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Thursday, 01 August 2019

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This bit of advice (https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2u4h7f/terry_crews_back_again_on_reddit_ama/co52d5s/) from Terry Crews has changed my approach to exercise. For the last two years I go to the gym every morning. Some days I just plan to stretch if I'm sore, but by going I on that sore day I ensure I'll go the next. And I usually find I do some sort of exercise beyond what I planned on. The only exceptions I allow myself is when I'm sick and don't want to make others sick, and when I know I'll do enough work on the house or yard to exhaust me.

So stick to your plan and make it a habit, but don't overdo things. I'd also recommend varying your exercise so you don't get bored and you work your whole body (but don't make your shoulders worse).

For me, the key to taking my medicine regularly, so to speak, is to add a spoonful of sugar to it.

Which means I very rarely take my exercise walks alone. Instead, I bring along my dog and my camera/tripod, which magically turns them into photo outings, and who doesn't enjoy those? 8^)

Speaking of pushups, I started doing them a few years ago pretty regularly because of photography. Not a lot, but enough until my form broke down, and then I stopped for that day. It's important to do it correctly so you're actually strengthening what you want to strengthen, and not putting stress on some part of your body that can't handle it over the long term.

The reason I started doing them was because my back ached whenever I used my gripped full-frame DSLR and some prime lens while I was crawling around on the floor of a dance studio. The pushups fixed that problem pretty quickly, and today I regularly use two gripped DSLRs, one with a prime, and another with a 70-200/2.8-class zoom, with few physical problems. I'm sure at some point my body's weaknesses will catch up again, but not today.

There is an old joke about this too: how do you know when you're a masters (ie. older) athlete? When it takes you longer to warm up and recover than it does to do the activity itself. The cumulative effort so far of 5 years of pushups vastly outweighs all of my shooting time, but it's also worth it!

It's a common error to think you need to do as many push-ups as possible. That does nothing to your muscles, save for some pain the next day.
Push-ups should be approached as any other bodybuilding exercise. Ideally one should start with three series of 8-10 repetitions and work their way up to 15-20 reps, increasing the latter progressively. (Say 8 reps in the first month, 10 the next and so on.)
Then there's the technique. Push-ups must be done slowly, not at the pace of a mating rabbit. The more you spread your hands apart, the further you'll work your chest; if you bring your hands together, you'll be exercising your triceps.
Being an exercise like any other, it goes without saying one must take proper care with warming up and stretching the muscles before performing push-ups. This is essential in order to prevent injuries.
Walking is OK, but not as good or effective as jogging. It should be done at a fast and steady pace, but even so it will never oxigenate your organism as a run will.
At 62, and seemingly without a sporting record, chances are any kind of exercise will tire you, so take it easy. You can alternate running and walking if you decide to jog, and you're not obliged to have the muscles of Sly Stallone. Do it calmly, in the knowledge that progresses take their time.

I love your propensity for suggesting year long exercises in building habits and skills...

I tell people I tried exercise once and it didn't work.

BUT~~ look after your shoulders.
I shattered my upper humerus and tore the rotator cuff to pieces; it was plated and the fragments screwed together; that quickly broke apart and I wound up with a reverse total shoulder replacement. After a year of physio I have <50% range of motion and residual pain if I do much of anything with that [dominant of course] arm. It won't get any better.

Many decades ago, I decided that I should be able to do 50 pushups without a break. I could do ten or twelve. I slowly worked up to 50 over about two months. Everything was fine. Except that after a week or so of maintaining 50 pushups per day, I started to get tennis elbow in both arms. Very painful.

So even though I did everything carefully and without injury about working up to 50, apparently my elbows just can't sustain that stress level.

Thanks for the great advice.

My advice to you: buy higher quality dog food. You will not need nearly as much. The hardware-store (and supermarket) brands have lots of filler. People want to see giant bags with low prices. The downsides (besides having to find someone to carry the bags) are that you have to feed much more of the stuff, your dog will poop much more, you will -- in the long run -- have more and higher veterinarian bills to pay, and your dog will not be in his/her top health.

