ATRIAL FIB: Fitness and Aging

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

We’re halfway through the first month of 2018 and I’m wondering how many resolutions were made about exercise and how many have stuck. How about healthy diet?

Stories about fitness and eating and the New Year are all over the newspapers. I’ve always done some kind of movement but only in the last 15 years have I been devoted to exercising with a trainer. That’s when I retired from my job at age 65. At first I worked out 5 days a week with the trainer in group sessions and played 18 holes of golf at least one weekend day.

Then, after a few years, I went to 4 days a week. I realized that I didn’t think about food all of the time. I weighed 165 pounds…not terrible for my height showing signs of aging by losing vertical inches. A few years later I went to 9 holes of golf once a week and 3 days a week at the gym. The weight was coming off and I developed acid reflux along with heart issues as described IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

Fitness became an obsession along with maintaining healthy insides. It wasn’t easy. Just as one health problem became manageable, a new one came along. I stopped playing golf. Now 3 times a week at the gym. As I entered age 80 my lower back didn’t take too well to sit ups, pushups, squats and other lower body movements suggesting a need to moderate.

My left groin hurt. That was worrisome because it could be the hip. Almost 20 years ago I had both hips replaced. I was told that hip replacements lasted 12 to 15 years. Mine are going on 20 years. I felt that if I exercised and built up the muscles around the hip replacements, it would cushion and preserve the artificial hips. It did.

So, now what’s wrong? I went to see my orthopedic doctor who x-rayed the hips and checked my pain, walking and the x-rays. “The hips look perfect,” he said showing me the x-rays on the wall monitor.

Then he told me that I had tendinitis. I was happy to hear that. Crazy happy that I didn’t injure the artificial hip. The doctor told me to let it heal 4 to 8 weeks, use heat then ice and he gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory to take once a day. Hooray. It’s been a couple of weeks. It still hurts, but not as much.

Today I read in the newspaper that as we age, even light activity and exercise can help you live longer… a significant percentage of decline in mortality during a specific period of time.

Next week more about fitness, aging and exercise equipment.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Soon available as audio book.

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