Getting in Shape
Editor’s note”: this is the last of our posts for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. You may want to read the first two: Make Physical Activity and Exercise a Way of Life and Ways You Can Exercise.
The soreness in my abdominals this morning told me that I must have done something good yesterday for my body. Let’s see. I got back on my jogging trampoline, and I did a couple of stretches. What did the trick, though, was the core strengthening exercises I have been neglecting. But my annual hiking trip is coming up in a few weeks, and I need to get in shape.
Here are the exercises I think every older person should make as their daily routine. They don’t take long, and they don’t have to be done all at once. Some of them are from AARP, and some are from my physical therapist, and some are from friends.
My Anti–Aging Routine
Here’s my anti–aging routine. There are four exercises, none of which will make you sweat. But please check with your doctor first before trying.
- For your core: This is the key to success at any physical endeavor. Lie on the floor face down. Now raise yourself up onto your elbows and toes, with your hips off the floor, so your body forms a plank. Just hold that position for 30 seconds. It’s called a plank, and it’s harder than you think. Then collapse for a few seconds and do it again. If you can’t hold it for 30 seconds, start off with 10. Now do it on your side. Lie on your side, and prop yourself on 1 elbow. Put your other hand on the floor in front of you to get your balance, and then raise your hips off the floor. Put your hand on your hip to strike a pose that says, look at how in shape I am. You should try to make your body as straight as possible. Then switch to the other side.
- For your balance; and this is really important for all of us. Stand on one foot near something you can touch. Hold that position for up to 30 seconds, or longer, if you can. Then stand on the other foot. Try to keep your balance without touching the floor with your raised foot or grab onto something with your hand. You might wobble a little, or a lot, but try to right yourself before touching. Again, start with a few seconds at a time. Repeat 3 times on each leg.
- For your arms: Don’t you just hate it when your arms aren’t toned. Here, I must apologize to my late mother for all the times as a child I playfully poked her upper Arms to watch them jiggle. That was so mean. But I vowed to never let my arms get like that. Lifting weights kills my back, so a friend, a physical therapist, suggests this one. Sit in a chair with arms. Using your hands only, push yourself up off the chair, so your bottom is off the seat. Repeat until you can’t do it anymore. I’m only up to about 17 but now that I’m motivated, I’ll get better.
- Finally, to avoid that puffiness under your chin, and I won’t call it a double chin, thrust your lower jaw out and back, about 20 times. I do this several times a day, whenever I think about it, in private of course. Another facial exercise, which my friend says will prevent frown lines, is to put your lips together, as if you are playing a wind instrument, and then smile real big. Do this about 20 times, in private of course.
Additional Anti–Aging Tips
There you have it, Mary’s “I’ll never look old” workout. Don’t forget to walk briskly, every day, find something fun to do every day, thank God for something every day, and eat dark chocolate every day. Now that I have shared my anti–aging tips, what about you? What do you do to stay youthful as a visually impaired or blind senior? What types of exercises do you enjoy? Share your tips so we all can stay active as we age.