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Exercising as you age: what should you do to stay in shape?

Posted at 5:24 PM, Sep 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 20:34:15-04

Three days a week you'll find 76-year old year old Ardie Lurvey at the Lighthouse/City YMCA. 

"Anybody that I talked to says the same thing -- activity is very important," Lurvey said. "And I'm probably not as active as i should be but, here I am."

He's a regular in the EnhancesFitness class.

"It's geared towards clients with arthritis, and it is studied and followed by a group of doctors and group fitness professionals," said instructor Andrea Fallin.

It was a trip to the hospital in 2015 that got Lurvey in the gym.

"I had pneumoia, and blood poisoning and a broken gall bladder," Lurvey said. 

Thanks in part to the group exercise class, Lurvey is feeling better and has more energy.

As we age what should we you do to stay in shape?

Mary Atkinson is the director of wellness at the Tucson Medical Center.

"Whether that's in a gym, or whether that's outdoors walking with no people, find what you love that you know that you can sustain and continue to do," Atkinson said. 

Atkinson says there aren't necessarily specific exercises for each age group, as long as it gets you moving and it's something you enjoy.

Things that get more important as you get older include strength, flexibility and balance.

"It's known that we will lose muscle mass, we lose bone density, and it's the strengthening types of exercise that help maintain muscle mass and help maintain bone density," said Michael Urquhart. 

Urquhart is in the cardiac rehab department at TMC says every day he shows clients functional exercises. That includes simply sitting on a chair and standing up. Those simple exercises mimic different tasks you do throughout the day. 

For more information on programs at the YMCA and TMC,


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