Two simple steps to keeping your balance at any age
I've been critical of the weight-lifting and exercise crazes for a long time. The "body shops" are, for the most part, a sociological phenomenon. It's a great place for the boys to check out female body parts as they really are and not as they appear to be when fully dressed. And for the girls,
it's a place to meet the boys. Of course, many of them also suffer under the delusion that they are also going to lose a little weight in the process.
But the people who actually need a little weightlifting and some mild exercise are hardly ever found at such places. A nationwide survey shows that only about 11 percent of people age 65 and older regularly perform any sort of strength exercises.
You don't necessarily need a gym membership, though. I have always maintained that all those
over 65 need are a long walk once daily-a half-mile out and a half-mile back-and a few
simple weight exercises.
The thigh muscles are probably the most important ones to concentrate on, since they're the ones that can help you keep your balance to avoid a disastrous fall. So in addition to taking a daily walk, I also recommend doing squats while holding about 2 pounds of weight in each hand. Just be careful to hold your spine straight or you may injure your back.
If you are unsure about what to do, you can go to a gym and tell one of the "trainers" that you
want to strengthen your leg muscles. Tell him you are only interested in thigh strength and you
do not want a comprehensive muscle-building program. If he asks why you don't want the full
program, tell him that is all your doctor recommended. He will probably try to sell you a lot of
bodybuilding capsules and pills.
Don't waste your money.