Older adults can get past fear of going to the gym

Regular exercise and a nutritious diet are two of the best things seniors can do to maintain their health.  Exercise can delay or prevent many of the health problems associated with aging, including weak bones and feelings of fatigue.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a person age 65 or older who is generally fit with no limiting health conditions should try to get two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, while also including weight training and muscle-strengthening activities in their routines on two or more days a week.  

Individuals often find that gyms have the array of fitness equipment they need to tay healthy.  But many people, including older men and women who have not exercised in some time, may be hesitant to join a gym for fear of intimidation.  Some seniors may avoid machines and classes believing they will use the apparatus properly, or that they will be judged by other gym members.  Some seniors may feel like gyms do not cater to their older clientele, creating an atmosphere that is dominated by younger members and loud music.   

Such misconceptions are often unfounded, as many gyms welcome older members with open arms.  But even if seniors find gyms intimidating, they should still sign up for memberships.  In such situations, the following tips can help seniors shed their fears and adapt to their new gyms.

START THE PROCESS SLOWLY.  Shop around for a gym that makes you feel comfortable.  Get fully informed about which classes are offered, and the benefits, if any afforded to older members.

GET A DOCTOR’S GO-AHEAD.  Make sure to clear exercise and gym membership with your doctor prior to purchasing a membership.  He or she also may have a list of gyms where fellow senior patients have memberships.

BUILD UP GRADUALLY.  Begin with exercises you feel comfortable performing.  Spend time walking on the treadmill while observing other gym members.  Tour the circuit of machines and other equipment.  Find out if you can sample a class to see if it might be a good fit.

FIND A GYM BUDDY.  Working out with a partner in your age group may encourage you to keep going to the gym and increase your comfort level.  You each can offer support and enjoy a good laugh through the learning process.

DON’T GET DISCOURAGED.  Anyone working out for the first time, regardless of age, will feel somewhat out of place until exercise becomes part of a routine.  Give it some time before throwing in the towel.  Once you catch on, you may discover you enjoy working out.

CHOOSE A SENIOR-FRIENDLY GYM.  Some gyms cater to senior members.  They may offer “SilverSneakers” classes at their facility.  Other niche gyms may only accept members of a certain age group.  Investigate these gyms if working out with a younger crowd is proving too great a deterrent.  

Fitness is important for healthy seniors.  It can prolong life, help seniors maintain healthy weights and reduce their risk of injury.


(Courtesy of Metro Creative Graphics as a special to the Press Enterprise 8/18/17)


Cochlear Implants – Life Beyond Hearing Aids

Feeling frustrated and sometimes even exhausted from listening?  Whether it happens suddenly or gradually, hearing loss can affect you physically and emotionally.  Being unable to hear impacts your ability to communicate with your loved ones, hear in noisy environments, talk on the phone, and may force you to become more reliant on your family members to interpret for you.

Cochlear implants work differently than hearing aids.  Rather than amplifying sound, they use sophisticated software and state-of-the-art electronic components to provide access to the sounds you’ve been missing.

  1.  How do implants differ from hearing aids?  Hearing aids help many people by making the sounds they hear louder.  Unfortunately as hearing loss progresses, sounds need not only to be made louder, but clearer.  Cochlear implants can help give you that clarity, especially in noisy environments.  Hearing aids are typically worn before a cochlear implant solution is considered.  
  2.  Are cochlear implants covered by Medicare?  Yes, Medicare and most private insurance plans routinely cover cochlear implants.
  3.  How do I know a cochlear implant will work?  The technology is very reliable.  In fact, it has been around for over 30 years and has helped change the lives of over 450,000 people worldwide.  For the majority of people, cochlear implants are better than hearing aids in noisy environments.
  4.  What does a cochlear implant system look like?  There are two primary components of the Cochlear Nucleus System – the implant that is surgically placed underneath the skin and the external sound processor.  Cochlear offers two wearing options for the sound processor.  One is worn behind the ear similar to a hearing aid.  The other, the new Kanso Sound Processor, is a discreet, off-the-ear hearing solution that’s easy to use.  The Cochlear Nucleus System advanced technology is designed to help you hear and understand conversations better.

To Find a Hearing Implant Specialist Call: 1-800-912-6204 or visit Cochlear.com/US/Bulletin


(As reported in the November 2017 AARP.org/Bulletin

                                                                                             by Jacques Herzog, M.D., Cochlear Medical Advisor)