Bring this Oldie back into your life
Over the past quarter century, we have got increasingly accustomed to the notion that to be fit we must have access to high-tech machines. So, if I were unfit, it must be because either I could not afford a gym membership or I am so busy that I don’t have the time that gym workouts entail.
But not too long ago I could not have offered up this excuse. Before machines took over control of our fitness, people build strength with minimum apparatus; calisthenics required no apparatus at all. What better way to show off your brawn at the weekend barbeque than performing one-armed push-ups?
The simple push-up is an exercise with many benefits:
- It builds muscular and bone strength in the whole body, engaging muscle groups in the arms, chest, abdomen, hips and legs.
- It enhances endurance and lean muscle mass that raises the metabolic rate.
- Like other body-weight-bearing exercises and unlike machines it improves balance.
- It can provide older people the strength and muscle memory necessary to reach out and break a fall without hitting their head on the ground.
- It is available anywhere anytime at no charge.
If the conventional push-up is too difficult, you can start by leaning against a countertop at a 45-degree angle and pressing up and down. A 40-year-old woman should be able to do about 15 push-ups and a man the same age should be able to do twice as many. At 60 these numbers drop to about half.
You should consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.