UBC – Day 27
Exercise for Seniors
I know that to improve our health we must exercise more. However, I am disappointed at the offering for ageing people. Let me explain.
I am what is often referred to as a senior, elder or just old. I have lived three score years and ten (plus a little more!)
As I move in this cohort, I am surprised at a lot of things. In some ways, it is no surprise, as our politicians and public servants have not reached this part of their lives. Most are under 65 – and probably don’t feel that they are ageing. They ignore the fact that there are two choices – AGEING OR DYING.
I know there are clubs, gyms, and the like, where for a fee (usually), one can work with others on some form of exercise. Often these sessions are more for the young and fit – those men and women dressed in tight gear, often not the type of garb that seniors are comfortable in.
Outdoor Gym Equipment
Often in parks, there is an array of gym equipment, but I wonder if it is suitable for older members of our communities. What exercise do older people want? I should do some more research, but I can guess that much of the “popular” exercise programs are not necessarily suited for seniors, who often suffer from a health problem, an old injury or arthritis.
My arthritis doesn’t allow me to walk too fast. If I am not careful, I am likely to fall, and often on return home, I need a massage and rest for a few days to recover!
There’s a video below, with two younger folk telling viewers how to exercise. You know what? I’d rather someone near my own age show me what’s possible, but I can’t imagine spending much time alone doing these moves. Boring.
Recycled Rubber Pathways
I think walking is good, but these days most walking is done on cement or hard pathways. In China and Korea there a recycled rubber walking tracks. It means that seniors can get out and enjoy the outdoors and exercise with some safety. It’s rare to see such pathways in Australia. there are also safe riding tracks – something that is becoming more popular in Oz.
Early in the morning in parks all around China, seniors are out doing Tai Chi or similar. No, here we have to do our exercise indoors, although I see a growing use of the outdoors for gym work.
Do you want to dance?
Ballroom dancing is common with seniors in China too. I was amazed when I first saw it as it is common during the day – though often in strange places. Under bridges, you might find large groups of elderly folk enjoying dancing. I’ve seen groups in Nanjing Road, the main shopping mall in Shanghai, and I’ve seen a huge group near the great wall of Xi’an dancing.
And you can see from this video of dancing in Shanghai, that you don’t need a partner, and you don’t need to dress up.
And here’s another….
What about a swim?
Sometimes it is so much easier to do exercise in a pool. So, more encouragement for this type of exercise. It works for me.