First, let’s agree on the goal…

There are many different approaches to effective exercise with different goals for different folks. Many of them are perfectly valid to achieve valid goals. I’m not writing this to establish right/wrong or good/bad. I’m writing about what makes sense to me; my focus.

I’m saying if you want to pose on stage in a thong bikini, be capable of lifting extraordinary weights or turn your body into pretzel-like contortions, that’s not where this column is focusing. This isn’t about visible abdominal muscles, bulging biceps or a totally fat-free existence.

Simply, this is about spending as many of our years as we can being active with a minimum of discomfort and/or pain. If that sounds reasonable, please, no matter your age or current physical condition, read on.

That’s our focus so we can do stuff. Do stuff with our mates, with our friends, with our sons and daughters, with our grandkids. Whenever we start investing, we start earning. There’s no age limit. Really. We can’t start too late. There’s no such thing. It always works in our favor and offers a great return on investment!

You want some specifics along with the hype? Strength, balance, joint range of motion and improved posture. If we focus on those four things, we’ll have:

  • More daily energy due to increased strength
  • Less back pain
  • Less possibility of falling
  • Less joint pain and more comfortable range of motion in our knees, shoulders and backs
  • An added benefit is we’ll actually look better due to more upright posture

I’m not writing about a “quick and easy” way to achieve all this, although I know that’s an obviously popular way to interest many. But it’s not unpleasant either. To achieve all that is a lot more about being focused on where it’s leading, being patient and steadily consistent, not pushing ourselves to the max and just making it a priority to improve. (Did I mention that’s at any age?)

While I’ve never heard anyone seriously complain about the effort required, gentle gradual building of strength is the foundation and the key to all four areas. Improved strength is needed to protect our balance and reduce the dangers of falling. It’s needed along with conscious effort to sustain solid upright posture. It’s needed to support our moving joints more efficiently. And it is, by definition, more calorie-burning tissue that equals more daily energy.

For those of you who follow my columns regularly (Thank You for your continuing support), I know these are familiar themes. Please consider that the Oyster Pointer attracts new readers every month and also remember that repetition is a sound teaching tool. When it’s combined with good timing, it may just inspire a faithful long-time reader to take that first step in a helpful positive direction.