Check out the Whole Dog Journal for food recommendations and/or find a pet food store in your area that only carries the good stuff and get advice from the staff there. Some clues that it is the good stuff are smaller bags with higher prices and feeding instructions that are lower in quantity.

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/category/food/

If there aren't any high-quality pet food stores in your area, the big pet-food chains (such as Petco) have some better brands amongst the large selection of low-quality brands. Always transition a dog to new food gradually. A week of 75% old and 25% new (proportioned based upon the feeding guidelines on the package), then a week of 50/50, then a week of 25/75 -- or more gradually if there are any digestive issues.

Stop carrying around giant bags of filler/poop. Respectfully submitted for your consideration. Best regards.

Hi Mike,

Your post made me go hmmmm.
I'm 68. Last September 10th I had a myocardial infarction. Angioplasty saved the day and me. Dr Gallino at Washington Medstar in DC fixed me. He is highly recommended if you are ever in need of his services.When I asked the cardiologist that I follow up with to show me what artery it was that had the 99% blockage, he smiled at me. I thought that was a bit strange and said just show me on one of those plastic heart models which one. He smiled again and said, "You had the widow maker".

That made me shut my mouth.

In the cardiac therapy that I attended for 36 sessions three times a week, it was all about cardio exercise.

I didn't lose any weight. But my body fat percentage went from 33% to 26%. I felt better than I ever had. My blood pressure was hanging around 112 over 64.

I thoroughly believe that the cardio did wonderful things and that all of us should be far more active.

I did that with a bum right knee. Had surgery in 1972 that removed the meniscus on the inside of the joint. I once consulted a doctor that also did work for a baseball farm team. The x-rays showed us that on that left side of my right knee I had no cartilage. So I have a bone-on-bone situation

So it's hard for me to walk more than a mile. But I do it and then ice down the knee. Rotator cuffs? Both of mine are shot. But I can still do pushups with my knees touching. About three sets of 12 every other day or three days. I give them time to rest. Planks on the days in between.

Funny thing. When I was working overseas in 2014 I decided to lose weight. I went from 245 to 207 in about 6 months. When I got back here in 2016 I gained back to about 220 over two years. I had just started to lose back down to 214 when I had my attack. I can describe how that felt but this is too long already.

What caused it? Saturated fat consumption. I was eating too much whole fat dairy and sweets.

Gallino said the blockage I had was probably 8-10 years in the making.

Sorry this is so long winded but I just wanted to impress upon you the idea of staying as active as you can.The cardiologist I'm seeing looked at me on my last visit and said, "I want two things from you. Don't gain weight, and exert yourself".

I'm a believer.
Hope you find a way to bust your butt.

After decades of running including two half-marathons, one whole marathon and a bunch of ten-ks, I quit. Because people I knew who pushed themselves to run more years than human knees and hips are designed for were learning about orthopedic surgery and joint replacement. Academically interesting medical miracles but not if I am the subject.

I started walking outside and riding a stationary bike inside.

"I don't like walking because it takes so long" I once told a friend. But now I love it because I love being outside -- even in winter. And podcasts. If I ran just 30 minutes instead of walking almost two hours a day I'd miss all the great podcasts available today.

We change. We adapt. And we learn.

Mike, I feel your pain.......
I have had recurrent shoulder pain for a couple of years. I usually injure it doing some kind of physical work. So far the best relief I have had, is a combination of acupuncture and Shiatsu. 4 or 5 sessions and I was good for a year. I just injured it again having a chandelier for my daughter. You'd think a light would go on while doing such things.....
I just started therapy today.

I grew up in a military family. My dad "suggested" that everyone be able to do 50 push ups and 50 sit ups per day, minimum. I am 63 and still do my 50/50 every morning before breakfast. Habits are powerful.

