The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Staying fit and strong as we age > Comments

Staying fit and strong as we age : Comments

By Peter West, published 23/9/2008

Do steps ever bother you because they are too steep? Are you scared of slipping and falling in the shower?

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All
You write some interesting articles and I might offer an alternative point of view on some of the points you have made.

Like Many educationists, you are probably happy enough with the standard of education that most students receive .
Typically, the politicians are impressed by reasonably high literary and mathematical skills, but that alone is no indication of education.
Most students, particularly male, get almost no tuition in the areas that matter most, which is in their ability to communicate, especially with the female half of society and their own self esteem, confidence etc.

Schools have generally prepared students for their future work life and not much else.

If you read my education page from my website - you will note that I advocate a different approach.

I don't seek to denigrate teachers, but rather suggest that their knowledge can be put to better use by having them more available to the general population in terms of post school tuition.

I contend that students especially with so much educational material at their fingertips can better educate themselves in the ways that I outline.
Your general knowledge has no doubt improved considerably since using the internet.
Like millions of others you are educating yourself, and it is not in the typical classroom situation.

Find fault with my education ideas - if you can.

Posted by poetic, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 10:32:18 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I have read extensively on health and physical fitness over the years, and I have never read of any research that denigrates the fundamental necessity for exercise, regardless of age. Exercise lengthens both our useful life and extends our time here on earth. Exercise protects against type 2 diabetes, many forms of cancer, and almost all of the degenerative diseases. A properly planned exercise program - ie one that includes both strength and aerobic training - is an absolute necessity as we get older, and in my view no-one over fifty should be without a well laid out home gym, complete with lighting and music whether it is located in the spare bedroom or in the backyard shed.
Many commonly understood approaches to exercise are just plain wrong, emenating as they often do from half remembered instruction from boofheaded football coaches of yesteryear. Gardening is virtually useless, as is walking a small dog on a lead. In fact, walking in general is very much over-rated as an 'allround' exercise and casual strolls are of little benefit. You have to get into it with weights and aerobic machines - stationary cycling, rowing machines and the like - then take the dog for a walk to cool down. A well equiped gym for an older person should include a pin loaded weight machine, a stationary cycle, a rowing machine, and if possible a cross trainer machine.
Older people should also take the trouble (by reading for themselves - doctors are virtually useless here) to understand their own unique body chemistry and isolate foods that cause gout and many forms of arthritis - many arthritic problems are controllable by diet.
A library of well thumbed books on a variety of subjects is also essential as is these days an internet connection.
By adopting these lifestyle components you might well be spared the living hell of a full-care nursing home. It is well worth the effort.
Posted by GYM-FISH, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 11:08:53 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I'm an [aging] exercise prescription consultant, with a background in clinical road trauma rehab'. A programme must include strength, aerobic, flexibility, proprioceptive acuity [Google it] - or customised balance training [including supported/safe environment sightless {close eyes} training], hand/eye coordination, soft tissue and related joint range of motion, personally customised programmes and education. Shoulder girdle range is vital. Short reach = frequent use of step ladders, tragic falls. Strong core muscles are a must, ditto legs and proper lifting practices.

The most crucial advice I can give clients is what not to do. Do not accept the advice of a physiotherapist, without extreme skepticism. The ubiquitous answer is you'll need many of those $100 per 30 min sessions. You pay the same for a lie down and a hotpack. Only very cautiously accept any APA advice as they have a documented history of - justifiably, but excessively - discrediting "competing" disciplines. Would you pay $100 or more for a Pilates session? The APA wish you did, and if one sees a physio for the very same session one pays 4-5 times the amount. Politics = $$$.

Because the APA refuses to allow other clinicians to secure hydrotherapy qualifications, be wary of expensive recommendations - in fact avoid physios unless bedridden and unable to escape. Yes, they are good clinicians. No, they don't care for you - only your money. It's your call but please be very wary. Did they pass with 50% or 98%? As we age, we do not want dismissive brats being "secretive" about magic treatments. It's your body, not their investment. Demand education and ask why. Has Ultrasound been clinically proven? You'd be surprised. Aqua aerobics is an excellent option.

