Exercise used to be a part of life that you didn’t have to plan. It was pretty much built into every day. Taking care of your yard, your house, and your family involved unending and unavoidable activity. What you hoped for was somehow finding a way to rest more and exercise less.
For some reason, things seem to have completely reversed as I grew older. Now the challenge is to spend more time working out every day and less time at rest in my easy chair.
My activity level had been dropping for years, and then a couple of years ago it plunged even more. We moved from a house with a large lot (both of which demanded frequent attention) to a smaller town home maintained by an association.
My wife remains quite active with cooking, cleaning, laundry, and flower-planting. However, my own work that used to involve mowing, snow shoveling, maintenance, and repairs has been taken over by others.
This is very pleasant, but I suspect may not be terribly good for me physically. Turning the pages of a book or clicking through the channels on a TV remote don’t exactly qualify as exercise.
It’s important for older people to find ways to keep busy physically if they’ve lost or outgrown some of the routine activities that they used to do.
One method that works well for me is to churn the pedals and levers of an Elliptical machine in our basement a couple of times a day. According to my machine, a half hour of this exercise burns about 150 calories.
I usually do this while watching the news on TV, which often turns out to be far more tiring than the peddling is.
Another form of exercise I do is taking our dog, Miss Daisy, for walks. Someone (probably my wife, Mickey) has convinced Miss Daisy that it’s her duty to see that I’m as physically active as possible, so she summons me outside many times a day.
I used to exercise by visiting a gym and also by lifting weights at home. The gym is out now since I no longer drive, and my set of weights somehow disappeared after our last move. So it’s mostly Miss Daisy and the Elliptical that keep me active now.
In your own case, too, you may find a number of restrictions that interfere with the kind of exercise program you used to have, but it should always be possible to find some sort of way to remain physically active.
Whatever works for you, be sure to find some kind of exercise. Your body (and possibly even your dog) will thank you for it.
If you want to exercise your right
to be as healthy as can be,
that word above might hold the key:
exercise each day and night.