[This is an anecdotal article, based on my personal experience. Nothing here is a diagnostic or therapeutic. This is educational only. For the newbies, consult the MD before attempting any personal exercise program.]
One of the things to consider as I approach maturity is how to adjust my routine exercises age-appropriately. I remember in the old days of Nursing Homes when one of the questions asked by the State JCAHO was - what is the difference between your 50 year old and below and above 50 year old patients' exercise routines
That was a no brainer. You give less intensity, less weights and less reps/sets exercises for those who are above 50 years old.
Do you apply that ‘in general’? the lady asked.
That made me stop. “How generalized is general?”
As I mature, I see there is no such thing as general exercises applicable to my body. There is no universal protocol, no ‘one size fits all’, no master class, no master approach when dealing with MOVEMENT. Each of us is unique and for that reason alone, we need to apply an exercise program tailored to our individual selves. That holds true in everything. One may prefer to be by the sea to relax while another would prefer to be with friends and family to relax. One may prefer to play sports with others (basketball, baseball, football), another may prefer to be doing it alone (swimming, running, cycling - even with a group).
One prefers a demo of the exercise to learn it, while another wants an illustration or a verbal instruction. Medically, one can do a certain exercise routine while the same may be contraindicated for another.
One’s level of fitness can be monitored by BP and heart rate but another would require a different monitoring system on account of current medications (like beta blockers) that prevent natural responses to exercise.
One may want to hurry things up while another wants to take it slow.
Dosages may vary in levels of minimum vs maximum; age; weight; gender etc.
Labs readings may also consider differences along ethnic backgrounds. On top of the ages, genders, weights etc.
The idea of MOVE principle is like that of a boat. Your goal is to keep afloat towards your destination; you may advance differently from the others, sometimes you sink a little or rise a little but the idea is keeping your body afloat. What you don’t want is to sink.
So the MOVE principle would require fundamental baselines. You may need to establish your minimum and maximum parameters based on how your body responds to working out.
- A few consider the ‘talk a full sentence parameter’. Meaning if you can still conduct a conversation while working out, you can continue. But once you get out of breath, and you can hardly complete a sentence, stop or rest.
- In the old days, people used time as a minimum maximum criterion. Thirty minutes is the minimum time to call their workout a workout; maximum time of one hour is the cutoff.
- Yet others use the carotid pulse. You feel the pulse and you set your limits there, usually this involves the maximum heart rate.
- Or others use the alternate times for hard intensity exercises vis a vis light intensity: 4 minutes of high intensity workout, 2 minutes of resting.
- And finally, we have the ‘feeling minimum-maximum’. And most likely this is how most of us gauge our performances during workouts. If you feel tired, it is over. If you feel you have more energy to spare, keep going.
But here comes technology! That is one of the best adjunct to health management that ever came in modern times.
Just look at my personal readings in my runs last Friday and Sunday.
What I observed is that gearing for a comfortable running (or jogging) pace leads to less stressful and higher number of running miles, with the extra bonus of increased calorie expenditure. My loss of 1 minute in pace was compensated by an increased mileage.
I refused to follow my instincts because I can be impulsive. One of my criteria in assessing the safety of my patients is their impulsivity - which is normal to all of us in ordinary circumstances. Until we get sick and get confined in a hospital. While on bedrest, It is hard to be told you need to slow it down. Or worse, when a medical worker tells you to call for assistance whenever you want to get out of bed (to use the toilet for example) and the assistance doesn't respond immediately.
There was a time I attended a class where we were told to stay still and watch the clock for a minute. I am telling you, that is the longest minute I ever watched. Maybe for another being who is used to waiting that may mean nothing. BUT if your bladder is about to burst, or your colon is ready to empty, 1 minute is 1 year long. And if no one is there to assist you as you were promised, heck, you will try to get out of that bed and BAM! A broken hip.
I thought of this while jogging at a turtle pace covering 5 miles. A young woman passed me by. An older gentleman did the same which I would not tolerate in my impulsive younger years. You wanna race, I will give you a race.
But my maturity has given me the leash of wisdom and restraint. I pay no attention to these young, energized, and maybe elite runners. I am not inclined to beat personal records or prove anything at my age. No one sees me anymore. LOL. And I don’t see them. I would be living in illusion to even imagine these healthy, young and beautiful fast runners would have interest in me. I raise my hand or bow my head towards them in crossing their paths. A little hello and good morning but that is all. They respond in kind. Mindlessly. Just like them, I am focused on my little pace and little goal and my little joy.
The idea is to set your own pace, your own drum beat; to assert your individual uniqueness; to be content with the little improvements you gain while maintaining safety based on your established self-parameters.
Suggested Heart Rate for runners 60 and above is 70-80 percent of max heart rate. 220-60 = 160(maximum heart rate) 70-80 percent of 160 is somewhere between 100=130 beats per minute. Also measure the recovery of heart rate when doing high intensity (those reaching higher than 130 beats for a short period) - it should recover in no more than 2 minutes.
Suggested ordinary pace for 60 and above males: 13 minutes per mile.
These are suggested for ordinary folk like me. They don’t pertain to elite runners or those who had been very athletic and competitive throughout their lives. Believe me, I have seen runners in their seventies who can beat the shit out of me. Well, you know yourselves, just beat your own drum, follow your bliss and joy.