Details for TECH CULTURE

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.

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