I have not missed a swim practice with my USMS Masters Swim team yet this Summer. I don't want to disappoint our coach, Ian Crocker (google?). I swim seven days a week. My son, Ben, and I try to get in two or three long runs per week. I also do photo walks through downtown. Can't imagine life without fitness.

No aches or pains of any kind.

Discipline is the difference between getting stuff done and wanting to get stuff done.

Nothing beats the chagrin and shame of an unused treadmill. The more expensive it was, the more exquisite the shame. Highly recommended!

(You won't even think about those 50 lb bags of dogfood anymore if you place the treadmill where you will see it every day).

I am almost 74. I have been doing exercises from HASFIT.COM for the last two years. Their attitude really helps. I recommend them highly. They have exercises for all kinds of conditions and purposes.
https://hasfit.com/
Steve

I try not to give advice. Mainly because it's a waste of time and energy.

So instead, I'll tell you what this eighty-year-old did and does. When I was in high-school I was on the wrestling team—twenty-five years later I could still do one hundred sit-ups without breaking a sweat. Today, I still have strong abs and legs. I love walking, and still do several miles every day.

Even while laying in a hospital bed, I can still do Dynamic Tension® exercises. BTW this isn't advice, it's just what I do.

Reminds me of living on a small VT lake, and thinking if I swam every day through the fall, that I would be acclimated to the gradual change in the water temp, and so could go on till the New Year. Felt like a no-brainer to me. What I didn't figure on were my moods, howling cold winds from Canada, choppy waves, and late night partying. I may have gotten to the end of Sept. Years later, a poet friend immortalized my effort as one that went till the lake froze over. Poetic license, he said.

Mr. Mike,
Nothing will make you do anything unless you love it and can't wait to do it again......remind you of anything? My wife and I have been walking in the woods for forty years and do it every day because it is the place we love and it gives us everything we need to help us with the day. Yes some things still hurt and won't go away until your mind takes you to that lovely walk in the woods another day.

I have a small studio apt I offer out for a pretty reasonable rate. A co-worker aged 72 rents it. He is big into exercise via crossfit etc. He will tell everyone how important this is. Ok I kind of agree but when you do dead lifts at age 72 and near handicap yourself for 2-3 months because you bit off more than you can chew and can barely walk there is a problem. Oh twice said person has done this. Too much of a good thing ya know?

Having been brought up out in the sticks where hard physical labor was the norm even for young punks, we would still do such trivial things as pushups and at school lift weights. Living out where physical strength was part of being a boy (back in the days when we knew what a male was and what a female was), and before we understood ourselves as being bitter clingers and deplorables, as defined by the deplorable, such things were nothing special and for me developed into a life long habit if not a healthy addiction.


You know what your problem is, so just stop doing it. Stop over doing it. Intentionally underdo it until you get used to it. Then still do not overdo it. It is simple discipline.

Allow me to give a photography related example. Many clain digital cameras make them go into spray and pray mode, to be unable to stop themselves from shooting of a hundred images of their lunch when with film they could slow down, contemplate, consider Kant, and slowly sqeeze off one pefect shot. Well, they can do the same with digital. Just control yourself and tske one photo. It ain' hard, it is self-discipline.

I never did any exercise seriously, at least since I was 16 or 17 years old. By the time I was 55, I started developing irregular pain in this joint or that, a weak knee, a lower back pain. So at 56, I started regular yoga, which helped a lot--in fact it was like a magic in curing these pains and aches. But reaching 62 I realized I needed to prevent my muscles from atrophying any further. So I started going to the gym and doing weights (on resistance machines) and to build up slowly. Now I am nearly 65 and I can easily to 10 pushups (even though I have a rotator cuff injury on one shoulder) while two years ago I could do no more than one or two pushups. I think I feel better than I did even 20 years ago.

