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Community Manager

Ask our Fitness Enthusiast! Week 1 - How to get started! April 5 - 11, 2021

It’s officially Spring and there is no better time to get moving!  Our fitness enthusiast is here to help you Get Started! 

 

Post your questions about Fitness here and you will earn 50 AARP Rewards points at the same time! (One entry per week given points.)

AARPTeri
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Contributor

Are there other exercises or activities that give the fitness benefits of lifting weights if you are  unable to do this?

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Regular Contributor

Absolutely!  One of the best benefits of weight lifting is the development of the brain-body connection, and you can do that without weights in your hands!  Moving slowing through the motions of "weighted" work - even with empty hands - will strengthen your muscles and bones in a very similar way.

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Contributor

I have had shoulder surgery and can no longer raise my left arm above my shoulder. Subsequently, I am unable to do shoulder presses. Is there another exercise I can do to work all three deltoids at the same time?

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Regular Contributor

This is a great question, and specifically, it's a great question for your physical therapist!  When it comes to injuries or mobility limitations, it's best to speak with someone who knows YOU and your particular issues.  While lots of fitness trainers can give general advice, if you want to see actual strengthening in your muscles, you'll want personal attention.

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Contributor

What are some good exercises to do for my arms with 2 five # weights?

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Regular Contributor

Terrific question!  There are all sorts of exercises that you can do for your arms with 5-lb weights!  Some of my personal favorites are things like flys, rows and curls (this combination of just three exercises will tone and strengthen your whole upper body, in fact!)

If you'd like to see how to do exercises like this, I'll recommend one of my full-length follow along workouts on YouTube:  TONED ARMS Walk with light hand weights 

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Conversationalist

If anybody has issues with osteoporosis- there’s a person on YouTube with excellent exercises which aren’t  hard and can really help you- look up Dr. Furlan. She has so many different ones, neck,back,elbow,ankle and you can ask questions and she will get back to you pronto.

Newbie

What are the best exercises to strengthen your core to Support your back and spine?

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Regular Contributor

This is such a great question, and you're right:  having a strong core to support your back and spine is essential for our health and fitness.

My suggestion first of all, is to successfully FIND your core muscles!  I know that sounds sort of odd, but developing the brain-body connection is really critical for strengthening your core.

Once you find the muscles and can activate them at will, it will simply be a matter of practicing.  There's no one specific exercise that's "best" because everything you'll be doing with activated core muscles will continue to strengthen your core.

If you'd like some help finding your core, I have a full-length video all about this topic on my YouTube channel here:  Find Your CORE! Beginner-Friendly Standing Abs WEIGHT LOSS Workout 

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Periodic Contributor

I understand that getting cardio exercise is important - but I find that even my regular walking, yoga and swimming are not doing that. Any suggestions?

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Regular Contributor

This is such an interesting question!  And I have a question for you in return:  WHY don't you think your regular walking, yoga and swimming aren't good for cardio exercise?  Is there a particular metric you're trying to meet (heart rate, for example) that is difficult?

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Periodic Contributor

I feel like my exercise doesn't increase my heart rate to a level that is helpful for me. I don't huff and puff (like i do sometimes if I walk very fast, or walk uphill). I guess I'm just not pushing myself hard enough?

Wendy

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Regular Contributor

Gotcha!  Wanna hear the BEST news?  The fact that you're not huffing and puffing means that all your efforts have paid off!  You have excellent cardiovascular fitness!

One of your body's main biological imperatives is to get better and more efficient at things you do regularly.  This is why your heart rate doesn't get very high anymore and you aren't out of breath when you're walking, doing yoga and swimming regularly.

And you don't need to do MORE to maintain that wonderful fitness.  Keep doing the things you enjoy consistently and rest assured that you are taking excellent care of your heart and lungs.  ❤️

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Contributor

Is it better to work out with weights for the whole body twice a week or do back and biceps one day and chest and triceps another day?

 

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Regular Contributor

This is such a great question!  My personal preference is to work the whole body twice a week.  Generally speaking, when you break your workouts down into specific body parts, you'd be working with weights four, five or even six times a week to get every part of your body, and I'd rather do cardio on those days!  😂

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Gold Conversationalist

Hello!  Is anyone there to answer these queries?  They seem to be going on deaf ears.

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Regular Contributor

Thanks for your patience!  🙂 Do you have a specific fitness question that I can help you with?  

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Periodic Contributor

Do you have any suggestion on exercises I can do to strengthen the muscles around my knees?  Thanks!

 

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Regular Contributor

Great question!  If you have a specific issue with your knees, your absolute best bet is to talk to your doctor and request physical therapy.  A physical therapist will be able to determine your exact issue and recommend targeted exercises that are best suited for YOU.

If your query is more general, rest assured that ANY type of regular exercise done with good form will strengthen ALL parts of your body, including the muscles around your knees! 

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Newbie

I'm look for something  to strengthen my leg muscles & raid belly fat.  I have bad knees & I need something that keeps me off the floor.  Thank you

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Regular Contributor

It sounds like you might enjoy a regular WALKING routine!  Walking is a fantastic exercise that has so many benefits, and it's incredibly simple. 

Getting started is easy, too:  you can walk in place inside your house for 5 to 10 minutes a day to get used to the motion and stay safe.  When that becomes a daily habit, you can expand your horizons by taking it outside and going a little longer.

Over time, walking will strengthen your leg muscles (which can reduce pain in your knees) and - along with eating the right number of calories each day - help you lose weight, too.

Enjoy!!

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Periodic Contributor

Do you recommend any full length chair yoga videos?

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Regular Contributor

Great question!  There are LOTS of options for chair yoga workouts on YouTube, where you can watch and follow along for free!  A quick search came up with hundreds of results.  My suggestion is to click on a few of them and see if you like the instructions and whether or not it feels easy to follow along.  Here are the search results:  Chair Yoga on YouTube 

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ok

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How do I make my back straight so I am not able to keep from falling? I do I get rid of  belly fat with exercises that will work on my back as well as on my stomach?

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Regular Contributor

This is a great question, because it's so important to prevent falls as we age!  Your best bet for a combination of fall prevention and weight loss is to train 2-3 times per week with weights.  Strength training has SO MANY benefits, including building muscle tone, bone health, and self-confidence, as well as weight loss and fall prevention.

Here's a strength training workout from my YouTube channel that you might enjoy to get started:  DUMBBELL Strength Workout! (Perfect for Osteoporosis) 

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Trusted Contributor

Check on Youtube.com and such for back exercises. I've seen great ones at any level. 

Wanjiru Warama
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Regular Contributor

YES!  Awesome suggestion!  YouTube has everything!  😀

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Newbie

I'm physically disabled and can't stand for more than a minute or two without a lot of pain.  What are some exercises I can do that will be effective without having to stand?

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