Yet another question about getting ready for old age - Exercise routines?

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DWSmith

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Stretching, calisthenics, weights, aerobics? What are your choices for getting/keeping in shape?

I've started doing some light exercising. I'm mainly working at developing the habit then I will develop a more comprehensive routine.

I'd appreciate it if you would share your routine(s) so I can get some ideas.

Thanks.!
 

Zeno Marx

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I started out with walking every day for about an hour. Then running for 20 minutes with stretching and pushups (I think it was 50?) before and after, six days a week. I had problems with my knees for the first time in my life, and then it moved to my arches. I tried different shoes, and some helped more than others. I really DO NOT enjoy running anyway, so it was a slog every single day. Then I got an exercise bike that worked with the arms as well. A couple days running and four days riding for 20-30 minutes. I eventually gave up the running unless I was away from my bike. I went, I think, six years without deviating from my routine, no matter where I was or how I was feeling. I then moved to the bike six days a week, eventually dropping that down to five days a week. That's where I'm at now, and I'm far less strict. I don't often break from my schedule, but I can be coerced.

I've been athletic all my life, but I don't know anything about fitness, other than my own. The big rule I kept in mind was getting your heart rate up for 20+ minutes straight. Sweating isn't enough. Working hard in the yard isn't enough. From what I understand, the key for older folk is getting that heart rate up and keeping it there for 20+ minutes. Strength training is also important to keep your muscle mass and for balance. My bike that works both arms and legs has served me surprisingly well for my upper body. I used free weights when I was younger, and I hate it almost as much as I do running.

If I was changing things up, I'd move to jumping rope, something like bicycling outdoors and inside on rollers, or a rowing machine. If I enjoyed swimming, that would also be a consideration. Jumping rope would be the first one, though. Older folk need to challenge their balance, and jumping rope works on balance, agility, quickness, and timing, and if you've ever jumped rope, you know it is a crazy good cardio exercise. Jumping rope will humble you for a couple months, until you get in shape. Great for your feet and ankles, too. If I had money to burn, I'd get a good rowing machine. They're great for every muscle group, especially your core. I do have a Nordic Track I picked up for peanuts (expensive new, but about the cost of a meal on the used market), but I haven't used it since tuning it up. No reason. Nordic Track/cross-country skiing is a great exercise physically and cardio wise. I really should be alternating the exercise bike and the Nordic Track. They use so dang much space, and I'm too lazy to keep moving it back and forth to use it.
 

D.L.Ruth

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I do powerlifting and strongman. Started about 15 years ago but about a two year break to do marathons. Lift about 5-6 days a week.
 

Ranger107

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Used to bench really heavy, 400+ lbs. 4 days a week. But at 74 and after shoulder surgeries on both rotators, the heaviest lifting I do is putting the saddle on my horse, lol.
 

Sturdy Papa 359

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Used to bench really heavy, 400+ lbs. 4 days a week. But at 74 and after shoulder surgeries on both rotators, the heaviest lifting I do is putting the saddle on my horse, lol.
Ranger,
I used to have a max bench of 315 and would do four sets of ten at 225 regularly. I stopped after my shoulders hurt so bad I couldn’t sleep on my sides. I think the free weight straight bar was messing us both up. Can’t do shrugs or dips any more either. Hindsight being 20/20 that was kinda stupid. Walking, push-ups, and sit-ups are about my speed these days. FYI...did you ever get on an exercise machine called a Jacob’s Ladder? It looks simple, but will kick your butt!!!
 

Ranger107

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Ranger,
I used to have a max bench of 315 and would do four sets of ten at 225 regularly. I stopped after my shoulders hurt so bad I couldn’t sleep on my sides. I think the free weight straight bar was messing us both up. Can’t do shrugs or dips any more either. Hindsight being 20/20 that was kinda stupid. Walking, push-ups, and sit-ups are about my speed these days. FYI...did you ever get on an exercise machine called a Jacob’s Ladder? It looks simple, but will kick your butt!!!
Not familiar with that one. My best ever was 490. Never could break 500, lol. After tearing 4 rotator muscles in my left shoulder Doc said if I did it again he probably couldn't repair them and I might lose use of the arm so backed off. Yep, in hindsight, not too smart, lol.
 

