Boomers, Exercise and Web Videos
Hey there Baby Boomers, are you getting your exercise advice from web videos? Choose wisely!
Many of us have gone to the doctor for our annual physical and been told that while we are generally okay, we need to exercise. Doctors rarely go into detail about what this means, so its up to us to decide what to do. We then go home and do a search on ‘exercise’ and a few other key words on our computers. This will turn up literally thousands of articles and videos; a truly overwhelming amount of information to assimilate. You may be tempted to just pick one and get started, but this can lead to problems.
For example, a recent article had the title, “Get In Shape, The Only 5 Exercises You’re Ever Going To Need.’ The author makes an excellent choice of the following exercises: squats, pull-ups, power cleans, planks and lunges.
This is a very good mix of upper body, core and lower body exercises. So you find the videos and start following along. If you are already in great condition, have a blast. But if you can’t do some of the exercises and your knees, back or other body parts start hurting, maybe this isn’t right for you.
Instead, start by being realistic about your current physical condition. Ask yourself a few simple questions and be honest with your answers.
• Do you have any previous injuries or conditions that impact your movements?
• What kind of shape are you in now?
• When was the last time you exercised?
• What do you want to achieve with an exercise program?
The answers to these questions can lead to better exercise choices. Someone who: has a desk job, is overweight, gets winded walking up a flight of stairs, hasn’t exercised since high school, and wants to look good for their 40th college reunion in six months, needs guidance. It’s likely that web articles and videos won’t adequately do the job. A consultation with a fitness professional is indicated.
Next, let’s consider a boomer: without physical limitations, who has average aerobic capacity from walking regularly, and is starting to notice declining strength. This person finds a bodyweight program to begin strength training. The program was designed for people in their 20’s and doesn’t include a discussion of age related modifications. It simply tells them to do the workouts 3-4 times per week to get results. With some difficulty, they are able to do most of the exercises. After the first two weeks, soreness and fatigue overcome the desire to be fit and the boomer stops. This kind of program needs to allow more recovery time for older people.
Boomers should apply common sense when starting or expanding their exercise program. Your answers to the above questions are the best clues to whether you should seek professional guidance. Be success oriented in your choices. Having an exercise routine that works for you will enhance the quality of your life. Remember that the best fitness program for you is one that you will actually do.