Mike, at (ahem) our age (56 for me), the trick is to worry about the input not the output. Long-term, regular exercise is what is required, not specific measures of ability. I have a sedentary job. So my exercise goal is to attend at the gym three days per week, every week (illness excepted). I'm not a morning person, so I go at 8 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 10 am on Saturdays. How much I achieve on any given day doesn't matter very much because anything is better than nothing, and, small increases in ability can amount to a lot when measured over decades instead of weeks. I suggest working with a trainer to learn groups of exercises suitable for you, which you can work on alone for a period before going back to the trainer. Don't do too much of anything, or push harder than your limits allow, or you will injure yourself, and become bored. But do what you are able to do. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. For the rest of your life.

When we were dating 25 years ago, my then girlfriend (now wife) one day called me “jelly belly” . Over time I had gained weight, wasn’t exercising and eating all the wrong foods. Changed my diet, bought a Nordic track, and have been exercising weekdays for 30min ever since. Lost 30 lbs, arthritis is manageable, and it’s just part of my routine in the morning (5:30am start) - am 65. Nordic track is low impact, exercises both upper body and legs, just takes a bit of getting used to at first. No sore muscles but you definitely work up a sweat. Just do it....

Your comments about the 50 pound bags reminds me of the time I walked out of a hardware store with my son, and smacked a pile of 75 pound sand bags, remarking, "I just can't get over how much a 75 pound bag of sand weighs..."

With best regards,

Stephen

Mike, Could you possibly take one of your cameras out with you on your 15-minute walk? We’d be interested in any good shots you might come upon...

I wasn't going to chime-in on this subject. There's nothing I could say that would likely change your thoughts or behavior on the subject at age 62.

But I do feel compelled to comment on what Jeff1000 said as a featured comment: "Hey Mike, pushups are basically just upside down bench presses using your body weight for resistance." While this may seem mechanically true it's not fully accurate. "Push-ups", as it turns out, are far more valuable than simple arm/chest strength builders. The basic position required for a push-up is known as a "plank" which is excellent for toning your abdomen (good belly fat burner), keeping your lower back muscles in shape, and your butt in shape, too. Even if you don't actually do full-blown push-ups raising yourself and holding a plank position repeatedly several times for some seconds (either a full plank or a half to the knees) is extremely valuable a few times each week. Even more valuable to a sexagenarian than the strains of pumping true push-ups.

BTW, Let the kid at the store keep schlepping your bags.

You are approaching, but not yet quite there, the point when exercise is no longer a choice. If you don't want to effectively be homebound, you've got to do it. I passed that point a couple of years back. Okay, four years, but the first two, I didn't do anything about it.

The first rule of older exercise is: don't hurt yourself. Old people don't recover from injuries the way young people do, and if you hobble yourself, the following period of inactivity will be a killer.

Most exercise guys and body-building routines suggest x mount of weight for y amount of reps, and when that gets easy, increase the reps until you get to 15 or 20, then up the weight. For me, that's a prescription for getting hurt (I mean, what do you think is going to happen if you keep increasing the weight?) Rule #1: don't hurt yourself.

I hate formal exercise, but I do it because, as I said, I no longer have a choice; or, rather, I do. I can continue to lead a fairly active, normal life, or I can slowly slide into a home-bound situation. My exercise consists of a round of selected yoga exercises shortly after I get up in the morning -- several stretching exercises, followed by a two-minute "plank" for core strength.

Three days a week, I do a round of selected machine weight exercises at a gym. On the four when I'm not lifting, I ride a Peleton bike for 30 minutes, and ride pretty hard. I lift very carefully -- machines instead of free weights, because while free weights do have some advantages for younger people, machines, done correctly, are less likely to hurt you (see rule #1.)

Exercise is easier when you have no choice.

Addendum: One thing I've heard quite a few times. You know where you get six-pack abs? In the kitchen, not the gym. You have do crunches all day and still be fat.

Mike,

I've long been the same way (overdoing exercise, then quitting). But I realized that it was largely because I had no way of calibrating what I could or should be doing. So I would pick a random goal that seemed reasonable, but actually wasn't. Training with a heart rate monitor completely changed that. Get one (I like the Wahoo TICKR if you want a chest strap or the Garmin Forerunner 35 if you just want a watch). That way you can easily calibrate what heart rate "zone" you want to be in, keeping you from exercising too little OR too much. Exercise immediately became both pleasant and sustainable, because I was at a lower (but still beneficial) intensity level.

