What does a former ballet and dance instructor like myself do for exercise in her elderly years––I’m now in my seventies? It’s important to keep active, but remain sensitive to your body and its new limitations as you age. This means not overdoing on exercise machines or aggravating old injuries or causing new ones. There are many possibilities, limited only by your physical condition. You need to do something daily, anything physical. Housework counts––scrubbing tubs, vacuuming, mopping the floor and changing bed linens are boring activities that can provide needed exercise. How about shopping for groceries and daily small walks?
It’s so important to push yourself a little, all in moderation to KEEP ACTIVE. Finding myself in a seated arthritis class has been a challenge, but also an opportunity as I’ve discovered new muscles not used in years as I exercise and lift weights with others. It’s the process of putting pride aside for the necessity of some kind of regular activity now that dancing is just a memory. For a while I was enjoying walking and water aerobics until my knee started complaining. To push on through the pain was an option, but not a wise one. So, I switched activities and changed exercising to a seated arthritis class which though it looks easy gives me ample opportunity for strengthening all parts of my body with balancing, stretching, isometrics and lifting hand weights. Doing it regularly three times a week with other individuals my age to recorded soft music in our spacious community exercise room is enjoyable. I feel stronger and more energetic exercising under the leadership of my 83 year old instructor who sets a good example for us aging adults with her can do attitude.
Some in the class come with canes and participate as actively as they can. I live in a retirement community where there are many in their golden years trying to maintain some level of fitness. I’ve been able to add walking back into my daily routine, early during the summer months or later during the cooler months. I’ve discovered that your body is the most prized and important possession for enjoying your retirement years, keeping it in the best condition that you can: eating healthy foods and taking care of your medical conditions: high blood pressure, weight control, etc. through regular doctor visits, exercising, and adjusting your attitude is needed. NEXT TIME: Attitude Adjustments