Hey Seniors Don’t Be A Prisoner Of Gravity


The Andes Mountains

The Andes Mountains

Hi folks,

Johanna Quaas, 86-year old gymnast,

Look up “awesome” in the dictionary, and you’ll probably find a picture of 86-year-old gymnast Johanna Quaas.

I went to the mall today, just to watch people and work out how to reach my target audience, older individuals who are out of shape and really need to undertake a program of safe exercise for better health. I am always struck by the general tendency for people to become stiffer with age, but not everyone. Every now and then you’ll see some 80-year old walking briskly along, arms swinging, hips loose, and for the world acting like a young person. Such people are rare, but they should be an inspiration to the rest of us. Most old people seem to suffer from a combination of fear of falling and tight hip flexors, causing them to take tentative little baby steps.

MRI images of thigh region to show effect of exercise on muscle mass.

MRI images of thigh region to show effect of exercise on muscle mass. These images say it all when it comes to the benefits of exercise as you age.

In fact, they look as if they are about to fall down at any moment. This is quite unnecessary, unless the person is suffering from a serious illness or a personal psychological tragedy.

There are several great tools to stave off ‘walking like an old person.’

  1. Hone your sense of balance, using simple exercises like standing on one foot, standing with your eyes closed (in a secure environment), relaxing your ankles, whilst swaying in response to movements of your arms, and so forth.
  2. Maintain flexibility through regular stretching and lengthening exercises.
  3. Stay strong by developing your own program of safe exercise, which should include some weight training for strong bones and connective tissue.
  4. Develop your biomechanical skills so as to work with gravity, not against it, including good posture development.
  5. Eat right.
  6. Nurture your hopes and dreams and go for it.

Do you really want to struggle around like an old person, or would you prefer to be hiking the Andes instead. It’s up to you!

-k @FitOldDog



  1. I think the fear of falling could be an eye/brain perception problem in some old people, especially people with Alzheimer’s. Mum would walk as if on ice; I don’t think she perceived (saw) the ground as I did.

  2. I don’t fancy hiking in the Andes. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Same lady – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkIig8G3Jws

  3. Pauline Watson says

    Good advice, but what about arthritis (osteo) in the feet? That can make it pretty uncomfortable to walk; do you think any of your recommendations would help?

    • Let me address this as a blog post, but first I want to write about another matter. The answer is to find a way around an issue if you cannot find a way through. Let me think on it! I have my own issues with arthritis that give me trouble in the pool, so I have an inkling of the problem, but I don’t have to walk on my hands. -kevin

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.