Saturday, May 10, 2014
Never too old to start up exercising

By Tony Wagner Citizen Columnist

Dear Mr. Fitness:

I'm a 67-year-old woman who until very recently has put off any type of exercise. Never wanted to do it because it's hard. My two daughters have convinced me to start an exercise program because the doctor said I have osteoporosis. The girls insist that I lift weights, but how do I start? What should I do and how much and when? My daughters don't have a clue.

-- Grandma

Dear Grandma:

I am happy to hear that your daughters have got through to you concerning an exercise program. They must truly love you! I'm glad to help you.

Since you have never exercised before, (and hate it) I want you to start with extreme caution -- begin slowly and allow time to get into the groove.

First things first. Your exercise program should be performed only twice weekly for the first month (perhaps on a Monday and Thursday). This will give you much time for recuperation between exercise bouts. Recuperation for you is critical at this phase. Your body is not used to doing any exercise; it's used to doing rest. By only limiting yourself to twice weekly workouts, you won't overtax your body's ability to regenerate itself.

Now, on Monday you should start by walking for 10 minutes. Only 10 minutes. Phew! After that, do some squats (aka knee bends) with your bodyweight. Not too low! Using only your bodyweight for awhile will allow your conditioning to improve. It will be sufficient in terms of resistance. Do two sets of 12 repetitions. Rest one full minute between sets.

Next, stand with your upper leg resting against a wall. While facing the wall, do perform leg curls, one leg at a time. Again, two sets, 12 reps.

Now move to your stairs and do some calf raises on the stairs. Two sets only!

Your doing fine! On to doing modified pushups. Place your hands on a sturdy table in perfect pushup fashion. Keep the body straight and hands at shoulder width. Two sets only. Nice work!

Now you should lie on the floor with two cans of beans (or corn or tomatoes -- It doesn't really matter what's in them) to do pullovers on the floor. Extend your arms over your hands and then stretch towards the floor. Return the cans to over your head. Two sets. 12 reps.

Now take one can and perform biceps curls with it. One arm at a time. Two sets.

Finish with lying on the floor and resting your hands on either side of your body. Pull the legs into your chest, then lower them back to the floor. Repeat 12 times. Two sets. This will tighten the abdominal area.

That's it! Your done! Not too bad, eh? This will surely affect the entire body and begin to strengthen the bones and muscles.

Do it all over again on Thursday. Practice doing this for one month. After the month, you should expand the program. This is because your conditioning will be improving.

Perhaps contact me again and I will walk you through it. Good luck!

-- Mr. Fitness

Tony Wagner, aka Mr. Fitness, has more than 30 years of fitness and nutritional expertise. A certified personal trainer and fitness author, he has helped thousands of people get into and stay in shape. Contact him at and come visit at Bodyzone Fitness Center, 2740 N. Roosevelt Blvd. or call 305-292-2930.