Fitness in old age: experts give advice

Joint wear, diabetes, cardiovascular disease: disease and physical deterioration often increase with age. For many people, this means that they are not able to enjoy the best years of their life as they hoped, that is, to be healthy and active. However, it’s never too late to exercise more, as 82-year-old Erika Rischko knows from personal experience. It wasn’t until her mid-50s that she herself began to incorporate some sporting units into her daily life. After her daughter signed her up for a gym, she quickly discovered new classes and equipment. “The more I knew, the more interesting it became,” recalls the senior, who is now also known on TikTok and Instagram, and advocates for greater fitness, at any age.

Keep the barriers to entry low: If you get overwhelmed, you’ll quickly give up.

Contingency plan for acute discontent: Don’t let the whole program fail if you are not satisfied. Sometimes the desire for more comes naturally.

Looking for campaign partners: a group or running club motivates. Write down specific tasks, training dates and goals.

Record achievements: Write down distances, times or number of repetitions.

Motivate yourself with music: whether in the living room or on the go: music puts you in a good mood, even when you’re exercising.

Sport despite complaints

Pain is often the cause that stands in the way of newly earned good intentions. “However, the pain warning function is lost after a while. Restrictions are introduced and aggravate the problem”, says Erika Rischko. Even with artificial joints, sports shouldn’t be a problem. “Even with prosthetics, movement is not only allowed, but encouraged. The same applies here as for sports with osteoarthritis: avoid quick and jerky movements, jumps and turns and choose sports that are gentle on the joints such as aqua gymnastics, swimming (without extending the movements of the legs), cycling or walking, which at the same time strengthen the muscles and relieve the implant, “advises Prof. Ingo Froboese. If you are already dealing with physical discomfort, you should first seek the advice of a doctor in any case. “Find out how much you can push yourself and start slowly before increasing the intensity and duration,” says Froboese.

The Downward Facing Dog exercise is great for stretching your chest and shoulder muscles and relaxing your back.

There is nothing better

Everyone should be aware by now that exercise affects our entire body. It depends on the resulting stimuli in numerous areas to function optimally, from the brain to the ankles. Erika Rischko has experienced for herself that specific training can start in later years: “As soon as the spark goes off, playing sports can, in the best of cases, turn into a surefire success. Therefore, we can only advise you: give it a try.” And not only does the body benefit from more long-term exercise, but also the psyche through increased production of lightening messenger substances. And even if strength, speed, and focus decline with age, you can easily stay on the ball. “Don’t focus on what doesn’t work anymore, keep finding what still works and adapt your habits. Those who can no longer jog go out for a walk or hike. Those who can no longer do gymnastics on the floor, train on the chair. The main thing is that you be attentive!”


Pretty fit: Eight minutes of ironing? Sitting on the wall, bribes, tapping on the shoulders, lifting 100 pounds? No problem! The special feature: Erika Rischko is over 80 years old and fitter than many people in their 20s. Together with health expert Prof. Dr. Ingo Froboese he presents Erika Rischko with her favorite fitness exercises to do at home. . There are also practical checklists. And when it comes to healthy nutrition, relaxation and a positive outlook on life, they both know what she can do today to stay fit in her old age.

It’s never too late to get in shape Erika Risko

Prof. Dr. Ingo Froboese (ZS Verlag)

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