Ask the FBGs: From a Worried Granddaughter



Credit: roblisameehan (And no, this is not actually the worried granddaughter and her grandmother, but aren’t they cute, anyhow?)

Today we’re featuring an Ask the FBGs post. This new feature allows readers like you to ask the FBGs for advice. Nothing is off limits, although we do prefer that it’s fitness related, so send your undying health questions to AsktheFBGs@fitbottomedgirls.com. You just might see them posted on the site in the future!

Dear FBG,

My grandmother is very overweight. However, she has arthritisso it’s difficult for her to do many day-to-day activities, let alone work out. She’s in good health, but I’m nervous that the lack of activity could end up causing problems in the future. She tells me that at this point, it’s too late for her to start anything, but I don’t think so. What do you think?

-Worried Granddaughter

Dear Worried Granddaughter,

First, can we say what an awesome granddaughter you are?! Seriously. This question is both heart-warming and relevant, as many seniors these days are out of shape and afraid to be active because of health conditions. When, in fact, much new research says that exercise actually helps reduce arthritis symptoms and pain! According to the Arthritis Foundation, physical activity can reduce joint pain and stiffness, build strong muscles around the joints and increase flexibility. It can also reduce inflammation and give your grandma more energy, help her sleep better and just feel better over all.

This is all good news, but you’re probably asking me how to get her moving, right? Our suggestion is to spend time with her doing something active. Is there an activity that she used to love to do before she had arthritis? Was it swimming? Tennis? Gardening? Bowling? (Not sure? Ask some family members.) Tap into this first and see if her ears perk up. If this takes some trickery (let’s just walk down the street to see the neighbor’s new flowers) or bribery (we can have a piece of pie after!), that’s okay. The idea is to get you and her moving together and having fun.

Once you’ve gotten her active a few times, then branch into new activities. Maybe a water aerobics class (they may even have one just for people with arthritis) or yoga (there’s even a yoga DVD for seniors!) or even some weight lifting. The important thing is that you do these things with her (or, better yet, enlist the help of your other family members), so that she sees it as social and fun time and not just “exercising.” Hopefully, over time, she’ll really discover something she loves and even do it on her own.

Also, just to be on the safe side, be sure to get the go-ahead from her doctor to exercise and always take things easy with modifications, especially when just starting out. But with a great granddaughter like you by her side to be active with, how could she say no?

Keeping a lid on the junk in the trunk—at any age,


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  1. Kelly D < :) says:

    Hi Worried Granddaughter

    I too commend your willingness to help your Grandma be proactive about her weight.

    I just wanted to let you know that IMHO just getting her out to go on a walk with you every so often is a good way to start trying to motivate her to have movement in her life.

    Also if she isnt into getting out you can also look at some of the gaming systems like Nintendo’s WII and WII Fit that will allow her to get moving with out getting out and about! 😀

    I wish you nothing but the best as you pursue this with with your Grandmother

    God bless!!!

    Kelly D < 🙂

  2. Anahi says:

    Dear FBG,

    I was just diagnosed with high blood pressure this week. My Doc said for me to stop eating salt. I eat a sandwich for lunch everyday, But I know lunch meat is high in sodium. Can you please give me suggestions if you know of any for my lunch meat. I can really use your help. Also is 3 days 30.min a week enough cardio or should I try for 5 days a week ?? I really appreciate your suggestions.

    Worried Sandwich lover

    1. Jenn says:

      Hi Worried Sandwich Lover!

      I would actually try to switch up your lunches! Could you pack a salad? Or grill some chicken breasts yourself with just a touch of salt and more pepper? The fact of the matter is, so many processed foods are high in salt and other additives and you’re better off eating foods that are more natural. It depends on the kind of exercise you’re doing, but 30 minutes a day 3 days a week is great for heart health! If you want to lose weight though, I’d bump that number up to 5 times a week and consider adding some intervals to your workouts or building up to 45 minutes. Also, don’t be shy of weight-lifting! It’s really good for your entire body–inside and out!

      G’luck — you can do it!
      FBG Jenn