Enjoying the view from the ruins at Phellos, Turkey.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Kas, Turkey until December 8th.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Finike, Turkey for a one week stay starting December 8th.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Our preference is to die while still in good condition!

I hesitated to write this article because I don't want to come across as preaching. After all, we are far from perfect. But, I had an email from someone yesterday who said that this blog had motivated them to exercise more... and that's a good thing!

It's pretty common knowledge that exercise is good for you. And yet statistics say that most parts of the world don't treat exercise as the medical wonder drug that it is.

Check out some of these recent numbers (from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)...

  • Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity every day. 
  • Only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
  • Only 35 – 44% of adults 75 years or older are physically active, and 28-34% of adults ages 65-74 are physically active.
  • More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

It's also pretty common knowledge that life is finite. We are all going to die. Well, our preference is to die while still in good condition!

Most of our readers are in the 45 to 75 age group. So, some of you will remember the name Jack LaLanne. For those of you that don't, he was one of the first American fitness and nutrition "gurus". Jack died in 2011 at age 96. His family said that he had performed his daily fitness routine the day before he died!

Remember Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie fame? It was her birthday on August 23rd. She is now in her 90th year. She works out with weights for a half an hour every day and takes long walks. She's says that she is very active.

I have a personal friend whose father is a practicing dentist. At 95 years old, he is still a practicing dentist! Not only that, but he still rides his bike to the office. He used to run, but it became bad for his knees!

Now, of course some people live to a ripe old age and never do anything. But that's not the majority. And sure, genetics has a lot to do with it.

But exercise will increase your odds of dying while you're still in good shape.



Okay, half of you have probably already closed the window, but if you're still reading, here is what I think about exercise... (these are my personal opinions. You may not agree, and that's fine!)

You need to get your blood pumping. This means that you need to get out of breath to actually do your system any good. Going for a stroll is better than nothing, but not by much. You actually need to get your heart rate beating to 70% of it's maximum for a minimum of 20 minutes. Every day! You can do this by swimming, cycling, running, fast paced walking... any type of aerobic exercise.

The main reason I do this? Both of my grandfathers died of heart attacks in their mid to late 60's. Heart problems run in the male side of the family. My father was the oldest male in his blood line. He died at 81... of congestive heart failure.

You need to strengthen your muscles. Strength training can be done at ANY age. It's never too late. And strength training is the most beneficial thing for seniors regarding balance. And it prevents frailty. The one thing I never want to be called is "frail".

When we had a house, we had a nice home gym setup in the basement. A full workout machine, bench, free weights, and even a fancy elliptical machine. That was my workout place. Ruth was actually working at a health club at the time, so she stayed and did a workout after her shift.

Me, at age 42!

When I was 42 years old, I was in the best shape of my life.  I stayed in about that same condition until 2007 when we took up RV'ing. Then things declined over the years. We still did a lot of hiking for the aerobic exercise, but it wasn't as regular as it should have been. And the strength training was non existent. I noticed last winter that it was becoming more difficult to lift our 5 gallon water jug when it was full... and I didn't like the feeling! It's only in the past year that we've made an effort to improve in that area, and it's starting to pay off. 

And that's the other thing about exercise. You have to start off slow and you have to stick with it. It takes a minimum of 3 months of hard work at building muscles to actually start to see the difference. You will feel the difference fairly quickly as you can start to lift heavier weights as time goes on. But to start to see a physical difference in your body takes three months. So many people give up.

But once you're in a routine... you don't want to stop. That's one of the reasons we were so upset with the 14 day quarantine. We were in a routine, and we didn't want to stop.

There are so many benefits to exercise. Besides all of the proven physical benefits, I like the fact that it simply makes me feel better! 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's a good book to keep you motivated...



And in Canada...




22 comments:

  1. Totally agree Kevin. At age 85 and been a runner for 50+ years, the habit is ingrained. However I still have not formed a weight bearing routine, and the effects are becoming very evident. Thanks for the reminder to get my butt in gear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We remember you coming to visit us at Cabri and you were almost 80 and training for a half marathon. We thought that was fantastic and here you are still running. As we get older the more important the weight training becomes.

