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Old 03-14-2010, 03:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What if you can't exercise?

I just joined FitDay not too long ago, but I'm asking this question with my mother in mind.

She's in her early 70's, 5' 1", and obese (I don't know her weight, but somewhere in the 200 pounds ballpark). She has osteo-arthritis and needs a cane to walk. She has to go up a flight of stairs to get to her apartment, and although she manages, it's very difficult for her.

She eats a balanced, very healthy diet, with very little processed food or junk, but because of her age, small stature, and lack of physical activity, it's really hard for her to keep her calories at a low enough level to lose weight.

The first thing that comes to mind is water exercise, but she works full time and has no access to a pool. (And I don't think she would be eager to be seen in a bathing suit.) So that's out.

It's like a Catch-22 situation. Her weight is causing problems that keep her from being able to exercise, which in turn is keeping her from being able to lose weight.

Is anyone here in a similar situation? If so, have you found any good ways of burning calories that doesn't cause pain but gives you some aerobic benefit? I'd appreciate any ideas I could pass on. Thanks!
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Elderwanda, welcome to Fitday!

LOL, the first thing that came to my mind was to get your mom a Wii!

Have you considered checking with a personal trainer to assess her fitness level and perhaps design a program for her? That would be the safest way to do it, I would think. Our "resident personal trainer," Beth, will probably pop up and give you some good ideas.

I have read that upper body cardio movements such as boxing are good for people who can't work out their lower body due to injury or whatever. But I would think that safety would need to be the foremost issue given her age.

Maybe if she were to use Fitday as well, she could see where she might trim back some calories in conjunction with some activity to help her lose some weight. A lot of us think we eat healthy and we do...just too many calories. I know that until I started logging all my food, I was not aware of how much the little things (even the healthy ones) were adding up.

Congratuations to both you and your mom for making a commitment to getting healthy!
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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On public TV here, there is a program called "Sit and Be Fit", it's targeted at senior citizens and the workout is done from a chair. I don't know if they offer videotapes, but it is a pretty decent program. I did it for a while when I was very pregnant with my son, the way he was carrying made it very difficult for me to stand, let alone exercise.

LOL they have a whole website! http://www.sitandbefit.org/
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you Cassie and Lizziecritter. Now that I think of it, I've heard of "Sit and Be Fit". My mom doesn't have internet access, but we're hoping to fix that for her.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think that you she can do simple things such as tightening her abdominal muscles. She can also buy the Contour Belt that contracts your abs and burns fat while you relax and watch tv, or whatever else you may do. In other words, she can lose weight with little effort. She can also do leg lifts, which is done by lifting your legs up and down towards your abdomen. If she has trouble straightening and bending her knees, she can do it with her legs in the range she's comfortable with. This exercise is done lying down, so no stress on her legs.
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