All the best,
Adam

Milo of Croton is the classic story of Ancient Greece that teaches how to build strength. Milo carried the same calf on his shoulders from it's birth until it became a full sized cow. This very gradual increase in weight allowed Milo to build strength without injuring himself.

Working at home is a trap. I ride my bicycle to work, it's just part of the habit... even when I'm sick, I can usually do those 5km without too much suffering. On the way home... I can ride further, or not. The important thing is that I get on the bike, and after a few kms, I know if I'm actually tired: this may be unrelated to how I felt sitting at my desk.
Spinning is a way of making exercise... exercise. Riding to work, or to town, or even up and over the hills on the other side of town, is a way of making exercise part of life. For me, it's better.
Maybe find a favourite café or other destination that you want to visit a few times a week, start while the weather is good, and see if the desire persists when the weather turns bad.

Some extra benefits it seems from just walking.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjOn5icheTjAhVWMd4KHWLkBDwQzPwBegQIARAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Flifeandstyle%2F2019%2Fjul%2F28%2Fits-a-superpower-how-walking-makes-us-healthier-happier-and-brainier&psig=AOvVaw2k67UbWzTnsgCqqqTXIpyY&ust=1564830286583412

Walking is wonderful - if you can do it. i've always been a walker; always enjoyed walking, and have been an occasional 'serious walker' - up to 15 miles across open country, including hills. I'm fortunate enough to live on the edge of one of the UK's National Parks, and since I retired I've enjoyed the occasional 10 or 12 miles across the hills. (Plus of course the daily 30 minutes.)

About 10 to 12 years ago i started having horrible achilles tendinitis problems. Eventually a physio showed me the right exercise, and for 9 years i've no flare-ups. Then at the end of May this year it's started again, and since when i've been very restricted. You mustn't force yourself with this problem - the only solution is rest, ice, compression and elevation - so i've done practically no walking for the last two months. My weight is going up, my fitness is going down, and i'm getting very depressed about it all.

Walking is such a simple activity, we do it without thinking, but suddenly not being able to it.....

I am required (by two doctors) to walk 10,000 steps a day. I have been doing this for several years, rain or shine, heat or cold. I do much of my walking in local nature reserves and combined with my photography it makes the kilometres go by easily. If I don’t reach my goal for a couple of days, I do notice it. But I have managed to keep the average above 10,000. I highly recommend Olympus MFT cameras for those rainy and cold days. They can take a lot of abuse.

. . . and yet you have excellent food discipline . . . there's hope!!!

I gym for 20 mins thrice a week, working on weights to build upper body. In my work, I naturally walk a lot. On a good day I would exceed 10,000 steps, but 7,000 to 9,999 is more the norm.

I'm a bit lazy when it comes to exercising so I don't try too hard. Just do a bit for fun.

I need the gym for mental health, so it's been a steady part of my life. Also, at 52 I feel like I'm building the body that's going to take me the rest of the way. I swim, and it's the best thing for me.

This is what I tell people who want to get back into it: low and slow, but go. Keep your weights low if you lift, run slower than you think you should, but go 5 days a week. It's the habit that will get you there, not 3 weeks of overly intense exercise.

When I checked my BMI and found I had crept from overweight to obese, I was like "heck no!" (Actually it was another 4 letter word, but, children might be present). Some say "BMI is a bad tool for athletes and some body types" I'm no athlete! And, even if it's not "perfect" its close enough to be useful, for me.