      Delete
  2. Can't agree more!!! Most fitness guru's tell you to just move. Always move. Sitting idle is just not good for you! Another reason I love my dog, he makes me go out and walk at least 5 times a day. Sometimes I grumble about it, but I have to do it. I also think alot of the health issues ppl have late in life are because they are not being active enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being active is definitely good for your health. I hope that at least one of those dog walks you are out on is at least 45 minutes at a good pace because that is important. Having a dog certainly makes it easier to be active though. :-)

      Delete
  3. I know exactly what you mean about exercise and not wanting to stop. Before I retired if I worked Seven Days a week I worked out Seven Days a week.
    We also had a Full Gym downstairs in our basement that we both used when we were home. It got rid of all the Aches and Pains and I never felt winded.
    Even while RVing I exercised but in the apartment this Shutdown has me slacking off. Time to get back at it.
    Be Safe and Enjoy keeping fit.

    It's about time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being "stuck" in an apartment is certainly a good time to get back at getting into an exercise routine providing of course that you have some equipment to work with or at least some exercise bands, that's what we use.

      It was super easy for us to stay active when we were out in the motorhome but it was all aerobic exercise, we weren't keeping up with our weight training exercises and of course as you get older it is very important for so many reasons to work on that. We hope that this has motivated you to get back at it. :-)

      Delete
  4. Definitely agree! We are 59 (me) and 66 (my husband), and do long bike rides 3-4 times a week, work out with light weights twice a week, I do yoga after my weight workout, and we walk seven days a week at a brisk pace. On the days we don't ride our bikes, we often do two walks, morning and evening! We both love to eat, and because of these routines, we are able to eat anything we like while remaining slim, though we tend to eat very healthfully (other than desserts!) We both hope to live well into our 90s, and like your quote says, not being able to exercise due to illness or whatever makes us unhappy! Love those Younger Next Year books. They are inspiring -- good recommendation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You both sound even more active than us, good for you guys. I know that you both do lots of biking but good to hear that you do a weight workout and yoga too. The weight training is definitely so important as we get older and we realize that we had been lacking in that department so hopefully we will keep up with it once we hit the road again. I really need to start doing yoga, I know that it has so many beneficial qualities!

      Delete
    2. Haha, I don't think anyone is more active than you two!

      Delete
    3. Lol, we are sure there a still lots of people more active than us out there! We just finished watching a show call the "Toughest Race - Eco Challenge" they are crazy active! No way we would be able to do that race!!!

      Delete
  5. I'm 73 and thought it was too late to get in shape and then recently came across Train With Joan on Instagram. She has You Tube videos too. Joan is 74, weighed 200 pounds 3 years ago and is now in better shape than many young people. She does mostly strength training and the difference is amazing. She actually does pushups! Seeing what others can accomplish is motivation for me and I have always admired how active you two stay with those really long hikes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I took a look at her Instagram page and wow, she is amazing. Finding someone like her is very motivating indeed, especially at her age. As you said, it is never too late to get in shape.

      I remember way back when we had our house and we used to watch "The Biggest Loser" and I found that very motivating. When I was working out or out jogging I would imagine Jillian standing behind me and pushing me to do more, lol.

      Delete
  6. You said it all. I do 6.5 miles a day, 45 minutes to an hour of weights and pushups. I like eating but we try to limit our choices. We don't eat out but maybe three times a month and that means Sunday tacos. We have smoothies every morning made of blueberries, strawberries, banana, ground flaxseed and almond milk. We fast Tuesday and Thursday after a light lunch and no alcohol those days. I did reduce my alcohol intake to half almost two years ago.

    If a person has never done exercise, they will see the fastest increase in weight loss and muscle gain in a short period of time eliminating all that water and toxins from their body not to mention just living better.

