Exercise is the Key to Healthy Aging

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October 16, 2019

As defined in our mission statement, LadyDocs is committed to sharing information to help ourselves and others live healthier lives. To that end, we are planning programs for groups, to present in person a complement of exercises that cover four major goals of fitness. Today, Jody Miller (exercise physiologist), Aruna Nathan (lifestyle medicine and internist) and Marsha Seidelman (internist) presented the following program at Oasis in Montgomery Mall.

Here’s why these four categories are important:


Aerobic/Cardio exercise reduces the risk of many conditions including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke and certain types of cancer. Physical Activity Guidelines recommend adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Shorter intervals add up – it all comes down to “Move more, sit less”.

Muscle Strength

Resistance exercise increases muscle mass and strengthens muscles to optimize mobility, build or maintain bone, and stimulate metabolism.


Stretching increases the range of motion of joints decreasing overall risk of injury, reducing muscle pain, improving posture, and helps to increase physical performance and mobility.


Helps prevent falls and maintain your independence.

EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS: Here are some exercises that support these four categories. They are basic enough to be done by those at a lower level of fitness, but can be made more challenging for those who are ready to advance.

Not every exercise is appropriate for every person.

***Safety ALWAYS first***

Don’t do anything that hurts

Check with your physician if you are just starting to exercise.


  1. March in place/high knees –
    Level 1 – standing, march in place
    Level 2 – bring the knees high up towards your chest
  2. Low impact/high impact jumping jacks
    Level 1 – one leg at a time, step outwards and then inwards – raise the arms just to shoulder height
    Level 2 – jump both legs outward at the same time – raise the arms overhead
  3. Dance moves –
    Level 1 – Side Taps stand with feet apart, bring one leg in to tap close to the opposite foot
    Level 2 – Twists – move the legs in one direction while moving the arms in the opposite direction
  4. Walk the room, hallway or steps
    Level 1 – walk the room or hallway
    Level 2- walk up and down the steps


  1. Wall or counter Push Ups
    • stand with feet hip width distance apart
    • place hands on wall or counter at chest height and slightly further than shoulder width distance apart
    • lower your body towards the wall or counter by bending at your elbows
    • press your body back to the start position by extending your arms to a straight position
    • keep your whole body from your feet, knees, hips, shoulders and head in a straight line
    • be careful not to stick out your chin as you lower your body towards the wall
  2. Squats (chair sits) – *only use a chair that is pushed firmly against a wall that cannot move
    • stand in front of the chair (that is pushed against the wall) 
    • lower yourself to a seated position onto the chair
    • stand back up
      *if you do not have chair you can do the same motion bending the knees and standing back up
  3. Twists
    • stand with feet about hip width apart
    • hold your arms at chest to shoulder height clasping your hands together
    • twist to the left from your waist and then twist to the right
    • try not to move your hips
  4. Dead Lifts 
    • stand with feet hip width apart
    • reach your hands down towards the floor
    • stand back upright using the strength of your abdominals
    • only go as far forward towards the floor without straining your back – you do not need to touch the floor for this exercise to be effective
  5. Rows
    • sit or stand
    • raise arms straight out in front of you with your thumbs upward
    • pull your arms back bending your elbows and “squeezing” your shoulder blades towards each other
  6. Floor Stand Up
    • Lower yourself to the floor on to your hands and knees (quadraped position)
    • Tuck the back toes of one foot under
    • Bring the opposite foot out in front
    • Press yourself back up to a standing position


  1. Mountain stance
    • stand with feet a little closer than hip width apart
    • extend both arms down to your sides
    • draw your abdomen inward (tightening your belly)
    • hold the position with eyes open
    •  If you are comfortable you can close one eye, then the other 
    • keep one hand on the wall for extra support if both eyes are closed
  2. One leg stance 
    • stand with feet hip width apart and arms down to your sides 
    • lift p one foot and see how long you can hold that foot off the floor relying only on the standing leg
    • repeat with the other leg
  3. Tightrope/One foot in front of other stance
    • arms are out to your sides 
    • place one foot out in front of the other and hold
    • repeat with the opposite foot in front
  1. Heel to toe walking
    • line up one foot directly in front of the other foot (front heel touching the toes of the back foot)
    • continue with this moving forward taking one step at a time


  1. Standing Calf Stretch
    • standing in front of the wall or counter
    • take a big step back with your right foot
    • keep your right knee straight and try to keep your right heel on the floor
    • keep your left knee bent slightly
      * feel for the stretch in the back of your lower right leg
    • repeat with the left foot
  2. Shoulder rolls
    • seated or standing with arms hanging down by your sides
    • roll both shoulders in big circles backwards
    • reverse and roll both shoulders forwards 
  3. One Arm Side Bend Stretch
    • standing reach your left arm up towards the ceiling with your right arm down by your right side
    • keep your hips still and feet firmly planted
    • reach your left arm keeping it straight over to your right
    • repeat with the right arm
  4. Standing Twist Stretch
    • stand with your back close but not touching the wall behind you (or seated on a chair)
    • bring your arms up to chest/shoulder height with hands extended in front of you
    • twist, leading with your hands, to the right
    • try to touch your hands to the wall behind you
    • repeat the twist to the left
  5. Seated Figure 4 Hip Stretch
    • sit on the edge of your chair
    • cross your right ankle on top of your left knee
    • sit up tall and lean slightly forward by hinging at your hip
    • feel the stretch in the right hip
    • switch legs and repeat with the left ankle on top of the right knee

MOVE MORE, sit less!


  • https://go4life.nia.nih.gov
  • US Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 2nd Edition 2018 
  • US Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 1st Edition 2008 
  • “Move your way” – Physical Activity Campaign, UD Department of Health and Human Services 

EDITOR’S NOTE – FOR MORE FUN: In scrolling through our Exercise section (1st link below), I was impressed with how many good exercise we’ve posted over the years, with our star Exercise Physiologist, Jody Miller. In addition, there are other posts that can help inspire you to get started (see Dr. Senesie’s post below) as well as information about how even small incremental changes in your exercise routine can be helpful in longterm wellness. Please peruse these articles and give your routine a fresh start! Move more, sit less!!

— M. Seidelman

Exercise – index of all the exercise posts on this website

Three posts about preventing osteoporosis: 

  1. Exercises for better bones and healthier bodies
  2. Exercises for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis prevention – part 2
  3. Exercises for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis Prevention – part 3

Just Keep Trucking – even a little exercise helps

The Positive Health Benefits of Being Outdoors

The Power of Strength

Healthy Back Series

Creating a Balanced Fitness Routine

This is the 5thin a 5 part series on abdominal exercises – the other 4 are linked within it Wrap-Up of Five Abdominal Exercises – Marching and Tapping Core Stabilizer

Push-Ups: Upper Body and Core Strength Using Your Own Body Weight

 Inspiration from Dr. Senesie for getting started with exercise: Strengthen! Sweat! Stretch!