I've rediscovered the joy of ping pong!
I am male, 59 years old and have recently rediscovered the pleasure of playing ping pong (similar to table tennis). It is such an exciting and inexpensive sport that I would like to encourage more people to try it. It only requires a table and some space for movement and then the cost is almost nothing. I believe it activates both body and mind and I am enjoying it immensely. My daily routine is 20 minutes of treadmill, 20 minutes of weights and 20 minutes of ping pong. Do you think this is enough for a man my age or am I doing too much?
You have a very good programme going and the pleasure you are experiencing is indicative of what it is doing for you. Whether you are walking, jogging or running on the treadmill, as well as playing ping pong, these are excellent aerobic activities to improve your body functions and prevent or reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, our main cause of death. Good cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems are especially important at this time of your life to provide the health-related fitness you need.
The inclusion of weights training is a big plus to your programme. Weights training and resistance activities are needed for muscular strength development. These are particularly important at this stage because we tend to lose muscle mass and strength more so during middle and late adulthood. The muscle mass is often replaced with fat tissue and excess body weight, so weights training is prudent to retain muscle mass, strength and maintain desirable body weight.
It is fun when you can choose different activities to perform or select a combination of activities based on what you enjoy. Iin doing, you are more likely to adhere to the prescription. This is very good because you need to perform a variety of activities to develop your overall fitness, because no single activity will develop your total fitness. For total fitness, aerobic activities should be complemented with strength and flexibility activities.
You are accumulating 60 minutes of exercise each day, which is twice the recommended minimum of 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity throughout the day. The minimum will provide substantial health benefits, so you are doing enough. I do not think you are doing too much. Your cross-training approach has added excitement to the programme and decreases the risk of incurring injuries from overuse and keeps the routine from becoming monotonous
Guard against boredom
You indicated that you do the activities daily. This is quite acceptable. As long as you are able to perform the routine comfortably each day of the week, you will improve your fitness benefits.
However, disadvantages in exercising each day of the week could be boredom in a little while, and mental, as well as physical, fatigue. In that case you would need to take off a day occasionally or do a completely different routine from time to time to distribute the routine relatively evenly throughout the week to permit recovery and prevent the overuse syndrome.
Dr Kenneth Gardner is an exercise physiologist at Holiday Hills Research Center; email: email@example.com.