back hurt?

And on the other hand, for example, my grandmother is 96 years old. She walked and gardened (big gardens) and was fairly active her whole life. She has definitely slowed down in recent years, and she's now in a studio apartment in an independent living "home". But she's still able to get about a bit.

I remember ... in 2002, I cycled the Rocky Mountain 1200 and then drove out to see her. She was 81 and had a hip replacement about 6 or 8 weeks earlier. We went for a walk to the shops, and although she kept saying that her hip replacement had slowed her down, she was walking circles around me! OK, granted, I was hobbling from my efforts on the RM1200, but still ... I had to chuckle that my grandmother with the hip replacement was dropping me on the walk!
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Old 03-14-18, 04:31 AM
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There is a saying which says "never to late to start" or "better late than never"...however the truth of the matter is that it's best to start when you are very young because it allows you to build a good strong foundation for the future. It's a lot better to start exercising at 13-15 than it is at 40-50...Another thing which needs to be mentioned is the importance of doing weight bearing exercises and resistance/strength traing, especially for cyclists. Cycling is good, but it's not an absolute and cross training is necessary for overall fitness and health.
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Old 03-14-18, 07:10 AM
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A big part of my push to lose weight and gain fitness was watching my Mom age. She has been overweight her whole life. Developed a bad back. “Couldn’t exercise.” Then bad knees. Then flew to see us and her back was sore. So she sat for a week in a chair treating us both like waiters, “Can you bring me a cup of coffee? A sandwich?” Etc. Then on the flight home, a pulmonary embolus. And now blood thinners complicating lots of things- medical care, what she eats and drinks. Then too much use of a cane leads to a shoulder injury. Now with her forward-leaning posture (from her back) and her osteoporosis, shes developing a hunchback, shrank 5 inches (a lot of this is postural). More forward leaning posture, increasing her risk of a fall. Mobility is declining. She’s a big woman, not going to be easy to care for her if she can’t do for herself.

So there’s that everyday QOL stuff but also logistical stuff. We travel quite a bit but have little interest in a sedentary vacation. Too many stairs, too far of a distance from the door of our lodging to whatever- the car, the beach, the resort pool, visiting a city which requires walking, even Disneyworld, all of that stuff is out because she can’t walk, stand or sit too long, so we essentially can’t invite her to travel with us.

People have a lot of trouble seeing stuff coming and heading it off at the pass. I’m sure I’ll go through a lot of the same stuff, but I’m doing what I can to mitigate the effects of my genes- managing weight, developing CV fitness, stretching, core and limb strength. I just hope to age well and enjoy life as much as I can.
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Old 03-14-18, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Yup. I've seen the effects in my own family -- not only immediate family members for whom I've been a caregiver, but extended family.

That's one of the main reasons I try to get out and at least walk every day, and ride my bike even when I'm not really feeling well. I wake up aching all over every day, but have some coffee and ibuprofen and finally decide I can't possibly be any more miserable walking or riding the bike, so I might as well get out there and move the body. I almost always feel better once I get going.

Folks who think exercise is too much effort and a burden aren't thinking about how much effort and burden they're shifting to other people -- often family members -- to care for them as they deteriorate from years of being sedentary.

I watched my mom go through this for years, doing less and less, walking less and less, using her power wheelchair more and more, until she had no strength in her arms and legs. Like my granddad, she resisted physical therapy from visiting therapists. Eventually she could hardly get up from the sofa or chair or bed. Then osteoporosis worsened from lack of exercise and her femur just snapped spontaneously while walking at home. Now she's in a nursing home because her condition demands 24/7 care, beyond what Medicare/Medicaid will cover in home care.

In contrast my family and extended group of friends included women who remained as active as possible well into their 80s and 90s -- one even lived to 102, although she slowed down after age 100, the last year she attended the opera with us. They walked, puttered around the house instead of parking on the sofa or bed all day. One still bowls. They've slowed down a bit, but had remarkably full lives much later than some folks who became sedentary at middle age and declined rapidly.
Very well said. You are spot on!
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Old 03-14-18, 10:10 AM
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This thread is in line with a thread I was going to start, but instead I'll just post the article here. What I like about the article is that it mentions how difficult it is to establish "normal" since most people don't exercise, especially people that are in their later years of life.

It's why I roll my eyes every time someone says something like the average HR for someone at any certain age is....

We're basing this on many people that are in crappy shape...

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/w...pgtype=article


Exercise among middle-aged and older adults in the Western world is rare. By most estimates, only about 10 percent of people past the age of 65 work out regularly.

