You Can Teach an Old Dog a New Trick

by Joan Jacobsen | August 22nd, 2012 | Fitness Expert

Being a senior (although I use the term loosely, as I don’t feel like one) and trying to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, prompts me to do quite a bit of research regarding exercise and nutrition. When an exercise fad or new workout routine is thrown into the mainstream, I try to see if it will benefit my aging body and creaking bones.

From Zumba, spinning, hot yoga, and the latest exercise equipment, the trend these days is good for us mature physically fit individuals who always relied on our bodies alone to get into shape. It seems as though the latest fad is getting back to basics, which I suppose is like basic training. Remember those push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks that we all had to endure in gym class? Trainers are taking note and using these in their routines once again.

It appears super machines have taken a back seat to traditional workouts. I’ve read that incorporating two sports into one is trendy now such as cycling and yoga (Cy-Yo) or Pilates and yoga. Pilates and yoga are very basic activities and have been around for many years, when combined as one, no equipment is required. Our mind and body are both essential as part of any fitness plans. I’ve always agreed that exercising the mind is just as important as getting the body into shape. With alzheimer’s and dementia on the increase, it makes perfect sense to do both.

Working out with buddies is also on the rise. “You will be more likely to do it,” says Dr. Larry Cheskin of Johns Hopkins Medicine. He goes on to write, “this is a form of accountability, and a good way to remember and carry through on your commitment to enhance your fitness and your health.” It can also provide a distraction for a boring task. Choose a buddy with similar goals and body type so that you can compare workouts, and who knows perhaps being competitive my push you a little harder.

There is some kind of exercise for everyone these days, and it may be worth your while to explore all of the possibilities that are available to you, no matter what you require. What may be beneficial for some may not be for others because of physical limitations. Know what your body needs to stay on course, and ask your doctor if you can and should perform a certain activity.

I get tired of doing the same routines and like to mix things up. I’m looking forward to taking a tai chi or yoga-pilates class and will hopefully find one nearby. I will not, however, dispose of my work out DVD’s, rowing machine, or Wii Fit because no one knows what the future will bring (as far as fitness goes). You know the old saying “what goes around comes around,” and you may just want to keep that treadmill that’s been collecting dust in the basement. Yes, get back to basics and try doing those chin-ups once again!


  1. lois says:

    Great article & great advice. Look at the hula-hoop???
    Keep on doing what you’re doing…..you’re on the right

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.