However, it is crucial to address the voodoo rubbish we see in pharmacy stores. They are award winners of trash and dangerously useless compounds. [See Australian Skeptics, Bent Spoon Awards]. Have absolutely nothing to do with "health food" cons. Anyone can hang a trendy sounding shingle and take your money. Exploiting gullibility is not illegal. Heck, John Edwards can talk to your dead friends - for a price.
Posted by Firesnake, Thursday, 25 September 2008 11:22:51 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Be cautious of recreation centres. The YMCA do not win tender contracts because they are good managers, or employ qualified staff; the opposite. Due to absurd religious tax breaks [only Israel and Hungary do the same], that include "commercial" interests they simply undercut every opponent, bidding to run a local gov' owned property. They pay no payroll tax, GST, FBT, CGT, stamp duty, rates or land tax and continually extend into other commercial arenas undermining competition. Stand up to this appalling monopoly and vote with your feet. Staff with hobby certificates, do not equal Applied Science degrees of 4 years duration - regardless of "standards". I repeat! Staff are not qualified to manage issues of age related prescription. Do not go there - period.

Osteopaths have sadly become peddlers of "alternative" medicine - curing cancer with lethal chelation therapy, chiropractors are frauds, acupuncturists have only the placebo effect and "ancient Chinese medicine" was whipped up to address the loss of real medicine after Mao destroyed his science community. Ancient? Try a few decades.

Please remember "alternative medicine" means "unproven to do what it says on the bottle". It has failed to reproduce the claimed effect. In a free society you are free to ruin your life, and there's armies of charlatans waiting for your gullibility and desperate need to turn back time. More so, many interact severely with real medicine that our aging community rely upon. Eg; St. John's Wort increases oxidation of many pain killers by 35%, leading to reduced pain relief, increased self medication and serious dependence or addiction. But hey - it's 'natural'. In fact the entire "detoxification myth" is our nations fastest growing scam.

The older we get, the more vulnerable we are to these predators who promise to cure everything, keep you young and make you rich - all in one go. They are banking [literally] on your independent wealth, and desperation. Please be very, very careful. Reflexology, "faith based" cures, Scientology, New Age woo-woo, anything and everything on Oprah.

The truth is, you're a giant target. Try your local community centre/neighbourhood house 1st.
Posted by Firesnake, Thursday, 25 September 2008 11:22:57 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Gymfish, your home gym requirements are exceptional, and mostly unnecessary.

Instead of an expensive and bulky weight machine a set of resistance tubes can provide good resistance training and can be hung on the back of a door. These are cheap, take up less room and have less potential for injury. For weights, a set of hand weights can provide for curls, upright rows and presses, and a few others.

A step - an ordinary household step, can provide the basis for a great low impact cardio workout and will strengthen the legs as well. If a set of steps is available these can provide a great basis for graduated push ups, the higher the step that the hands are placed on the less strength required, but with the exerciser 'pyramiding' as needed. Many people cannot do push-ups off the floor, but can do some good strength work in other ways.

A rebounder tramp, that can be leant against a wall when not in use, can provide indoor exercise, an exercise bike is a good addition, but is not absolutely necessary.

As you have noted walking is good exercise, and if we could just get 20% of the population leaving their cars at home for a short journey - say a click each way - to the shops or for similar journeys then the overall fitness level of the population would improve.

A full home gym isn't required, many people don't have the space, but people can still stay fit. When you tell people that they need an expensive home gym they are more likely not to bother at all.
Posted by Hamlet, Saturday, 27 September 2008 7:37:11 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
You make some very good points - by and large I agree with all that you say. However, I would argue that free weights are nowhere near as easy to use, or as efficient, as is a pin loading machine, and accordingly the machine is more likely to be used rather than collect dust as do most home gyms. In fact, I have both free weights and a compact pin loaded machine and I use both regularly. The rebounder is also an excellent cardio conditioner providing it is a good one, and good ones are becoming very hard to obtain. The rebounders commonly sold by supermarkets etc are too small and too tight and will very likely do more harm than good in the long run - especially to older legs. Boredom is also a significant factor, and for that reason I suggest a variety of equipment options.
As to room, I take the point - however I find it sad that anyone around retirement age (to whom my comments are generally directed) does not have about twenty square metres of space to call their own. After a lifetime in the work force, enough dedicated space for a compact gym seems to me to be a small and reasonable expectation!
One further point I would make is that almost all my gym equipment is second hand.
Posted by GYM-FISH, Saturday, 27 September 2008 11:28:41 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy