After a surgical procedure, has anyone ever said to you, “If you don’t use it you will lose it”? This quote is true in everything we do in life but becomes much more important as we age.
The trick is to never give in to what your particular ailment may be. For example, if you suffer from arthritis you must move around because the more you sit still, the stiffer your body will become. So start your day getting yourself into the kitchen. If your hands are stiff, running them under warm water will help to get them moving. Now you can make your breakfast and your much needed coffee so you can take your medication. After giving yourself an hour it’s time to move. Start with some simple stretches while sitting. The goal is aiming for 2-3 hours per week of low intensity aerobic exercises to provide adequate muscle strengthening. Examples of this would be golfing, swimming, gardening, or raking. Some information to pass along is that many of the medicare supplement programs offer seniors a membership at a health club for this reason. You can even take a water aerobics class in the pool at the YMCA. Even silly things that don’t feel like exercise to you will help maintain your strength and your endurance. Examples of some of these things could be vacuuming your house, walking your dog, or even playing catch with the grandchildren. The main objective is to always keep moving.
As we age our body will give us signs that things have changed. So for instance, you are in your home and are no longer able to get outside independently to take walks. It’s okay to do your exercising inside and stand and march in place. Even better, make a date with your daughter to take you to the park and walk with you, go to the mall and walk indoors, or a simple weekly grocery shopping. Now at this point you have aged a little more and require the assistance of an aide and an assistive device for ambulation. What you can do is go outside on a nice day and take a little walk with your companion and your walker. Yes you will walk a little slower but the benefit of that walk will keep you moving longer.
Think of it as maintenance of your body as it ages. Just like the older vehicle that you maintain that goes into the shop for oil changes to keep your transmission and motor efficiently working and the result of that is your car will last longer. Well the exercise and the moving that we perform on a daily basis is to keep our body more efficient as we age and help us to live longer lives. Moving and exercising has so many benefits to the body. It keeps your heart healthy, lowers your blood sugar level, helps with circulation and the vascular system by keeping adequate blood flow to your brain which is beneficial for maintaining your cognitive status. Exercise also releases endorphins in your brain that trigger positive emotions and feelings, and is very good for your mental health.
Age is only a number and we need to constantly battle the diseases we have, and the struggles that try to hold us down on a daily basis. Just continue to move as much as you can and as often as you can, and you can improve your quality of life.