Champlain Valley Orthopedics
1436 Exchange Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
Many people believe that older people need to "take it easy" when exercising. Family members worry about heart attacks, strokes, falls, and broken bones. These are legitimate concerns. It is always a good idea to have a physician decide if you are at risk for any of these problems. If you have heart disease, diabetes, or balance problems, you may need an exercise program designed and supervised by a physical therapist.
Be aware that most people over 60 years of age are more susceptible to muscle injuries. Muscle soreness after exercise is more common in older people than in younger people who do the same exercise. However, researchers have shown that older people who are healthy respond to strength and endurance training the same as younger people. This means your best training intensity may be the same as that of someone much younger. However, be sure to start out slowly, with light amounts of weight.
There is some proof that older people who exercise regularly need more protein in their diets. Protein may improve muscle growth with age.
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