Exercise Plan

By Doug Mayberry

January 13, 2020 4 min read

Q: I just turned 70 and have always been in good health. Despite my luck, I'm noticing that I share the same aches and pains as my friends.

I've maintained my weight since my 30s. I don't smoke, and I rarely drink. I'm active but not with any particular plan. Instead, I've kept up with nature walks, the occasional tennis match and housework.

That said, my activity is becoming more sporadic as I feel weaker. I think it's time to make a regular exercise plan.

How do I start?

A: Physical activity is one of the best things we can do to maintain our health. Keeping mobile allows us to stay that way and enjoy more of our lives.

Before starting any exercise regimen, get a complete health checkup. It may be a good idea to discuss your aches and pains with your doctor. There may be an underlying condition contributing to the change.

With any new exercise plan, it's best to start slow and with a specific goal. This could be an amount of time per week or a benchmark.

Like before, choose a wide range of activities. Variation will ease the physical impact on your body.

If you don't know where to start, ask for help from a trainer or a friend who has a set routine. Many gyms or health clubs offer free, personalized advice. We all have different needs and abilities.

Be wary of overdoing it. Injuring yourself from overexertion is simply counterproductive! Doing simple stretches before and after exercise will make a huge difference.

Remember to be patient with yourself. Results don't come overnight.

Perhaps most importantly, listen to your body. Take it one day at a time.

Before exercising each day, check in with yourself. If you feel "off" or in more pain than usual, don't feel guilty about taking the day off. Our body's signals are our best clues for developing plans to stay healthy. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter


Q: One of my oldest friends has been married for 37 years, and I just found out that she and her husband are divorcing.

I got married around the same time, and we're still happy. We've had our own rough patches, but I look forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

I just don't get how and why such a long-lived marriage can break down. I know several other couples who've come to the same conclusion.

Why does this happen?

A: Mature marriages are just as liable to problems as any other.

Entering the new phase of senescence can be a huge hurdle that a couple doesn't know how to get past. We find our lives, bodies and perspectives undergoing massive changes. Sometimes we find ourselves growing further and further apart from our partners — to the point where we can't even recognize them!

Additionally, many men feel like they don't change much throughout their lives. Women are more likely to feel like they've changed so much as to be unrecognizable compared with their youthful self. This mismatch can cause a fair amount of tension. Many partners start to feel dissatisfied and look to greener pastures. They think they'll be happier finding someone else, doing something else or being somewhere else.

Spending a lifetime together is an ongoing task, not a passive course of non-action. The other scenario is a marriage that lasts unhappily for decades. In that case, it may make sense to separate if the two just can't find common ground.

The most successful marriages are made from continual choices to stay together and seek happiness. — Doug

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: cnort at Pixabay

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