Getting Fit at Fifty and Beyond

What if you used to be really fit and now you're not? What if, as the years have gone by, you've added a couple of pounds here and there, and you suddenly notice you're 30 pounds heavier than you were at your 10th high school reunion? Or, what if you've never enjoyed the idea of exercising, exercise was never part of your world-view, but you're not feeling as good as you'd like to feel and think that exercise might help improve your overall health and sense of well-being?

Many people want to get fit or want to regain a former level of fitness for a variety of considerations, including the above scenarios.1,2 But most of us need guidance in the process of getting fit. We need information and even instruction on what to do and how to do it. For example, it would be a serious mistake for someone older than 50, and even older than 40, to simply go out and try to run 4 miles if he had never run before. Muscle strains, shin splints, or even a stress fracture of one of the bones in the foot would be a likely and unwanted result. Similarly, going to the gym and trying to "work heavy" would assuredly create various problems for an out-of-shape person who wanted to "get fit" as quickly as possible. The injured tendons and sprained ligaments resulting from trying to rush would set back your hoped-for progress by at least four to six weeks, further delaying achievement of improved health.

The best way to get fit or return to fitness after a long period of inactivity is to start slowly, progress in small increments, and gain an authentic, long-lasting level of fitness over months and years. Being a smart exerciser means not doing too much too soon, in other words, respecting your body's capabilities. Also, smart exercise involves engaging in a blend of activities, usually on alternating days. Persons who only bike or run and persons who only lift weights will never be as healthy and fit as those who do both aerobic activity and strength training.3 Developing a two-week schedule will provide a thorough, balanced fitness program. In week A you do aerobic exercise (walking, running, biking, swimming laps) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You do strength training on Tuesday and Thursday. In week B you reverse activities, doing strength training Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and aerobic exercise on Tuesday and Thursday. This alternating pattern ensures you are getting the full benefit of your valuable time spent exercising.

It is important to remember that what works for you, works for you. Each of us needs to find his or her best way forward. Some methods of exercise will be experienced as intuitive and enjoyable. Others will be experienced as the opposite. You probably won't want to continue any of the latter. For example, the exercise program suggested by your friend may not be effective for your physical makeup and may even be harmful. Your chiropractor is an expert in healthy exercise and will be able to recommend fitness activities that will be right for you.

1Johanssen NM, et al: Categorical analysis of the impact of aerobic and resistance exercise training, alone and in combination, on cardiorespiratory fitness levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: results from the HART-D study. Diabetes Care 2013 July 22 [Epub ahead of print]

2Stanton R, el al: Is cardiovascular or resistance exercise better to treat patients with depression? A narrative review. Issues Ment Health Nurs 34(7):531-538, 2013

3Lorenz D, Reiman M: The role and implementation of eccentric training in athletic rehabilitation: tendinopathy, hamstring strains, and acl reconstruction. Int J Sports Phys Ther 6(1):27-44, 2011

Locations

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

9:00 am-11:30 am

2:00 pm-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

Closed

Wednesday:

9:00 am-11:30 am

2:00 pm-5:45 pm

Thursday:

Closed

Friday:

9:00 am-11:30 am

2:00 pm-5:45 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • "Dr. Dorais was recommended to me by a family friend and he has yet to disappoint! Not only are he and his staff courteous, but very professional in all that they do.

    Response from the owner
    Thank you very much for the kind words! It has been a pleasure working with you."
    Joleen M
  • "I recently had an emergency trip to the ER with spasms so bad in my back that it brought tears to my eyes. I followed up with Dr. Dorais. He was able to adjust my back over a short period of time."
    Kim F
  • "Dr. Dorais called me personally the morning after my first visit to see how the procedure he performed had affected my problem. He is very thoughtful and caring. His staff is friendly and professional."
    Gordon B
  • "First time going to a chiropractor, and it has been a great experience. Friendly and helpful staff.

    Response from the owner2 months ago
    Thank you, Lisa for the kind words. We do value the opinions of our patients😀"
    Lisa A
  • "I always feel better when I see Dr. Dorais regularly. Great staff. I rarely have to wait, and it’s a great value."
    Ron B
  • "Always treats me with smile. Does a great job"
    Joe R
  • "I have always had a few back issues,and have always just dealt with the issues myself. I was nervous at first to go to a chiropractor, but Dr. Dorais and the team showed me there was nothing to be nervous about. They welcomed me like I had been going there for years, but it was my first visit. My back issues have been getting better and I couldn't be happier with Dorais Family Chiropractic. I can only thank them for the help they have given me!!

    Response from the owner
    It has been our pleasure working with you Blake. Thank you for the kind words."
    Blake W
  • "Doctor Dorais is just short of a miracle worker. I will not let anyone else but him adjust my neck and back, and I have been seeing chiropractors for 25 years. He is kind, caring, educated on all things spine, and truly cares about his patients, and most of all his adjustments HELP me immensely.

    Response from the owner
    Thank you for the kind words Chantal. 😀"
    Chantal C
  • "I cannot say enough about the care I have received from Dr. Dorais since I began seeing him ten years ago. I would not have the nice, straight pain free spine I do if it weren’t for Dr. Dorais. The office is always so positive and welcoming. All around awesome!"
    Connor T
  • "Dr. Dorais does a great job and makes your visit as fun as it can be when you have a bad back. He's always in a good mood and singing and his staff is awesome too. I wouldn't go anywhere else!"
    Mark B