JODY HOLTON — Modifying your fitness routine & getting your best workout – Port Arthur News

As we have more birthdays, and our bodies change, some of the things we used to be able to do with ease have become more difficult, if not impossible.

It’s important to keep moving, but more importantly, adapting what you’re doing to changes in your body. Last week we looked at some of the trains that should be dropped. This is the second in a two-part column. This week we’re going to look at the exercises that will work best for you and that you should incorporate into your fitness routine.

There are a variety of great exercises that you can do in or outside the gym. The following four offer the most benefits with the least risk of injury.

Walking: This is one of the most important activities for people because of the amount of time they sit. It gives you everything you’d expect from an exercise

  • It picks you up from your chair or sofa.
  • It’s a natural movement that promotes good posture, with your shoulders back and your lumbar spine in the correct position.
  • It gives continuous work to the muscles and connective tissue that are responsible for stabilizing your feet, ankles, knees and hips.
  • It burns calories. The more you go, the faster you go. The more hills and stairs you climb, the more you burn. It’s also an exercise that you probably can’t get a lot of from.

Is Running On A Treadmill As Good? Not really, a motorized treadmill does too much of your work for you. You need to raise the tread a few degrees to handle the exertion of walking on level ground.

Most importantly, using a treadmill takes away one of the greatest benefits of walking: going outside, where you can enjoy the sun and fresh air.

Squats: Unless you spend a lot of time on stairs or hills, walking isn’t going to do much to increase your lower body strength or maintain vital muscle tissue that disappears with age and inactivity. This is where the squat comes in.

It’s a simple exercise – you push your hips back like you were sitting in a chair, then straighten your hips and knees as you return to the standing position – with myriad variations.

If you belong to a gym, you’ve likely seen a number of them starting with the incredibly strong young men crouching down with hundreds of pounds on their backs. Obviously, this is not the right choice for you. (Or for anyone who is not young and injury free.)

It’s best to start by leaning back until your butt hits a box or bench that is about 18 to 24 inches high. From there, you just get up and repeat.

Just make sure to start the movement by pushing your hips back instead of bending your knees and shifting your weight over your toes. Your feet should stay flat on the floor while your chest stays up and facing forward. If you have to make it harder, hold a dumbbell just under your chin with both hands.

Pushups: This exercise works the same muscles as the chest press, but it also stretches them while working the core muscles to stabilize your upper body and protect your lower back.

Not many older people can do traditional push-ups with their hands and feet on the floor. Fortunately, raising your hands on a box, bench, or step can make it easier without losing any benefits. a kitchen counter; or even a wall.

Rowing and Lat pulldown: As with squats, there are many ways to do rowing. But the most common thing you’ll see in a gym is the row of seats with a wired machine. It’s usually part of a device that includes a lat pull-down station.

For both exercises, the movement is pretty simple: use the muscles in your upper and middle back to pull a bar against your chest. Keeping it in this position by squeezing your shoulder blades together, return to the starting position and repeat the process.

These exercises are just an example. People often underestimate what older people can do. Sometimes the seniors fall short by sticking to the simplest exercises when there are so many better options.

But remember what many have found out the hard way: Just because an exercise is easy doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

As always, before starting or changing your fitness routine, consult your doctor. Get off the sofa and take the step to a healthier life.

Jody Holton writes about health for Port Arthur Newsmedia. She can be reached at

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