If you don’t exercise, you won’t live so long or your brain cells will die off leaving you with no short term memory or not being able to recognize your family members when they visit you in the nursing home. (This is somewhat ‘tongue in cheek’ but there is some truth in it). Now I don’t know about you but I’d like the option of being healthy ’till I drop (maybe only suffering a very, very short time as I’ve seen with other active seniors). It’s worth a try as long as you engage your brain and your body perhaps not as much or often as suggested but some effort IS needed.
I have developed a somewhat different approach when it regarding exercise which is catching on in physical therapy centers and being welcomed by seniors and the physically challenged. Not a new idea but an idea with a different slant!
Do you realize that you can keep physically active doing a few daily exercises in bed or on a chair in your own house? The trick is to learn the different exercises that you need for your physical problems. And we all have these-from arthritis in our joints, hands,
neck, etc. How I learned about these exercises through books and mostly
by going to a real good physical therapist (whom your doctor can recommend).
What you need are exercises for your particular problems, number of times and repetitions you need. The idea is to eliminate a lot of gadgets and spend a shorter time exercising to accomplish the same results by targeting specific areas with a focused attention. It could be ten minutes at a time lying in bed morning and night or doing 10-15 squats in the shower ( always holding on)!
There are small squeeze balls and other gadgets which you can work while watching TV for arthritis in your hands and Velcro braces to wear at night available in a surgical supply store to give your hands and wrists a rest. These are especially helpful when your hands or forearms are painful.
I have working on a book “Exercise for Those Who Hate It” incorporating simple movements that help keep your body working such as lying in bed and pretending to bicycle with your legs in the air. I try to do 50 repetitions each leg. If you need to, support your back with your hands under your buttocks.Easy does it!
More exercises to come with sketches.
Also I try to walk 15 minutes or so a few times a week even though I have back pain. Usually I have to rest my back several times during that time (sitting on anything avail-able from a fire hydrant to leaning against a tree. The point is to keep moving! People who give up and stay in bed rather than suffer are not interested in living. Of course this depends on the intensity of the pain and needs to be addressed by their doctor and possibly helped with pain medicine. The underlying issue remains the same however. To be able to function you must ‘USE IT OR LOSE IT’.
My approach has always been not to accept the given but to try and improve it. I am willing to try what is available if sensible, non further damaging, priced reasonably, previously tested. That covers physical therapy, injections, accupunture, non invasive surgery – all medically approved! I listen to what my body is telling me and respect the message. I have tried to understand both western and eastern medical approaches and take from each according to my understanding and needs. My enlighted philosophy has come with age.
When I injured my knee skiing many years ago, I ignored the pain for years until the injections no longer worked. I bit the bullet and suffered through the knee replacement surgery and recovery. But I researched the potential outcome from others who had it, checked carefully which doctor to use before committing. The result was worth it because I got my life back! I didn’t have to watch every step and every curb I had to cross. I even had to repeat it nine months later when the other knee said “good bye” but I know the procedure and outcome and accepted it. Walking without knee pain was a blessing!
It is now years later and I have new issues to deal with (as the back pain previously mentioned ). Getting older is challenging but, I believe, worth hhit!