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Rodrigo

TIPS TO KEEP A GOOD PHYSICAL CONDITION

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Hello friends.

 

Some months ago, our friend Laura K asked for places to participate in sports. Indeed, there are general sports fields (polideportivos) in the most of the towns in CR.

 

Sometimes the problem is not finding a place for exercising but our attidute about it and if we are deciding to have a personal program to keep healthy.

 

I would like to know what we are doing about this subject. In my case, I left for a while of exercising and I realized I felt some pains in certain parts of my body. So, my body was sending me signs that I could be surffering of some physical problems.

 

Being a 46, almost 47, years old male, I decided to start (once again) my personal exercising program. I have always liked the Cooper´s program, designed by Dr. Kenneth Cooper in 1968 for US military. I guess we can find other new methods, but I like Cooper´s program because is for running or walking certain distance everyday or every other day. There are several Cooper´s programs for other activities (swimming, playing basketball, etc.).

 

About this method, you can find many charts in internet where it is expected that a man or a woman of certain age walks or runs specific distances during a period of time to keep in good condition.

 

I can summarize it saying that if you walk or run 3 kilometers per day, or every other day, you would be in good health condition, talking about your heart and other vital body´s systems. Obviously, it is a good idea to ask for your doctor´s opinion before starting any kind of program, in order to avoid any risk.

 

I am not an expert, so I would like to know your opinions, specially if you are people who like sports or professionals in health´s topics.

 

At the end, the condition of our body is the last thing we have and it determines our quality of life, now and in the future.

 

Thanks for your attention.

Edited by Rodrigo

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Hello!

 

As I am getting older myself, I am learning the value of staying in shape as well. I think some type of Yoga practice in essential to retain flexibility of the muscles. I started about two years ago and it has made such a difference in my life. My posture is better, it is easier to move and bend, and I am less sore after a hard workout. Not to mention that is a great stress reliever! :)

 

I also do a lot of interval training - where I alternate 5 minutes of high intensity training (where you can barely catch your breath!!) and 5 minutes of low intensity (like weight lifting) for about an hour each day. After doing this for a year or so, I have lowered my blood pressure.

 

And who can forget just outdoor sports in general! Hiking and swimming are the best. One day I hope to be lucky enough to live in CR and enjoy all the beauty the country has to offer.

 

Great topic - I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts!

 

Emily

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The main benefit of intervals is to improve your aerobic ability during kind of hard efforts, like the steeper parts of a hike or bike ride.

 

For most people, a more effective way (than intervals) to improve your general fitness is to walk or bike or swim at an intensity that makes it a little bit difficult to carry on a conversation-put several sentences together without having to stop to catch your breath.

 

Ideally, you'll work up to about an hour each session, with about half of your time spent at this intensity, and at least 3 times a week. Your body makes some very nice changes when you are exercising for at least an hour, and about 3 times a week. If you can exercise more than 3 times a week, it will be best if you can do some longer days, and some shorter days instead of the same effort and length every time you exercise.

 

Especially for people over age 40-45, some strength training one or two times a week is very beneficial. Strength training doesn't always need to be done with weights (dumbells and barbells). It can be done during hikes, working in the yard, playing in the ocean waves, etc.

Edited by ciclista

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Hello!

 

As I am getting older myself, I am learning the value of staying in shape as well. I think some type of Yoga practice in essential to retain flexibility of the muscles. I started about two years ago and it has made such a difference in my life. My posture is better, it is easier to move and bend, and I am less sore after a hard workout. Not to mention that is a great stress reliever! :)

 

I also do a lot of interval training - where I alternate 5 minutes of high intensity training (where you can barely catch your breath!!) and 5 minutes of low intensity (like weight lifting) for about an hour each day. After doing this for a year or so, I have lowered my blood pressure.

 

And who can forget just outdoor sports in general! Hiking and swimming are the best. One day I hope to be lucky enough to live in CR and enjoy all the beauty the country has to offer.

 

Great topic - I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts!

 

Emily

 

Thanks Ciclista, Puravidamj and Emily for your comments and contributions about this topic.

 

Emily, if you can live here for a while, you will see staying in shape is very useful to enjoy the country and its beauty.

 

By instance, hiking for a while helped me to have a good condition when a visited twice Chirripo Peak National Park, close to San Isidro del General, South Zone, the highest mountain (3820 meters over the sea level) in the country, a different world itself, with temperatures in the night around cero Celsius degrees. Really different to what ticos know about our land. I walked around to the different peaks there for a whole week for more than 70 kilometers. I saw the crystalline waters of the Tilari river, coming from the hard rocks, and an "alunacer", as I called it, it means the moon rising over the rocky hills of the Crestones in a beautiful starry night.

 

Life is better when you can move freely to enyoy the environment around you.

 

I will take into account all your advices, because I started my exercising program again due to my blood preasure is usually high now, but my doctor said I could have it under control by walking at least. If I have to use pills anyway, I would do it, but the natural way (exercising) is the best way, I think.

 

Let´s hope other friends share their thoughts, as you suggested.

 

Have a nice day.

Edited by Rodrigo

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I agree with ciclista 100%. I am in my 60's and have had two bypass surgeries in the last 11 years. Not caused by lack of exercise, but by genetics. I feel better now than I ever have, thanks to a walking routine. But in addition, as a Tai Chi instructor, I also use breathing and body relaxation techniques to reduce stress.

 

I can chop firewood or dig ditches all day long as long as I pace myself and don't "over-exert" as ciclista mentions.

 

And when that driver on the freeway cuts me off, or drives 30 in a 50 mph zone, I just remember that Ticos live "for the moment". Why be in a hurry or get upset?

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I agree that Yoga, Tai Chi or other meditative practices are essential.

 

But sometimes, pushing yourself (and body) beyond what you thought was possible is quite rewarding. After doing interval training, my cardiovascular health has never been better. Before, a simple hike or a climb up a long flight of stairs would have me winded. Now, I can do much more.

 

You do have to listen to your body - and your age and current physical condition must be considered.

 

Just my humble opinion.

 

Emily

Edited by Emily

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Good stuff!!

 

All you youngsters should heed this advice.

 

I will be 75 in two weeks, and have witnessed so many older people who do not have the will power to keep exercising.

 

It is simply a matter of getting off the couch and using the body for what it was designed for - activity.

 

Yes, it gets more difficult with each passing year, but it also becomes more important.

 

Nuf said!

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