Eighty-one year old Cherry Hill resident Martin Eisen believes exercising is important. He has taught and studied forms of karate, tai chi, kung fu and yoga. He emphasizes the importance of staying fit using these exercises, especially for seniors his age.
However, in his new book, Eisen says it’s not about if you’re exercising, but how you are exercising.
Eisen’s book, “Healthy Exercise for Seniors and Non-Athletes” brings a different approach to exercising where seniors can stay fit without paying for training or exercise equipment he cites as dangerous.
“There’s a lot of false advertising about exercise equipment, yoga, tai chi,” Eisen said.
When writing his book, Eisen used statistics to back up his arguments about exercises.
Eisen said too many people his age are either not exercising or performing dangerous workout routines.
“Some of the exercises like weightlifting and running a marathon are dangerous for a lot of people,” Eisen said. “You really don’t have to do any of that.”
Eisen’s book goes into simpler exercises, such as walking and jogging. He said seniors don’t need to go all out to stay healthy.
“Most people, most 65–70 percent of people over 65 don’t do any exercise,” Eisen said. “Even walking for a half-hour can help stay healthy.”
Staying healthy with exercise is the central message behind Eisen’s book. He cites a report from the Ontario Brain Institute that states one in seven cases of Alzheimer’s Disease in the province could have been prevented with at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. The statistics come from research on an Alzheimer’s study looking at older adults with and without dementia.
Eisen agrees with other health authors and trainers about the importance of exercise, but he said the mass market makes the public believe they need to exercise vigorously for 30 minutes a day. He said walking could do the job. People can also break up their regimen into three 10-minute intervals a day.
Exposing some of these commonplace exercises and coming up with alternatives is a big part of Eisen’s book as well. He said exercises such as yoga are not safe for seniors because of the potential damage to muscle and joints.
“It gives you the real facts about yoga and tai chi from what it used to be originally,” Eisen said. “For example, yoga used to be spiritual. It was enlightenment, prayer and all those things.”
Eisen goes back to the roots of yoga in his book. Instead of constant stretching, which Eisen cites as the proliferation of yoga when it was devised for profit, he tells the reader how to perform a more traditional, safer routine. Eisen said many people haven’t actually practiced a pure form of yoga, tai chi and karate.
“I’m just trying to educate people about scientific facts about exercise and the way things have changed,” he said. “Most people have never taught any form of karate; it’s just for profits.”
Eisen is hoping other seniors will pick up his book and make changes to their workout routine based on his suggestions. “Healthy Exercise for Seniors and Non-Athletes” is on sale at amazon.com.