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Monday, May 20, 2024

Exercise is essential at any age

By Veita Bland, M.D. / March 25, 2022

Our bodies lose muscle mass with age. One way of maintaining muscle mass is to incorporate resistance training or weightlifting as part of the exercise routine.

One of the mantras I am sure all of you are hearing from your healthcare providers is that it is important to make sure you are active. Exercise is like an elixir of youth, and it is accessible to all. No matter what your ability or disability, there is a way to get that exercise in when it is made a priority. Unfortunately, we hear far too often that people are not exercising on a regular basis or on any basis.

Many people believe they do not have time to exercise. I remind them that we are not asking them to go to the gym and perform an hour-long routine. We are really asking people to adjust their lifestyles so that exercise become part of their daily routine.

This could be parking further from your place of employment, or from your place of shopping. YouTube has a plethora of exercise videos that are free and can be done anytime of the day. Take that break during your workday and use it, or part of your lunchtime, to walk and socialize with friends or colleagues. It is a good idea to walk in the morning or after an evening meal.
Many people have home gyms that they cherish. Whatever flips on your exercise button is what we need. It is very important that people exercise. Of course, aerobic exercise is important for everyone, but we encourage that you exercise all parts of the body, if possible. Upper body and lower body exercises are needed. Do not forget to incorporate resistance training into your exercise routine.

It is a well-known fact that we all will lose muscle mass as we age. That muscle loss is just part of the aging process. As I tell patients, those little old ladies in the Amen corner at church were not always little old ladies, they lost their muscle mass. To maintain muscle mass, resistance training should be incorporated into your exercise routine. Pumping iron or using resistance bands are easy ways to incorporate resistance training into your mix.

We know that exercise is good for the body, the heart and for the vain in how good one may look. Exercise is also good for the brain, the psyche and who could not use that? Reports are also showing that exercising outside in nature has an added bonus for your emotional health.

For the people who count steps, we all know the more the better, but studies have shown a benefit in the health of those who tally at least 4,000 steps a day.

Take the time and commit yourself to improving your health by adding exercise to your lifestyle. Of course, it helps if you can find an activity that you enjoy. An activity you can enjoy with friends also helps; an activity that is not affected by the weather being too cold or too hot is also a plus. Putting one foot in front of the other can indeed be an economical way to improve your health. Why not give it a try?

Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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