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Aster's avatar

Who do you know who never walks or exercises and is over 80?

Asked by Aster (18382points) May 27th, 2014

Walk, walk , walk is what I hear daily. Can’t we live a very long life without walking? Do you have friends or relatives who are elderly and never walk or exercise and how have they done it?

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16 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Everyone I know over 80 does some sort of exercise, some sort of movement during the day. A very significant study was done that showed walking was a very common exercise for those who lived into their 80’s and 90’s, and the study concluded walking and other exercise that was not necessarily raising your heart rate very much was all that was necessary. It makes sense to me. The Chinese do that slow type of morning exercise (I don’t remember the name of it) and many of them walk in the cities, bicycle, or do physical work and they live long lives.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie: I think you’re referring to Tai Chi. My mother is over 90, does Tai Chi 3 times a week at the Senior Center, and gets virtually no other exercise. Her health is excellent.

jca's avatar

No, I think she is referring to Quigong.

ucme's avatar

The Queen, she floats about on hover shoes.
Next time you see her on TV, take note, she appears taller than her true height of 4 feet.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor @jca Whichever it is, they have other factors going on also. I assume the Chinese might have some good genes, and also they tend to be thin most of their lives and don’t eat a huge amount of animal products, neither meat nor dairy.

The study I was referring to above was done in America, so the people had various national backgrounds, but mostly the typical European American backgrounds, and it was found in older age it is actually better to be a little heavier.

There was another study done where they examined telomeres and the genes probably have amazing influence and also stress is a big factor. It seems 90 year olds tend to have what scientists consider to be the perfect length telomeres.

anniereborn's avatar

my mother is near 89 and hasn’t done any exercise in 6 years. She is wheelchair bound.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

My dad is 84 and almost never walks. He does however ride his bicycle 26 miles a day in the very early morning.
He beat lung cancer some years ago and appears to be in both excellent physical and mental condition.

JLeslie's avatar

@anniereborn Was she active during most of her life though? My grandmother barely got around the last few years of her life. She mostly walked in the hallway in her apartment building. She died just before she turned 90. Her whole life she was very active though. Walked a lot, she did stretches at home. When she was in her 50’s she would play tennis with me in the summer time, dance, swim, etc.

zenvelo's avatar

My father died at age 82. He didn’t exercise after about age 67, and his last 6 or 7 years he was in lousy health, overweight, ailing, suffering from different things.

My mom, now 90, even after her stroke 15 years ago, has insisted on getting around on her own power, even with a walker. She was having trouble getting up a ramp to a supermarket about a two years ago, and I guy seeking donations for Vets suggested to her to get an electric scooter/wheelchair. She ripped that guy a new asshole, and said “I am not helpless, just slow, why would I want to do that and stop the little exercise I can do?”

stanleybmanly's avatar

My mother-in-law had the metabolism of a hummingbird. As a result, her husband and both children were spoiled beyond belief. She ran a doctor’s office as well as her own household and juggled whatever balls were hurled at her. She was like a machine. On Thursdays the doctor’s office was closed. She would hop in her huge Buick and drive like a mad woman, first to pick up her sister who was like herself high octane and thin as a rail (but didn’t drive) then over to our place to pick up our little boy who was not yet 2. The wife was in law school and sternly instructed that Nona and Aunt Margaret were under no circumstances allowed in the house unsupervised. This is because on the first Thursday they showed up, the 2 of them went through our house cleaning and scrubbing as . though they’d been entranced. The toddler and I were just standing there staring at the wonder of it when the phone rang. It was the wife calling to see if the girls had arrived yet to pick up our boy. When I began to describe the hurricane of activity in the apartment, the wife went ballistic. “GET THEM OUT OF THERE. They’re only doing that to go through our things!” I was shocked. “What things? We don’t have ANYTHING.” “You idiot. Put my mother on the phone NOW”. I did as ordered. The mother in law put the receiver to her ear, listened long enough to determine that she wasn’t interested in hearing anymore, slammed the phone in the cradle, turned to me and said “Here, baby, take this thing and put it in the closet for Nona”. Once more—- I did as I was told. Anyway, the exhibition proceeded for perhaps another 20 minutes. The 2 demons then swept up my boy, installed him in the car seat, wheeled down the driveway, fishtailed into the street then squealed around the corner. Nona died last year at 96. Aunt Margaret is still alive , now 95, living in Minnesota, and at last report, still not in jail.

anniereborn's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, she was very active until the Alzheimer’s forced her not to be. She was out ballroom dancing in her 70s.

JLeslie's avatar

That’s wonderful. I’m sorry she is declining now. :(

Seek's avatar

My grandmother made it to almost 90. The last I saw her she would have been… just about 80. She was tiny and waif-like even then, and did not leave her house or back garden.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

All of my relatives that didn’t exercise at that age are on the wrong side of the grass.

Judi's avatar

My mother in law just turned 80 and she doesn’t leave her apartment. She can barely walk and has had several falls but she’s a stubborn old broad. (She will say, “I’m not stubborn, I’m determined.”)
Our only theory on her longevity is that she has been preserved by pickling. All those meds and vodka have somehow put her in a state of preservation. We are happy to still have her around but we wish she felt better.

Judi's avatar

@jca , Thanks for coming up with the name quigong. I have been trying to remember what that’s called for weeks!

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