JANUARY 2015 ;e Costco Connection 51
150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic
activity, such as brisk walking, per week.
“Simply break up your day into three
10-minute durations,” says Danburg. “It’s a
good start and most often builds a base and
motivation to do more and more movement.”
Walking up and down the aisles of your
nearest Costco warehouse is a great way to get
in 10,000 steps, says Costco member Linda
Perlmutter, a retiree in Wellesley, Massachusetts. “Shop and exercise at the same time,”
she says. She notes that the axiom “Use it or
lose it” becomes more important as we age:
“When I use it, I feel better both physically
and mentally.” C
Freelance writer and Costco member Heather
Larson writes about health and lifestyle.
By Heather Larson
ALTHOUGH RETIREMENT means the end
of the 9-to- 5 workday and the beginning of
more leisure time, retirees need to spend some
of that time getting a healthy dose of physical
activity. Recent studies indicate seniors who
exercise every day reduce their risk of
Alzheimer’s and have the healthiest hearts.
Move more to improve health
The National Institute on Aging says people with arthritis, heart disease and diabetes
benefit from regular exercise. It also helps
people with high blood pressure or balance
problems, and those who have difficulty
walking. Even healthy seniors should incorporate physical activity into their day so they
can maintain their health and independence.
Just one hour of activity a week reduces
the chance of Alzheimer’s, says Dr. Hanh
Nguyen, an internist and geriatrician with
Kaiser Permanente San Francisco.
“The benefits are very clear,” says Nguyen.
“Not being active has some severe risks. We’ve
noticed patients who [are sedentary] lose calcium in their bones, their muscles shorten
and their balance and coordination suffer.”
When you’ve been sedentary for a long
time, the hardest part is beginning to move
your body again, says Dr. Marc Leavey, a
primary-care specialist at Lutherville Personal
Physicians, a Mercy Medical Center community physician site in Maryland.
In addition to scheduling a checkup with
your physician, Leavey, a Costco member,
also suggests hiring a trainer to ensure you’re
doing the best exercises for your needs the
correct way and that you’re not on a path to
injure yourself. A personal trainer can help
you build up your regime gradually. To find
a trainer who is certified through the
National Strength and Conditioning Association, visit nsca.com.
Don’t set impossible goals for yourself,
says Nguyen, and then quit when you can’t
meet them. Find what fits your lifestyle and
create a time for activity in your schedule.
Once you’ve incorporated physical movement into your routine for one or two months,
it becomes a habit, and after six months you’ll
find it difficult to stop.
Ed Cook, a Costco
member in Bellingham,
Washington, has lost
100 pounds since he
retired 17 years ago. He
wasn’t really trying to
lose weight; he felt fine
at his heavier weight.
Still, he made sure
he ate healthy food,
began working out in a
gym for an hour, four
mornings a week, and
increased his time on
the golf course from
three times a month to
four days a week.
Devices that measure your movements
(see “Tech Connection,
page 21), like accelerometers, motivate you
because they give you
an accurate picture of
how much you’re actually moving, says Scott
Danberg, director of fitness at Pritikin
Longevity Center + Spa in Miami.
The usual daily requirement is 10,000
steps a day, Danberg says, but for beginners
he cuts that in half and recommends his clients take 5,000 steps a day. That makes the
approach much friendlier and more doable.
Danburg concurs with the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which
says you should accumulate a minimum of
Keep moving to
get the most out of
the golden years
DR. MARC LEAVEY, a primary-care specialist, suggests
revisiting activities you did
when you were younger, like
tennis or basketball, but pursue them at a level that currently suits you. He’s also a
staunch supporter of swimming for retirees, because of
its overall conditioning properties and low impact.
For balance and stamina,
try yoga and Pilates. Tai chi
can be valuable, and for those
who can’t stand for long peri-
ods, he recommends “chair
chi,” which is done seated.
Strength training for
healthy older men and
women firms muscles and
improves endurance and
aerobic power, and can
help slow bone density loss.
Dr. Julia Samton, who is
board certified in psychiatry
and neurology in New York,
Harvard Medical School’s
website includes “Easy Ex-
ercises for Couch Potatoes”
(search “couch potato” at
health.harvard.edu). You can
do them during commercials
when watching TV.
The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention rec-
ommends its “Growing
Stronger” program for retir-
ees, online at growingstronger.
©PRESSMASTER / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
ing, yoga and
just a few of the
great ways to
later in life.
Tips for easy exercising
In our digital editions
Click here to watch a series of
stretches and core exercises.
(See page 14 for details.)