So, our expectations about what is normal during aging are based on how growing older affects sedentary people.
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Old 03-14-18, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
People have a lot of trouble seeing stuff coming and heading it off at the pass. I’m sure I’ll go through a lot of the same stuff, but I’m doing what I can to mitigate the effects of my genes- managing weight, developing CV fitness, stretching, core and limb strength. I just hope to age well and enjoy life as much as I can.
I know somebody who has been a rower and a musician for most of her life, so she’s always run in two circles. She’s in her 60s now, a lot of her friends are in their 60s and 70s. She mentioned once that the people who have been athletes their whole lives are holding up much better than people who’ve mostly been sedentary, even the ones who maintained a healthy weight through life. She described a lot of her friends not being able to get their instrument into the overhead compartment on a plane anymore when they travel. That stuck with me.
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Old 03-14-18, 11:08 AM
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We've always assumed that people stop exercising because they get old. The truth is more likely that people get old because they stop exercising.
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Old 03-14-18, 11:30 AM
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I have an 84 y.o. aunt who started a serious exercise program about 4 years ago, working with a personal trainer. She's had good results. Nothing crazy, but good results. Her trainer had an interesting approach: strength training first, then cardio. Like a couple years of 3X/week strength training before even trying cardio. She's very gradually getting stronger and becoming able to walk 1 mile distances. Before the training, she was a typical sedentary - never did anything physical in her life, could hardly walk, used a cane, etc. So it's never too late, but the older you start, the smaller the expectations should be. My aunt is very pleased with her achievements.

For whatever reason, though I'm relatively unathletic, I've enjoyed engaging in athletic activity all my life, to the point that now I'm something of an anomaly in my peer group. I have no talent other than desire. It's like a lot of other things, heh. That last is the difficult bit. All the rest is easy. Or as randos say, "It's all between your ears."

I know 3 things: You cannot have a thought you cannot put into words. Your mental map must be congruent with the world around you. And never give up: when it gets tough, find another way to move forward.
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Old 03-14-18, 02:11 PM
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This article describes the anti-aging benefits of exercise.

The study uses seniors (55 to 79yrs old) who can cycle 100km in 6.5hrs for men and 60km in 5.5 hrs for women.

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/exercise-is-the-best-anti-aging-therapy-1.4569842
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Old 03-14-18, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
This thread is in line with a thread I was going to start, but instead I'll just post the article here. What I like about the article is that it mentions how difficult it is to establish "normal" since most people don't exercise, especially people that are in their later years of life.

It's why I roll my eyes every time someone says something like the average HR for someone at any certain age is....

We're basing this on many people that are in crappy shape...

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/w...pgtype=article
I just posted an article from the cbc that references the same study.

There is a difference between normal and average. The average American is overweight. That's not normal.

What's normal may surprise you. Some people might say it's skinny because they are not accustomed to seeing many people that are normal.

I remember and old radio program on cbc radio about the battle of Cannae. In that program, the narrator described that Roman Soldiers were about 135lb. They were recruited from farms so they were accustomed to eating grains and had endurance. The gladiator physique would be too expensive to maintain inthe Roman army.

The Iceman found in the Alps was about 55years old. His weight was estimated to be about 110lbs.

How many people do we know today aged 55, weighing 110lb can climb the Alps on his own?
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Old 03-14-18, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
I just posted an article from the cbc that references the same study.

There is a difference between normal and average. The average American is overweight. That's not normal.

What's normal may surprise you. Some people might say it's skinny because they are not accustomed to seeing many people that are normal.

I remember and old radio program on cbc radio about the battle of Cannae. In that program, the narrator described that Roman Soldiers were about 135lb. They were recruited from farms so they were accustomed to eating grains and had endurance. The gladiator physique would be too expensive to maintain inthe Roman army.

The Iceman found in the Alps was about 55years old. His weight was estimated to be about 110lbs.

How many people do we know today aged 55, weighing 110lb can climb the Alps on his own?
No doubt we are, on average, carrying much more weight than we should. But, you left out an important data point - height.

The average Roman soldier is estimated at 170cm or 5'7". Otzi the Iceman was 5'5". Still, yes, by modern standards 110 lbs for someone 5'5" seems very underweight.
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Old 03-14-18, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
We've always assumed that people stop exercising because they get old. The truth is more likely that people get old because they stop exercising.
Fred Beckey made it to 94.

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Old 03-14-18, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
I just posted an article from the cbc that references the same study.

There is a difference between normal and average. The average American is overweight. That's not normal.

What's normal may surprise you. Some people might say it's skinny because they are not accustomed to seeing many people that are normal.

I remember and old radio program on cbc radio about the battle of Cannae. In that program, the narrator described that Roman Soldiers were about 135lb. They were recruited from farms so they were accustomed to eating grains and had endurance. The gladiator physique would be too expensive to maintain inthe Roman army.

The Iceman found in the Alps was about 55years old. His weight was estimated to be about 110lbs.

How many people do we know today aged 55, weighing 110lb can climb the Alps on his own?

We can't just assume that lighter always means healthier...110 pound or 135 pounds for a modern 6 foot tall man would be anorexic...The main reason why people in the old days weighed less and were smaller was because of poor nutrition and inconsistent unreliable food supply. Roman soldiers were short and light, but many of the Germanic and Northern tribes were much taller and weighed a lot more.
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Old 03-15-18, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
I just posted an article from the cbc that references the same study.

