“I’m nearly 50, so I’m too old for intense exercise”. “Intensive exercise over 50 years of age could be bad for you, and will give you arthritis”.

“I play golf three of times a week, Isn’t that enough exercise”?. “I walk for 30 minutes 5 times per week, that should be sufficient, shouldn’t it ?”.

****Four common beliefs, among the majority of the population in Ireland, in 2018.

  1. SOME FACTS; All, over 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60 year olds, that exercise regularly (at least twice per week for more than 6 months) in the Southside Fitness circuit training classes, have many things in common; A higher than national average (for their age category), of cardiovascular endurance (measured by a regular cardiovascular endurance test), a lower body-fat count (measured by a skin caliper body-fat test), a lower than average bone mineral density count (results offered by some participants regarding their DEXA scan). Most of the Southside Fitness participants involve themselves in other exercise activities weekly, namely Brisk walking/jogging/running/Cycling at least twice per week.
  2. So lets get some factual health-related exercise and fitness information out there. **Intensive exercise is always beneficial for any age group (20 to 90 year olds) when advised and supervised be a health and exercise professional. **Moderate-vigorous intensity exercise will not contribute to an increase in arthritis. **Playing golf three times per week will not improve your cardio respiratory system, your muscular strength, or your bone mineral density. WHY? The stop-start nature of a golfing activity, doesn’t allow for a sufficiently high heart rate, sufficient resistance exercise, increase one’s ability to burn calories, nor offer enough of a ground reaction force that would maintain any bone mineral density. It could be helpful though for anxiety/stress and probably  some body-fat burning because of the duration of the activity. **Finally, walking at the same pace after three to four weeks of an exercise programme has as many health benifits as golf which are negligible. If starting a walking exercise programme three times per week, following a sedentary lifestyle, then some health benefits will accrue up to a certain point, where the ‘Progression Principle’ indicates that as a person becomes fitter, a higher intensity of exercise is needed to create an overload, and thus continuing to improve one’s fittness levels and health benefits.

Here are the exercise  F.I.T.T. principles (Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type) recommended by the AMERICAN COLLAGE of SPORTS MEDICINE (ACSM) in 2012 for clients with HEART DISEASE.

FREQUENCY **4-5 times per week. INTENSITY **Moderate intensity dynamic exercise. TIME **30-60 minutes which can be accumulated in 10-15 minute bouts. TYPE **Aerobic exercise (long gradual warm up and cooldown); resistance training: low weights/high reps; flexibility.

***Exercise benefits clients with heart disease. It reduces blood pressure and heart rate during sub-maximal exercise and at rest. Regular exercise reduces the risk of further progression of heart disease by increasing HDL levels, reducing obesity, and increasing the strength of the heart muscle. ACSM 2012 and World Health Organisation recommendations on Physical Activity for Global Health 2010.

OF COURSE always seek a doctors clearance prior to taking up a new exercise regime.

Following is a news item I posted in 2014. Since then, one year after my dissertation in 2014 the health budget has grown from 13.1 billion to 15.5 billion in 2018, and rising. Irish men are now the most obese in Europe ( over 25% of body-fat) and Irish women are the third most obese in Europe (over 32% of body-fat). Now 30% of Irish 8 year old children in 2018 are overweight or obese.

Summary: If you and your family would like to live a healthier and longer life, you’ll need to increase your moderate and intense aerobic exercise activity weekly, include resistance exercises twice per week, and reduce your ‘sugar and fats’ diet. Remember that energy in equals food, and energy out equals activity.      Best of Luck.


An edited version of the IRISH TIMES SATURDAY JUNE 28 2014 by Aine McMahon.
‘Work is fundamental for longevity,’ says 94 year old.
The three secrets to longevity of life are work, diet and exercise, in that order, one of the world’s fittest pensioners said in Dublin yesterday.
Dr Charles Eugster, who turns 95 next month, said he believes retirement should be abolished. ‘The most important thing for anyone is work, regardless of how old you are,”he said. “Work is the fundamental thing for longevity.”
The London born grandfather is a 34-time World Masters Rowing Championship gold medalist and three time World Strenflex champion. He scored the highest number of points ever in last years Strenflex European Championships, in which he performed a routine that featured 61 chin-ups, 50 push-ups, 48 abdominal crunches, and 57 dips, each completed in 45 seconds.
Dr Eugster was a keynote speaker at the inaugural Register of Exercise Professionals convention at UCD yesterday.

“For me personally, I consider retirement a financial catastrophe and a health disaster. Older people should be working and they would be healthier as a result.” he said.
He added; “Get rid of retirement,- you can always learn something new at any age ….
The purpose of life is to have a purpose in life.
Dr Eugster worked as a dentist until the age of 75 and later as a publisher. He was unemployed from the age of 82 to 90, a period he describes as one of the “worst times” of his life.
Dr Eugster hasn’t been to the doctor in years and continues to train in a gym three or four times per week. He said he is worried about the growing ageing population in which diabetes and obesity are on the rise, which he describes as a “growing pandemic”.
“Old age can be a chamber of horrors but it’s never too late to change your life and try something new”.