"Oh, I can't exercise. I've got a bad knee. I can't lift my arms above shoulder height." How often we hear such statements. They may well be true but most problems need not stop a person from taking part in some form of keep fit activity. The difficulty for most people lies in discovering an approach which suits them.

These days we are all keenly aware that physical activity and a good diet are vital if we want to achieve and maintain optimum health. A workout helps keep ones body and brain healthy as we age. This, in turn, encourages an increase in the brain chemicals which help nerve cells to grow. Other benefits are stronger bones and muscles, better body tone and improved posture and balance.

But knowledge alone is not enough. Putting good intentions into practice can be very difficult indeed - especially so if keeping fit has not been a life-long habit. The consequences of poor diet and inadequate exercise often manifest themselves at a time of life when people find it a real struggle to alter attitudes and practices. If you are someone, who in addition, has to overcome physical restrictions this is even more of a problem.

Changing diet and exercise habits is far from easy for adults. Which is the reason why we need to get our children off to a healthy start. There are no quick fixes whatever claims may be made. Discipline and patience are called for.

However, the situation if far from hopeless for people who have physical problems. There is a form of exercise for everyone. If you are overweight, have difficulties standing or balance problems, for example, you could try working out seated on a chair.

Help could lie in purchasing an exercise DVD. Do be sure though to consult your medical practioner before beginning a new regime. There are very many methods on offer.

Light weight balls or weights are a wonderful substitute for the machines in gyms if you are a senior citizen, elderly, overweight or a patient undergoing rehabilitation from an injury. Use of balls or weights should lead to an increase in strength, endurance and joint mobility.

Yoga, which can be undertaken as chair only sessions, not only helps with breathing and stress but also improves strength, balance and loosens up the joints.

Problem specific DVDs also exist such as those assisting with back pain, fibromyalgia, heart health, high blood pressure and post-surgery breast cancer rehabilitation. Tai Chi as a help for diabetes and arthritis has been endorsed by medical experts.

Dancing can be an excellent Mind-Body-and-Spirit workout. Research has shown that some patients with Alzheimer's disease can recall forgotten memories when they do dance steps to music they used to know.

Dance helps people of all ages and physical limitations to get and stay in shape. There is even wheelchair dancing which is rapidly growing in popularity. Dance, especially for older people, can be a good way of getting exercise and socializing at the same time.

If you can't or don't want to attend dance sessions then put on some music and dance around the house. Don't forget to spend time warming up and cooling down no matter what form your workout takes!

Don't ever give up and keep focused on the valuable benefits of exercise!

Author's Bio: 

Dzagbe Cudjoe is a Dance and Movement Therapist, Intuitive Counselor, Healer and Ethnologist with a keen interest in promoting Dance as a means of achieving Mind-Body-and-Spirit integration... She is the author of the e-manual "Dance to Health -Help Your Special Needs Child Through Inspirational Dance". available at Dance to Health