I used an app to track my food/calories and increased my walking. I bumped the walking up in increments to hit 10k steps a day from 3500 steps. I've been doing a one minute plank with as many push-ups as I can do in the first 30 seconds. Which has gone from 10 to 25 sometimes 30 in the last 6 months. (I am going to try to slow them down and still do 25 in the whole minute). I do the 1 minute thing 2-3 times per day. In that way I get 50-80 push-ups a day. I walk because I loathe any other form of exercise. Like another commenter, podcasts make walking at least tolerable. That and photos or picking up litter. I'm not about to try going to the gym and killing myself. I don't want to impress anyone, I just want to avoid diabetes and the complications from it. Plus I like wearing slimmer clothing. Apparently, regularly eating better and moderately exercising has a side effect of losing excess weight? Why haven't we been told this before??

After a little over a year, I'm now at the high end of "normal" BMI for my height and age. I want to lose another 5-10 pounds to have some cushion on the BMI scale. I've developed new habits so I don't see significant weight gain in the future. I hope.I continue to track my food in a notebook. It keeps me honest.

I like that you've started from where you are, and you're moving forward at a pace that makes sense. Keep on truckin'!

Hey Mike,

I've been dealing with trying to get more active. I was a multi-sport athlete in my teens and twenties, and although my body has aged well, my 20-something brain gives my nearly 60-muscles commands that it just can’t do, and sometimes to the detriment of those muscles (torn bicep, tennis elbow, quad and calf strains…). So, while I love the HIT programs, I’ve scaled this back. I do cardio on an elliptical trainer, I do substantial walking with the fiancée to help with both exercise and love, and I’ve been doing Pilates (and now the fiancée has joined me). The Pilates is not inexpensive, but it’s really helping me with not hurting myself with the other forms of exercise, and I’m noticing recovery is much quicker from some of my more physical farm chores. The Pilates is great for me because I don’t stretch nearly enough on my own, so going and getting exercise focused on lengthening and strengthening muscles is awesome.
I do give myself breaks when my body tells me to, but I’m feeling much better. Now to transition to that whole plant-based diet thing…

My recommendation is "cross train" - I bike and swim. These are "rotational" activities, not "impact" activities. It also helps keep you from the tendency to over-train at one thing, gives you options when the weather is bad and so on. Ideally, I hope to fit some low weight, high rep, weight training into the swimming-biking mix. Good luck!

Mike, you have talked about diet in the past also. IMHO, exercise and diet are very similar - variety and moderation are the watchwords. I'm 73, take no medicine, other than I like a nightcap of Jack Daniels. I spend most of my time at the computer for my job and that's a deadly job. So here is my opinion.
1. Get up and move regularly. Never sit more than 45 minutes before you get up and move, stretch and relax the muscles. Getting a drink or cup of tea is a good excuse.
2. Take longer walk breaks at least 3 times a day. I do a 15 minute walk after breakfast, 20 minute walk to the postal box in the afternoon and 45 minutes in the evening. That's about 4 miles per day.
We've been walking as exercise all our life, which has been easy since we've lived in urban areas much of the time. When we lived on the farm, we would drive 10 miles to the nearest small town to walk since walking at night on the farm was not a good idea (rattlesnakes, coyotes, bats, and pitch-black outside.) Be careful of hills - that can be high impact. I've injured ankles and my plantar fasci walking DOWN, not up, steep hills.
3. Do low impact exercises when you wake up. I do 15 minutes of stretching, weights (small ones, low stress) and special back exercises (I have had back problems for 30 years that I control with exercises) every morning before I get dressed.
4. Get some of those soft squeeze things for your desk to exercise you hands to prevent hand/wrist problems. I have one that looks like a brain, another looks like a piece of granite.
Don't try to do high impact exercise, esp. at an older age, without the help of a physical therapist. I used to depend on chiropractors for my back until I found they stressed my body beyond its limits.
Don't think a gym will help. I know people who joined gyms thinking the guilt of having paid for it will encourage exercise - didn't work. Same for exercise machines. There's a big market for used. - or more appropriately unused - ones.
And when it comes to diet, eat moderately following Michael Pollan's advice - don't eat anything your grandma would not recognize as food - processed foods really are evil. Walking around a farmer's market is dynamite - kills two birds with one stone.
And finally, remember that free advice is worth what it costs!

