You're Never Too Old to Exercise

Bob is 73-years-old, but as a leap year baby, he's only had 18 birthdays. Working out makes him feel closer to that age than his real one.

He, along with many others, prefers exercising at the YMCA or a community center rather than at home.

"I'm accomplishing more by doing this than I was just by doing it on my own," comments Bob.

George Henry is 71-years old. He says, "I've got (a) treadmill (and) bicycle. I've got the whole thing. All the exercise equipment I need to do everything, but I get up in the morning, 'Ah, I've got this to do' and I'll forget it. But I look forward to coming down here. That's the big difference."

The intimidation factor of health clubs seems to be decreasing for older Americans.

Personal trainer Mike Bussiere tries to make everyone feel welcome no matter how old they are or what kind of shape they're in. He starts by determining their current level of fitness and if they have any medical restrictions.

He then designs a fitness program to work around those limitations. He says many seniors don't realize the benefits of exercise. Lifting weights can actually prevent osteoporosis, and warming up the joints along with the muscles can help relieve arthritis.

Bob Wilson admits he can't exercise with the same intensity as he did when he was 18, but won't trade occasional soreness for a sedentary lifestyle. And he doesn't think anyone else should either.

Don't even try to tell him you're too old or too busy. He'll just tell you, "That's a cop out. Pure and simple. That's a cop out."

The YMCA will start what's called the "Silver Sneakers" program this month. On January 17th, they hold its first chair aerobics class.

And any Medicare beneficiary who signs up for supplemental insurance through Humana will get a free YMCA membership.

One thing seniors should avoid is step aerobics because of potential balance and depth problems. Aside from that, seniors should just check with their doctors.