T Nation

Old, Weak and Really Out of Shape

My 55 year old mom wants to get in shape and it couldn't hurt my dad(same age) to do the same.

Currently they go for daily walks lasting about 20minutes or so. I’ve got them doing some light stretching and foam rolling which has great results on there back pain. Both will also be following other soft tissue work such as ART and massages.

Both can’t do a single push-up, haven’t really tested them on this but they can barely get off the ground.

Has anyone here had to work themselves up from such a deficit before? What kind of exercises would you recommend?

I did the same with my parents five years ago - they’re in their 80s now. I started them both off on a swiss ball - and then my father moved to iron (squats, presses, etc.) and my mother branched off into pilates.

Thin as rails, lean muscle weight has increased, but slowly; they’re pretty ripped actually. It’s amazing to watch.

To your situation, sounds like they need some really basic pilates - plank, leg lifts, activation & balance stuff.

I think adding exercise is great, at any age, but as you start out older, I think you have to allow a lot of time for adjustment.

In particular, after potentially decades of neglect, connective tissues, cardiovascular systems, muscles, general fitness and recovery ability may all be deficient.

It probably goes without saying, but you’d want to involve the family doctor and potentially get some type of wearable heart rate monitor.

As I was writing the above post - to the very hour - my father was learning that he has lymphoma. Just like that - out of the blue. That’s how most things happen I guess. Fuck.

[quote]katzenjammer wrote:
As I was writing the above post - to the very hour - my father was learning that he has lymphoma. Just like that - out of the blue. That’s how most things happen I guess. Fuck. [/quote]

Sorry to hear that katzenjammer. I hope everything works out.

[quote]vroom wrote:
I think adding exercise is great, at any age, but as you start out older, I think you have to allow a lot of time for adjustment.

In particular, after potentially decades of neglect, connective tissues, cardiovascular systems, muscles, general fitness and recovery ability may all be deficient.

It probably goes without saying, but you’d want to involve the family doctor and potentially get some type of wearable heart rate monitor.[/quote]

I second this whole post. They aren’t exactly ancient yet, but old enough to where injury or worse could be lurking around the corner if not handled with prudent care.

You may all be shocked at what they can achieve, but it will have to be done right and to be truthful the vast majority of those who frequent these forums, myself included, are unqualified to say much more than that.

[quote]critter wrote:
katzenjammer wrote:
As I was writing the above post - to the very hour - my father was learning that he has lymphoma. Just like that - out of the blue. That’s how most things happen I guess. Fuck.

Sorry to hear that katzenjammer. I hope everything works out.[/quote]

Thanks critter. We’re hoping for the best and trying not to freak out. Cheers to you.