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Exercise Tips For The Frail

Being frail or elderly is not an excuse to be a couch potato. In fact, if youre over 65, theres no better time to begin working out. Heres how to get started:

Check Your Health

If you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, unstable blood-glucose levels or chest pains when walking up stairs, get those symptoms under control before hitting the gym. Update your prescription medications and make sure to take only the drugs you need.

Find A Safe Workout Zone

If you choose to exercise at home, make sure its safe. Keep hallways and other areas well lit. Remove loose rugs that can get caught underfoot. Clean up any waster spills on the floor. And wear proper athletic shoes. Bedroom slippers, no matter how comfortable, dont count.

Improve Your Balance

The better your balance, the less likely you are to fall. Depending on your condition, it may be wise to start with a family member or a trainer to spot you. Exercises can be as simple as standing on one leg or, it its easier, with one foot in front of the other, heel to toe.

Build Your Strength

If youre frail, you have the most to gain from strength training, which is key to long-term independence. Try to target all the major muscles in your trunk, legs and upper body with either free weights or exercise machines. Use enough weights or exercise to tire yourself out, but dont overexert or strain.

Try Aerobics

Now that youve achieved balance and strength, start working on your cardiovascular system. Walk, bike, swim do what you enjoy most. Dont go out in wet weather if you prone to slipping. Avoid risky sports like downhill skiing, but choose an exercise you like enough to stick with.

What Is Concussion?

A concussion is a violent jar or shock to the brain that causes an immediate change in the brain function, and can possibly include loss of consciousness. For a mild concussion, the signs and symptoms include temporary loss of consciousness; memory loss; and emotional instability. For a severe concussion, the signs and symptoms include prolonged unconsciousness; dilated pupils; change in breathing; disturbed vision and equilibrium; and memory loss.

The extent of injury can only be determined by a physician. If the concussion is mild, the injured person may be sent home after examination, but only if a responsible person is present to stay with the injured person and watch for serious symptoms. Follow the doctor's instructions carefully if you are the responsible person, as there are several symptoms to watch for and report to the doctor if one or more aftereffects appear.

The first 24 hours after the injury are critical, but serious aftereffects can appear later. The total extent of the injury may not be apparent for 48-72 hours. Complete recovery is likely with early diagnosis and treatment. To prevent a concussion from occurring or reoccurring, wear a protective helmet for any activity at risk for a head injury.


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