There are many ways for us to stay in shape

At the age of 69 and sporting an average weight, I do not indulge in any vigorous exercise programs anymore,

At the age of 69 and sporting an average weight, I do not indulge in any vigorous exercise programs anymore, but I do a lot of walking, enjoy socializing and bowling, and try to eat healthy for the most part. Of course, it is important for all age groups to stay as active as possible, as well as to enjoy healthful lifestyles, but then again, there are lots of alternatives where all of us can have some fun keeping in shape.

Yoga and something called Zumba have now become extremely popular activities to encourage both a healthy mind and body, but I know that I couldn’t concentrate that long, I can’t get down that low anymore — and I really don’t look very good in tights. While browsing the Internet this week I found some different, but simple and free daily exercise and weight loss tips which just might give all of us a chance to enjoy feeling good about ourselves. We hope it helps, but please check with your doctor before you try these new 21st century workouts.

•They actually now have weighted hula hoops, which weigh three to five pounds, and are perfect for working out for brisk 10-minute sessions in front of the TV or wherever you wish. Did you know that 15 minutes of skipping rope will burn off 200 calories, and is a fun activity to get the kids and the whole family involved in?

•Taking dance classes can be both a great social event as well as an exercise session. Not only can we become a master at ballet, jazz, tap, modern flamingo, ballroom dancing, polka, ballroom, Irish clogging, and belly dancing, we may even find enough energy to dance the night as well as a few pounds away.

•Instead of just standing in front of the mirror when brushing our teeth or hair, why not do a few quickie two-minute exercises such as squats, lunges, or wall-sits? If we are home by ourselves one can take the boredom out of housework by dancing or singing around the house, doing a jig with your vacuum, and laughing at yourself, but not too loud, just in case the neighbours are watching.

•Walking the dog can also be a great daily exercise, and if the weather is bad, just chase the little duffer around the house with his favourite toy. Vigorous five minute chore-sessions are great, then take a break, and if you spend lots of time on the phone take the portable one and walk around the house or up and down the stairs while you chat!

•You might want to replace your recliner with a comfortable stationary bike, or get down and start with just a few push-ups each day and add as many as you feel comfortable with. They also now have nifty in home mini-trampolines or rebounders, which provide a good cardiovascular workout, all in rhythm with your favourite music.

•If you get the desire to go for a sweet treat, why not walk or bike to the store instead of drive? Whether you believe it or not some of the best stress busters are a good old-fashioned pillow fight, running under the sprinkler, or joining in on a pickup game of some sort on the driveway or in the park.

•It is always great fun to gather friends and neighbours together to enjoy a workout DVD together, especially when you can bounce and sweat away the calories with such great stars as Richard Simmons, B.J. Gaddour, Madonna, Jane Fonda, and all the rest.

•One of the newest exercise programs is called ‘Seniors….sit to be fit!’ As well as daily action sessions of Wii and other delightful games, those of us enjoying our golden years or are unable to get around as much as we would like to can now work out while sitting in our favourite chairs or even while watching television. Designed specifically for couch potatoes, you can now skip the munchies to work out with some hand weights, or just do a few simple exercises, including flexing our abs or butt muscles.

•Whichever route we may choose to keep our bodies fit and trim, it is always nice to have some company during the fun sessions, which assures lots of support and encouragement, as well as a chance to celebrate and share our efforts and successes together as a team.

Whatever the case may be, have lots of fun at your own speed, and have a great week, all of you!