Here’s a quick and easy way to get a good sense of your fitness. See if you can climb up four flights of stairs in under a minute. If you can do it without stopping, you’re probably in good shape. If not, you may need to up your exercise routine. The idea comes from the authors of a recent study in Spain. The study tested how people’s bodies responded to brisk and sudden movement during an echocardiogram. They found that those who could handle the short bursts of movement had less of a risk of dying a premature death. The stair test isn’t a replacement for an echocardiogram, but the authors say it can give you a good idea of your overall fitness.
“I’m a little concerned because my mother, who just turned 80, doesn’t exercise much. She’s fairly mobile, but I fear her physical condition may deteriorate soon if she doesn’t get more active. Any advice?”
—Shirley D., Naples
D. Zac Lavoie of Pro Senior Fitness says: As we advance in age, we lose things we took for granted in our younger years, such as muscle mass, bone density and our ability to balance. Regular exercise and strength training can drastically slow these natural processes. However, beginning an exercise regimen can be a daunting task at any age. Oftentimes, health scares and noticeable physical declines are the catalyst for exercising. It’s important to encourage your older loved ones with a strong support system and remind them that regular exercise is an investment in their health rather than a solution to a problem. Exercise should be fun and rewarding. A loving nudge from a family member or a suggestion from a physician can sometimes be the driving force that is needed.
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FIVE Ways to Stay Fit in June
Saturdays Asanas at Ankrolab Join up at the new Ankrolab Brewing Co. in Bayshore for Revival Yoga Fitness Studio’s weekly session. facebook.com/ankrolab 1 Pickleball Fitness Finally, a fitness class tailored to pickleball players. Naples Personal Training hosts the sessions throughout the summer. [email protected] 4 Independence Day 5K Bring the family for a fun run to celebrate the Fourth at Hertz Arena. eliteevents.org 12 Beginner Swamp Walk Wade into the Old-Growth Bald Cypress Forest in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary for a mile-and-a-half walk. corkscrew.audubon.org 27 Eagle Lakes 5K Take a scenic run through Eagle Lakes Community Park in Naples. eliteevents.org
Stay cool in the heat
Summer is here—which means you may need to rethink your workout routine. Some of the advice is pretty obvious (avoid midday heat, seek shade, wear light clothing).
But here are a few tips that might not be as apparent:
- Prepare a little differently. Try a cool shower right before the workout. It’ll help prevent overheating. Also, be sure to hydrate well in advance in addition to during the workout.
- Chop up your exercise. Instead of an hourlong run, break up the exercise into maybe two half-hour segments at different points during the day.
- Go easy on yourself. Your body is going to heat up quickly, so maybe take it down a notch.
Make sure you’ve got a good grip
The number of dog-walking injuries has almost tripled since 2004, according to a study in JAMA Surgery. The most common: hip fractures.