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Doctor Stresses Need for Seniors to Exercise.

A local sports medicine physician will discuss the need for seniors to reverse a trend of "underuse" of muscles by becoming active again, as well as rehabilitative activities for common injuries Wednesday at the Sun City West Foundation.

Dr. John Kearney, a specialist in non-operative, rehabilitative and medical aspects of sports medicine, will present his expertise about the importance of staying active in general, the benefits of different types of exercise and the best ways to prevent over-use injuries.

"Staying active should be a priority in everyone's life," said the physician, who works with the Center for Orthopedic Research and Education based in Sun City West. "Everybody should be aiming for at least two hours a week of activity that gets you out of breath and makes you sweat."

Seniors should look for an activity they enjoy, whether it's bocce or lawn bowling, as long as they stick with it, Kearney said.

"Whatever (seniors) enjoy and they can participate in, that's the most important thing," he said. "The goal should be to find something you enjoy doing that you can stick with."

Often, seniors face injuries during physical activity, and they become discouraged about continuing to exercise. Kearney said the correct rehabilitative techniques can often ease the pain.

"There are usually very simple things (seniors) can do to stack the odds in (their) favor to treat an injury or prevent an injury from occuring," he said. "In general, with seniors we see a lot of shoulder, knee and back problems. Chronic underuse is just a natural, slow decline in the muscles that support the joints. We can usually get those feeling a lot better with the right physical therapy and strengthening.

"(It's common for seniors to) think that they need to exercise less whenever they run into a painful problem. They tend to give up very easily, when in reality there's usually an easy way to fix the problem."

The presentation, sponsored by the Foundation, Recreation Centers and Property Owners and Residents Association of Sun City West, will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sun City West Foundation Building, 14465 R.H. Johnson Blvd.

The talk is open to the public. 

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