There is a difference between normal and average. The average American is overweight. That's not normal.

What's normal may surprise you. Some people might say it's skinny because they are not accustomed to seeing many people that are normal.

I remember and old radio program on cbc radio about the battle of Cannae. In that program, the narrator described that Roman Soldiers were about 135lb. They were recruited from farms so they were accustomed to eating grains and had endurance. The gladiator physique would be too expensive to maintain inthe Roman army.

The Iceman found in the Alps was about 55years old. His weight was estimated to be about 110lbs.

How many people do we know today aged 55, weighing 110lb can climb the Alps on his own?
I agree....I was in a hurry when I posted that and wasn't as precise in my grammar as I should have been...Yesterday was a busy day
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Old 03-15-18, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I agree....I was in a hurry when I posted that and wasn't as precise in my grammar as I should have been...Yesterday was a busy day
I must also add that normal is a wide range. According to the BMI scale for men that range is 18.5-24.9.

Yes, we know that muscle density vs fat density can throw off the BMI, so let's not get into that discussion.

I'm 5'7". So I could weigh from 118lb to 159lb and still be normal. I'm 141 lb so I'm just 2.5 lb higher than the middle. (18% body fat.) A lot of average guys would consider me skinny.

But in reference to the Roman Soldier, being the same height as me, that would be really normal. And yes, regarding nutrition, in the ancient times, meat would not be as abundantly available as it is now which dietitians say, we eat too much.

In reference the the iceman, Otzi, I read a bit further and found some fascinating information regarding the discovery as well as the findings.

It turned out, he was in his mid 40s (not 50s as I had mistakenly remembered). He suffered from diseases, parasites and tooth decay, which could have accounted for his being 110lbs. So for a middle-aged guy in such pain, to trek up the Alps is still no easy feat. He may have been chased by his killers so his will to survive may have gotten him to trek so far. Still at 5'5", 45 years old and 110lbs, his BMI would put him as normal healthy.

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Old 03-15-18, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
We've always assumed that people stop exercising because they get old. The truth is more likely that people get old because they stop exercising.
Shades of Joe Weider.
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 03-15-18, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Folks who think exercise is too much effort and a burden aren't thinking about how much effort and burden they're shifting to other people -- often family members -- to care for them as they deteriorate from years of being sedentary.
Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
... She has been overweight her whole life. Developed a bad back. “Couldn’t exercise.” Then bad knees. Then flew to see us and her back was sore. So she sat for a week in a chair treating us both like waiters, “Can you bring me a cup of coffee? A sandwich?” Etc. ...
This hasn't been part of my experience in life, personally, I was lucky (in retrospect) to grow up in the country in Connecticut, with a mother who pushed me out the door and sent me off on hiking trails. In the corporate world, I've met a lot of people like you're describing. @canklecat has a really insightful observation, @Heathpack noticed the same thing.
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Old 03-16-18, 06:38 AM
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I don't know about that article.

I understand the study but telling older people that it is too late to exercise, that it won't do any good, doesn't seem right. The article focuses exclusively on heart and blood vessels but there are other benefits to exercise.

Strength training increases bone density and reduces risk of injury for example. Aerobic exercise stimulates blood flow to the brain and extremities apart from whether the heart grows stronger. Fresh air. Getting out of the house. Enjoying nature. The mental benefits of staying active. There are many other benefits.

Sure, it is better to exercise your whole life but I'm not about to call my mom and tell her to stop walking every morning because she is too old.


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Old 03-16-18, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I don't know about that article.

I understand the study but telling older people that it is too late to exercise, that it won't do any good, doesn't seem right. The article focuses exclusively on heart and blood vessels but there are other benefits to exercise.

Strength training increases bone density and reduces risk of injury for example. Aerobic exercise stimulates blood flow to the brain and extremities apart from whether the heart grows stronger. Fresh air. Getting out of the house. Enjoying nature. The mental benefits of staying active. There are many other benefits.

Sure, it is better to exercise your whole life but I'm not about to call my mom and tell her to stop walking every morning because she is too old.
-Tim-
+1. I think you can reap the benefits of exercise at any age. If you happen to have started when you were young, great. If you're a senior and you just recently just started to exercise, also great.

It's kind of like saving money for your retirement--the earlier you start they better off you'll be, but if doesn't mean you that if you hadn't started later in life that you shouldn't. You likely won't save as much, but that saving will still serve you well in retirement.
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Old 03-16-18, 10:29 AM
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Exercising is like brushing your teeth. The more frequent, the better.
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Old 03-19-18, 08:33 PM
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I’m a fresh 50 but feel 25 despite 15 orthopedic operations dupuytrens contracture. But that doesn’t stop me it makes me more determined and bullheaded to stay active and fit.
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Old 03-20-18, 08:28 AM
  #25  
noglider 
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I understand the study but telling older people that it is too late to exercise, that it won't do any good, doesn't seem right.
The article doesn't say that.
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