Niblick

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I run. I run alot. Skip rope. Ride ten speed, hybrid and mountain bikes for knees on days off from running.

Best way to get sized for proper fit for running shoes is to go to a local running shoe store. Digital sizing and digital pressure point foot strike to put you in a shoe for you. Proper running form takes stress off of joints. Remember these shoes are only good for 400 to 550 miles. Have new backup pair if you think they are wearing out. Your body and knees will also tell you if they wear out early. Keep track of mileage on them and get a good runners watch to keep you in the heart rate zone for your runs.
 

DWSmith

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The stationary bike sets off inflammation in my lower back in my sacroiliac. I think the right-left-right-left alternating motion of my legs pivots my lower back and sets it off. When I row the Jon boat I don't have that problem. I'm wondering if a rowing machine would be better for me. The rowing machine would have more forward-backward-forward-backward motion than the Jon boat so it might be just as bad as the bike.

Anyone else have this issue? Does a rowing machine cause you problems?

I'd hate to buy a rowing machine and have issues with it so I couldn't use it either.
 
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Zeno Marx

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You might have a problem with technique. Believe it or not, you can ride a bike incorrectly and cause damage. Same for the proper seat height. If you don't have it set properly, can can cause issues. Pedaling should be a smooth motion. If your upper body is swaying and dancing at all, you're putting stress on your core and knees. You don't want that. Your hips and core shouldn't move side to side, or much at all. They should be visibly static. It should all be push/pull in your quadraceps, hamstrings, and glutes. There are a lot of youtube videos on how to set your seat height and how to "make circles". Making proper circles is not easy, nor a natural motion, but it does become muscle memory with practice. I know. I know. It's riding a bike, and everyone knows how to do THAT. If you're doing it for exercise and a lot, you could indeed be doing it wrong and causing problems.

As for rowing machines, I've used them a bit. They're good for building strength in the lower back because while the core is strongly engaged, it is a controlled, strictly linear motion. Your body isn't jiving all over the place to compensate for any weaknesses in muscle groups or in technique. Well, there is a technique, just like with any motion, but you know. You could find a gym with rowing machines with a 3-day pass or week pass and give them a go.
 

DWSmith

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You might have a problem with technique. Believe it or not, you can ride a bike incorrectly and cause damage. Same for the proper seat height. If you don't have it set properly, can can cause issues. Pedaling should be a smooth motion. If your upper body is swaying and dancing at all, you're putting stress on your core and knees. You don't want that. Your hips and core shouldn't move side to side, or much at all. They should be visibly static. It should all be push/pull in your quadraceps, hamstrings, and glutes. There are a lot of youtube videos on how to set your seat height and how to "make circles". Making proper circles is not easy, nor a natural motion, but it does become muscle memory with practice. I know. I know. It's riding a bike, and everyone knows how to do THAT. If you're doing it for exercise and a lot, you could indeed be doing it wrong and causing problems.

As for rowing machines, I've used them a bit. They're good for building strength in the lower back because while the core is strongly engaged, it is a controlled, strictly linear motion. Your body isn't jiving all over the place to compensate for any weaknesses in muscle groups or in technique. Well, there is a technique, just like with any motion, but you know. You could find a gym with rowing machines with a 3-day pass or week pass and give them a go.
I'll keep this in mind but my problem is due to osteoarthritis. Had the lower back (and other locations) issue for years but the bike really sets it off.
 

Zeno Marx

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Maybe look into a Nordic Track. You butt your lower abdomen up against a pad, so it keeps your hips stationary. It would be very little stress on your problem area. Great cardio and leg workout, and your arms get hit as well, especially your triceps and forearms.
 
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