Mike have you ever considered that maybe you take life and the whole living experience a bit too seriously for your own good,chill out man nobody gets out alive,exercise if you get pleasure from it otherwise leave it alone,live fast,die young as they say, because basically nothing you do will make any difference to the final outcome.
It has been my experience that the people who worry about diet, exercise,etc are the ones who seem to have the most health complaints throughout life.Take the easiest path you can through life and try not to dwell on things you should do, or should have done, nobody cares and neither should you.

Might want to look into hot yoga. No injuries. Flexibility. Strength. Heart rate. Breathing. Discipline. Toning. But it is very hard (at least for me).

Mike, I've never been able to do any exercise for exercise's sake alone. The only way I've managed to get any significant amount of exercise is by linking it to other goals or rewards.

Walking is terrific exercise, but I only get lots of walking every week by walking for all my errands. And I ride a stationary bike, but I've sworn a pledge to watch my favorite TV series only when I'm riding the bike. That's how I watched hundreds of terrific hours of TV. I'm excited about the new season of "Glow," but I'll only be able to watch it while I keep my heart in tip-top shape.

A few years ago when I was in my 50s I fell off a skateboard trying to teach the neighbor kid a trick and got a torn rotator cuff on the right side. I couldn't hold my Canon 1Ds up to my eye for more than a few seconds. Couldn't ride my bike. Not good at all. The silver lining was that I bought a Sony DSC R1 because I could hold it. Great camera but didn't really make up for the general level of suckyness.

When I was in my late teens I did 200 - 300 squats a day because I was doing freestyle skiing and took a rather brute force approach. My style was described as suggesting helicopters colliding in mid air. By my mother. I moved to the east coast for college and quit skiing ( You call that snow?" , "you call that money?" ) The absolutely massive legs lasted for 15 or so years, the crummy knees are forever.

Try riding a real-world bicycle. It actually can be fun, unlike the kind that stays bolted to the floor of a gym. If traffic is too daunting on your side of the lake road truck it to some other basically level area to start. Low stress, works only a limited set of muscles, but it’s easy on the knees and can raise the heart rate to a modest elevated level and keep it there for the requisite 20 or 30 minutes. Most important, it’s enjoyable. Really.

Fortunately, you don't play any high risk instrument dayly, such as the violin, the cello, or piano (I think trumpet is within, but I'm not so sure).

What you have is similar to what violin players get. But violin players have it worse : the can not hold any weight, and the 90 degree posture kills them.

For us the cello players, arms and, specially, forearms are the killers.
It is very scary when you smash a glass to the ground because the tendons just won't work. Your brain is consciously sending the signal of "fetch or grab", but your hand does not fulfill the command.

At my age, 70, I like to walk daily at least one hour. Or alternate it with one hour of stationary bike (mainly when weather is too bad, wet or to hot like in this summer here).

A small camera and/or music in the headphones help to make it agreeable.

And if for any reason (laziness?) I do not do it for a few days a feel the difference, I feel less ready to work, less concentration, more heavy.

By the way when walking I get (sometimes) idea for my photo projects, ideas to develop later.

This makes it good for me!

How do you get the dog food out of your car and into your house?

You might consider looking at one of the 7-minute workout apps. The one I use is 7 Minute Workout Challenge (search for 7 MWC), but there are dozens out there.

You do ten different exercises that require no equipment (a couple of them need a chair), and do them for a fixed amount of time (30 seconds), with a fixed amount of time in between each (10 seconds). The apps all tell you when to start and stop, so you're not (as) tempted to do too much, as you have to get on to the next exercise. When the last exercise is complete, you're done.

Don't just do the workouts, get an app. You want an app because it regulates your time, keeps you from taking too little (or much) time on one exercise, keeps you from taking too little (or much) time in-between exercises, and tells you when you're done for the day.

As you noted about three pushups, anyone can find 7 minutes in a day. Don't try 15. Just 7. If you want to do all 7 days a week, great. I do 4-5/week, and I'm good with that.

