The older I have grown, the more I realize the need for exercise.
Last September I lived through a six day long power outage after Hurricane Irma swept through Florida. For five of those days we did not have a generator. Once we purchased the only generator left at the local store, we could turn on fans – fans are the most wonderful invention.
During our 5 days without electricity I had to open the garage door by hand. I had to open it to drag the gas grill outside to cook my breakfast. Mine is a 2-car garage size door and it is HEAVY. I hurt my back doing this. After a month I could still feel the pain in my lower left backside. I’m older and my body does not bounce back like it used to.
This is exactly the reason we, as older people, need to stay in the best shape we can. As I age, things go wrong with my body for no apparent reason. I can wake up in the morning with an aching toe. Why? Who knows? I have discovered that if I just WAIT the problem fixes itself.
Some problems won’t fix themselves. They need help. High blood pressure caused by PKD won’t fix itself. I have to work extra hard to keep my BP down. And that includes moving my body.
Staying strong is very important. As my muscles sag and my body craves the sedentary lifestyle (especially in the heat of a Florida summer) I must push myself to remain active. Moving improves strength. Using free weights improves strength. Carrying heavy grocery bags and planting in the garden also helps. The key is to do something, or many things.
Almost everyone can walk, so take a walk.
Find a place near your home that is pleasant and safe to walk and get out there whenever possible. I live fairly close to a park on the beach and it is one of my favorite places to walk. I walk alone and set my own pace. I see a lot of people walking together as well, but remember to pick up the pace. Strolling along doesn’t do us as much good.
Yoga Stretches the Muscles
I once took a yoga class with my daughter. I loved the way I felt when the class was over. Yoga is a good way to remain flexible, but you don’t have to go out to a class, unless you want to. Find one on television, or find a few moves you can do whenever you feel stiff and tight.
Mornings are a good time to stretch out the muscles. It gets me ready for the day. Usually I have to be up for a while before I can attempt this. I do what feels comfortable. Deep knee bends make my knees creak, so I skip that. I can reach down and put my palms flat on the floor. Yoga positions like child pose, cat & cow, downward-facing dog, and plank are some of my favorites. You can see them at the Yoga Journal site.
Not only do these moves stretch tight muscles and make us more flexible, they strengthen us too. Do them while the coffee brews or while you watch the morning news. I don’t spend a lot of time with it, just enough to feel loose.
Don’t let the fact that young people are always pictured doing yoga stop you from trying it. We can’t do what they do, and it would be foolish in many cases to even try. We also won’t look as good as they do while posing either. The point is to do it as best . Flexibility comes from continuous attempts. Look for a Chair Yoga workout (there are many on YouTube) which is meant for older people.