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Give yourself a break and ease into spring

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent
ALL |

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Springtime brings a host of new outdoor activities along with the warmer weather. As the valley thaws and the temperatures begin to rise, people venture outdoors for exercise and chores that can be more physically demanding than those they’ve done throughout the winter season.

But jumping off the couch and running down the street in the new day’s sunshine may not be the best idea, according to director of rehabilitation services at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, Dr. Ross Peterson.

“They need to start gradually,” Peterson said. “It’s easy to go for a three mile hike after you’ve been sitting around all winter. But you may want to start with going for a walk around the block.”



Seniors especially need to be cautious and ease into things Peterson said.

For exercise, Peterson offered going for short walks at first or simple stretching could help people ease into the springtime activities with ease.



“Walking is one of the best exercises there is,” Peterson said. “They don’t have to get on a bike or go to the club. Even a short walk down the block is one of the most beneficial exercise there is.”

Only 30 minutes of moderate active walking would qualify for a good amount of time for seniors according to Peterson. He also suggested a regular workout routine like the Yampah Yahoos Program that’s a joint effort between Valley View Hospital and the Glenwood Community Center.

“This is a great way to get back into shape coming into the spring and summer,” Peterson said.

Fitness instructor Michelle Fite teaches two sections of the program, one focuses on cardio, core and circuit training and the second section focuses on upper and lower body strengthening with resistance bands and stretching.

“Basically all fitness levels are welcome and I encourage all people to come out and they can make it as easy or difficult as they want,” Fite said.

The program is focused on those 50-years and older and Fite said she’s even got a couple over 80 years old who participate.

“These classes are good stretching and cardio programs,” Fite said.

But besides just exercise, it’s important to ease into everyday chores like gardening and yard work as well Peterson said. And it’s important to stretch before these strenuous activities and taking a break is encouraged.

“Kneeling and staying in one position for long periods of time isn’t healthy for out bodies,” Peterson said. “It’s important to get up and move around, then go back to the chore later.”

As in any type of physical activity, Peterson expressed the value of staying hydrated.

“One thing is that most people don’t drink enough water, especially as they get more active and they tend to get dehydrated,” Peterson said.

Spring can be a deceiving time, Peterson said, because people may not sweat as much as in hotter weather and sometimes it’s hard to tell when you are thirsty. Spring weather can be misleading and dehydration can occur easily. Peterson recommends drinking between six and eight, 8-ounce glasses of water in a day.

“Break activities into smaller sessions,” Peterson said. “Maybe extend them over several days. For seniors, spending 20 to 30 minutes on a single activity is a good amount of time. Take a break, get a drink and return to it later.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

jgardner@postindependent.com

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO


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