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The most effective way to optimize our physical abilities is a program of strengthening and toning main muscle groups and other faculties including balance, coordination, reflexes, etc. Most people can walk so do this as steadily as possible for 30 to 45 minutes a day. Window-shopping won't do it. This can be broken into two or three segments and still provide benefits. (Incidentally, weight- bearing exercise also retards osteoporosis. Sorry, swimmers.) Those who can could substitute dancing, tennis, handball, shooting baskets or other similar activities. (My favorite for mature folks? Dancing!) These latter have added benefit of further enhancing coordination, reflexes, balance, etc., due to their start-and-stop and direction- changing nature. Don't forget, benefit is proportional to effort. (Check with your doctor first.)
Add some weight lifting for upper body strength as this is easily accomplished with dumbells. This entire program should be on a daily basis, trying to average six days a week. With real commitment serious frailty can be postponed well into old age and with attention to other factors risk of serious injury minimized. Yes, it is work and sometimes uncomfortable but what really good thing comes to us without paying full measure? (In author's case, double.)
When you are in good shape (for your age) this is benefit that is realized:
You are less likely to slip or stumble. If you do stumble you are less likely to fall. If you do fall you are less likely to be hurt. If you are hurt it is less likely to be serious. If it is serious you will recover faster and your recovery will be more complete.
That's a pretty nice benefit. In addition you feel more energetic, want to do more things and best of all, are able to do them!
Dr. Moloney retired from Family Practice several years ago but has retained his lifelong interest in music and teaching. He has written a book explaining and simplifying music. http:/www.musicsimplified.com