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Exercise and aging: How to work out safely after 50 In an ideal world, people young and old exercise each day. But as men and women age, finding time to work out is not so easy. Commitments to work and family often take precedence over daily exercise. As a result, many people 50 and over might not have exercised regularly or at all in many years. But as children grow up or even move out, people facing down their golden years are often compelled to get back in the gym. That’s a wise decision that can increase a person’s chances of being healthy and happy in retirement. But before beginning a new exercise regimen, men and women over 50 should take heed of the following safety tips to ensure their efforts are not derailed by accident or injury. Speak with your physician. The National Institute on Aging notes that even people with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis can be physically active. However, anyone with such a condition and even those who don’t fall into those categories should consult with their physicians and receive a full physical before exercising. Such a consultation and checkup can shed light on any unknown issues, and physicians can offer advice on how to safely manage any Pros and cons of joint replacement surgery To people outside the medical field, joint replacement surgery might sound like a solution that’s considered only after all other options have been exhausted. But joint replacement surgery has become very common, even though some studies have suggested certain procedures are being performed unnecessarily. A 2014 study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology found that one-third of patients who undergo knee replacement surgery may not be appropriate candidates for the procedure because their symptoms are not severe enough to merit aggressive intervention like surgery. The decision to undergo surgery is always a patient’s to make. Weighing some pros and cons of joint replacement surgery can help patients make the most informed decisions possible. problems that may arise. Begin with low-intensity exercises. Even if you feel great and have maintained a healthy weight, don’t push yourself too hard at the start. Your body needs time to adjust to physical activity, so choose low-intensity exercises like walking and light strength training so your muscles, tendons and ligaments can adjust. Initially, exercise every other day so your body has ample time to recover between workouts. Choose the right places to exercise outdoors. Exercising outside provides the best of both worlds for many people, providing a chance to get healthy all while enjoying the great outdoors. When exercising outdoors, choose areas that are not remote and where others can see you and offer help if you suffer an injury or have an accident. Boardwalks, public parks and outdoor gyms are safer places to work out than wooded areas or other places well off the beaten path. Stay hydrated. The NIA notes that many people lose their sense of thirst as they age. But just because you aren’t thirsty does not mean you don’t need water, especially while exercising. Water regulates body temperature and lubricates the joints, thereby decreasing your risk of injury during exercise. Exercising after 50 can help people live healthy well into retirement. But caution must be exercised when aging men and women return to exercise after a long break. Pros The Cleveland Clinic notes that many patients who have undergone joint replacement surgeries have experienced dramatic improvement within a relatively short time after undergoing the surgery. Much of that improvement is related to pain, which for many people becomes overwhelming prior to surgery. Another benefit to joint replacement surgery is the recovery time. For example, the Cleveland Clinic notes that patients who have knee replacement surgery are usually standing and even moving the joint the day after their surgeries. Within six weeks, those same patients are typically walking comfortably with very little support. While each patient is different, any fears that joint replacement surgery will require patients to be immobile for months after surgery are unwarranted. Joint replacement surgery also can be a long-term solution, whereas the alternatives might not be. The Cleveland Clinic says that roughly 85 percent of knee implants will last 20 years, and that life expectancy figures to grow as technology advances. Cons As beneficial as joint replacement surgery can be, it’s not without downsides. Cost is one such disadvantage. How much a patient pays for the surgery depends on his or her coverage, but AARP notes that the average knee replacement surgery costs $31,000. Such costs can be prohibitive for aging men and women who are no longer working. Another potential disadvantage to going under the knife, especially for those who are borderline candidates for replacement surgeries, is the likelihood that surgery won’t have a significant impact on quality of life. A 2017 study published in the journal BMJ found that knee replacement had minimal effects on quality of life, especially for patients whose arthritis was not severe. Joint replacement surgeries are common. When deciding if surgery is their best option, patients should consider the pros and cons of going under the knife before making their final choice. Attention Businesses You CAn Advertise Here!