A good trainer might be the best place to start.
I am 82, have a knee and ankle replacement, but
can do ten pushups and prefer the elliptical for
cardio. There is a really good book "Younger Next Year", which has been out for a while, who epmpasizes cardio, but SLOWLY at first, and a good trainer/physical therapist is the best place to start so you don't really mess up.

At the risk of offending some folk, I'm reminded of this.....

"When he was 85 my grandfather decided he was going to walk 10 miles a day. He's now 86 and we've no idea where he is"

What I like about cycling (and walking to some extent) is that it's not just exercise for exercise sake. You combine exercise with something useful, like transport, and as we all know cycling with a camera gets you around and has none of the disadvantages of the automobile (Umm, where can I park up? Oh too late. It's gone)

Mike,
train, don't strain is the way to go and there is not a better way then walk

Just repeating what others here are saying. I've been exercising, one thing or another, since my 40's. At that time, going to grad school in Eugene, Or. you kind of had to run, keep a journal, 5k's on weekends, etc. (Track town USA). After graduating, that stopped, and weight training took over. Who'd of thought one could like that. Very meditative. After that, raquetball. and so on. My point is that in all of these, the key was start slow!!! A few reps and stop. Next time, a few more. About 6 mo ago I got interested in pushups. (Hence my writing this) 4 to 6 - stop - 4 to 6 stop - maybe again, maybe not. That was my starting. Two weeks later it was 8-10 stop, rest a few min., 8-10 stop. Maybe a third set maybe not. So last week I was doing 100 per day. Sets of 15, rest another set, then sets maybe an hour or so later, and so on. Maybe the last set to get to 100 was just before bed.. Spacing them out, not pushing myself, not getting hurt!! My point is start slow, be willing to not do all that much at any time, just keep it up, listen to your body, not your mind. (Also last week I turned 77, if you're younger maybe you can push a bit) It's kind of like, 'be an under achiever' just keep pluging along.

I want to second the valuable comment from Scot concerning to avoid to feed your beloved pet low-quality food ( “ ... your dog will poop much more, you will -- in the long run -- have more and higher veterinarian bills to pay, and your dog will not be in his/her top health).
This is even more true and very important for cats, because these animals are prototypes of carnivores with a very specialised digestion. In the last approx. 15 years the amount of cats who acquired diabetes, severe kidney and bladder problems and allergies increased tremendously, mostly caused from non-appropriate food (i.e. fillers of wheat, sugar, etc., etc.) which makes these animals ill in the long run.
The vet-food-industrie has a remedy for these self created problems: very expensive special food for this new patients, who suffers nevertheless, because they stay ill mostly.
Please, don’t say this isn’t a photography related topic. Cats and dogs most probably belong to the most photographed subjects ... (tongue in check but also true).

Mike, you are over-thinking this (and diet vs food). My advice is to get a dog or a camera and take either or both out for walks each and every day ;-)

Just spent 7 days in NC photographing a PGA event and had my 72 year old father along as second shooter. My Iphone tells me that over the 7 days, I walked 42.8 miles and averaged 15 floors per day. My father, with a bit of a different and more centralized mission, walked 22 miles. On most days we began shooting around 8am and went until approximately 9pm - with generous breaks for meals. The image count was just north of 20,000 images prior to editing.

John Sr. is diabetic and making a concerted effort, through diet and exercise, to manage the disease with minimal or no drugs. He was 5'11", 205 lbs since about the age of 20. He now weighs 162 lbs and has decreased his reliance on the medications over the last few months.

My father has been a professional photographer since the age of 15, his only job. He was a Canon shooter for the past 20 years. I am 48 and have been a professional photographer since 1997 - and part time for a few years with him before that. I shot only Nikon through 2018. I fully made the switch to Sony mirrorless bodies over the past six months and sold an entire closet of Nikon gear 3 months ago. My father switched to Sony just before this past week and will sell his Canon gear in the coming weeks. A huge change for him at 72!

There's some health and photo talk!

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