Fitness

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Keep in Mind

Many different physical activities can improve your health and independence. Whether you choose to do the exercises shown in this chapter or other activities that accomplish the same goals, gradually work your way up to include endurance, strength, balance, and stretching exercises. Here are some points to keep in mind as you begin increasing your activity:

  • If you stop exercising for several weeks and then return, start out at about half the effort you were putting into it when you stopped, then gradually build back up. Some of the effects of endurance and muscle-building exercises deteriorate within 2 weeks if these activities are cut back substantially, and benefits may disappear altogether if they aren’t done for 2 to 8 months.
  • When an exercise calls for you to bend forward, bend from the hips, not the waist. If you keep your entire back and shoulders straight as you bend forward, that will help ensure that you are bending the right way, from the hips. If you find your back or shoulders humping in any spot as you bend forward, that’s a sign that you are bending incorrectly, from the waist. Bending from the waist may cause spine fractures in some people with osteoporosis.
  • It’s possible to combine exercises. For example, regular stair-climbing sessions improve endurance and strengthen leg muscles at the same time.


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