Local News

Doctors Urge Seniors To Get Into Exercise Routine

Posted April 22, 2003

— Gyms may usually be packed with young people trying to stay fit, but health experts say no one outgrows the need to be in shape.

Rosemarie Cutrone, 67, said she is peddling her way to a healthier life.

"I'm up to 23 minutes. Next week I'm going to 25," she said about bicycling.

Cutrone said she has had high blood pressure and weight problems for years. Last year, she fell and injured her knee.

"It was like I almost couldn't keep up," she said. "It starts to get depressing after awhile."

Cutrone decided to make the trip from Florida to the Structure House in Durham to help get her weight and health under control.

Fitness specialist Kelli Davis said most people do not realize how important it is to exercise as they get older.

"I think we tend to view physical activity as something we do in our younger days to prevent disease," she said.

Davis said it is just as important as people get into their 50s, 60s and older.

Physical inactivity and obesity leads to heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

"They can have arthritis, even cancer. Different things have been shown to be caused by being overweight," Davis said.

She also said most people do not need to go to a fancy gym. They can get the exercise they need at home.

"Sitting on your couch doing little dumbbells, walking in your neighborhood," Davis suggested.

Cutrone said she is excited about the weight she has lost and the strength and balance she has gained.

"Oh yeah. I'm really pumped this time. Pumped, psyched, whatever!" she said.

"You can just see in their face their mood and their attitude their starting to feel better, feel more comfortable about what they're doing," Davis said.

Cutrone also said the better she feels the more likely she is to stick to her exercise routine.

"I'm not getting any younger. I really want to do it!" Cutrone said.

Experts said to talk to a doctor before starting an exercise schedule.

They warned that it is especially important for seniors to check with their doctor, because they need to decide the safest exercise based on any health conditions they have.

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