    I received notice today my cousin Ben Zarda passed away a week ago. He was 93. Active until the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, not only is exercise good for you but it is also important to eat good healthy foods. We have been working on lowering our alcohol intake as well. Too much of anything isn't always good for you!

      Sorry about the loss of you cousin but it certainly sounds like he lived a very good and healthy life especially if he was still active at 93.

      Delete
  7. Great Post... couple thoughts... When I took my son to Mayo for his second in life heart surgery. I had the opportunity to meet an entire team of the world's best heart docs. Heart troubles in the family, but what side do they come from? I learned quickly, the males take their mother's heart health where the females take their father's heart health, and these are for genetics purposes. Diabetes runs the same "as long as you are a reasonable eating person". Meaning of course, you're eating fairly healthy. I took what the great docs of Mayo taught me, and applied, researched and tested. In my family's case, their teachings were true. Besides a great exercise program, one has to feed their body well. And, as we age, our body slows production and even stops producing some vital things we need. This aging can be the pits, but what is even sadder, is those of us who exercise well, eat healthy, but fail at balancing our body's hormones. I am not talking about the female or male hormones, I am talking about all the other hormones our bodies rely on to stay healthy and live long happy lives. A Hormone Specialists with lab results can give someone their young adult life back with proper hormone balancing. It is so amazing the difference one will feel when they are in balance. People with diabetes are people with unbalanced hormones. Once they are balanced with exercise and hormones, their body actually corrects their diets. It is amazing but takes commitment. I share this link for you and your readers. https://www.hgha.com/blog/hrt/types-of-hormones-in-the-body/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some very interesting things you have mentioned here, especially when it comes to the heart troubles being on the female side. Whereas as number of Kevin's male relatives have died of heart issues yet the female side hasn't.

      Definitely staying active and eating healthy have a huge part in how you can maintain your health. The article you gave on the hormone balance is also very interesting and will require a little more research. We think the doctor's/scientists are always coming up with new and informative research when it comes to health, ageing and the body in general.

      Delete
    2. Yes, the heart was so very interesting. In my case, my son's heart defects actually came from "my" side, even though I, personally, after extensive studies by the Mayo doctors, my heart and all connections are excellent condition. However, on my "mother's" side of the family the heart issues are rampant. There is heart on both her father and mother side. So for my son, he received his heart defect from my mother's side and her she received her heart issues from her father's sides where her brother who died of a massive heart attack got his from my grandmothers side, which came from my great grandfather. When the Mayo doc boxed it out on paper, it clearly showed me and made total sense and in my family's case, mapped out exactly. So starting with Kevin, and "treeing" up, you'll should be able to trace the heart health of the family tree. His sisters would certainly have an increased risk, and on Kevin's mother's side - look for heart health among her parents and their parents. It is "parental" per the docs who took the time to show me and share valuable information about it. Basically, having two children with the same heart defect was very rare. My son and a daughter had the same. I asked the magic question if it was so rare how in the heck was it possible for me to have two children, with same heart defect. After tracing heart health on the family tree, I was astonished. My daughter's heart defect passed down through her grandmother's side (her father's mom). Where my son's passed down from my mother's father's side. It was a real eye opener.

      Delete
    3. One day when we have time, Kevin is going to have to look at his family tree and see what heart problems were on his mother's side of the family. We do know for sure that her father died from heart problems but her mother lived to be 98 years old.

      Delete
  8. A seasoned doctor friend has told me, "It's better to wear out than rust out".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We love that saying! The other saying we like is "Use it or lose it"!

      Delete
  9. I always keep moving..I'm the same weight as I was 50 some years ago...Gotta keep moving.
    I'm sorry to say, I think I read today that last Sunday Barbra passed away..
    I may be wrong....
    No couch tator here, well I do like baked-mashed-etc potatoes, with sour cream and butter when available....gravy....(;+)..nite....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you! I don't think many people can say that they are the same weight as they were 50 years ago and in some cases their weight might even be better than it was 50 years ago.

      Nope, Barbara Eden is still alive and well.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...