Sweating after 65

Trent Ernst, Editor


As people get older, the difference in their health starts to become more pronounced. This makes it difficult to create a one-size-fits-all exercise regime.

You would reasonably expect a class of ten year olds to all follow the same fitness regime, but take twenty people over the age of 65, and you will find a wide diversity in abilities.

Consider Eugene Barton, who completed the Emperor’s Challenge this year at the age of 80. Other seniors his age struggle to walk up a flight of stairs.

In 2011, 14.4 percent of Canadians were over the age of 65. By 2021, that number is expected to climb to over 18 percent.

As you age, people tell you “take it easy, you’re no spring chicken anymore.” But advice like this could be killing you.

Physical activity can reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and osteoporosis and improves the quality of life by maintaining functional capacity, such as the ability to climb stairs, open doors, and carry groceries.

For the tech-savvy senior, Google and Apple recently announced Calico, a company that will focus on health and well-being, with a special focus on the “challenge of aging and associated diseases.”

Announcing this new investment, Larry Page, Google CEO said: “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives.”

On his Google+ page, Page goes on to say: “OK … so you’re probably thinking wow! That’s a lot different from what Google does today. And you’re right. But … there’s tremendous potential for technology more generally to improve people’s lives. These issues affect us all—from the decreased mobility and mental agility that comes with age, to life-threatening diseases that exact a terrible physical and emotional toll on individuals and families. And while this is clearly a longer-term bet, we believe we can make good progress within reasonable timescales with the right goals and the right people.”

Page says there’s not much more to share, as it’s still very early days.

Calico promises to be an interesting company to watch, but it is far from the only company dedicated to providing fitness information for seniors on-line. A quick search for “exercise routines for older people” brings back dozens of results, some better than other, ranging from video workouts to lengthy articles.

If you have never exercised before, and need to start from the very beginning, try searching YouTube for “exercise for people with mobility issues”. If you have arthritis, try searching for, you guessed it, “exercise for people with arthritis.”

Do note that not all exercise instructors are created equal, and that you have not done any sort of exercise in a number of years, you should talk to a doctor before starting.