It is no fault of Lorrrie’s that this is published late. I have had incredibly busy a couple of days. Please forgive me. In this piece, Lorrie encourages us to consider different ways to keep fit as our bodies age over time.
I recently read somewhere that walking can increase your longevity by literally years. We know from research that being active and fit are important aspects of our lives. Not only that, but there are multiple exercises to discover, try and do that are important as we age. I took that advice and ended up pulling a muscle, developing a heel spur and getting fit with my walking partner. The secret is to have fun exercising, maintaining a routine that is manageable for both body and mind and of course being balanced in your approach to being active. So, here are some tips that I learned along the way.
One of the exercises my physiotherapist told me to work on was balance. Balance exercises help improve body control and build that core. As we age, we want to prevent falls. A few exercises you could try are standing on one foot by having a chair in front of you if you need it for balance, rocking motion when standing from heel to toe and knee marching by raising one’s knees to the waist level.
The next set of exercises is to build endurance. Try to do these exercises three times a week for anywhere from 10-30 minutes. I am fortunate that I have bike/walking trails and the weather is beautiful for getting out on my bike. I’m burning fat and improving my energy levels. Walking – indoors or outdoors – is another example besides gardening, raking leaves in the fall or shoveling snow or skating in the winter. Never strain yourself and exercise in moderation. Don’t use “I’m too old” for an excuse!
Stretching and strength building are becoming more important as a I get older. I have found stretching to reduce muscle aches and pains and improves my flexibility and range of motion. Many stretches are done in yoga. Strength building helps promote posture and maintain bone mass. Exercises like bicep curls, leg lunges and small weight lifting are examples of those.
There are countless ways to get fit that range from exercise classes in person to you tube videos one can do as a group or on your own. Yoga, Zumba and pilates or aerobics, dancing, spinning, or swimming and cross-country skiing, Tai chi and tennis, pickleball or golfing are all ways one can get moving. Finding your energy level or finding the best time of the day to exercise are also important. Working at your level helps you stick to your routine and avoid injuries. Asking others to join you is enjoyable and focus on the activities that help you get into or keep in shape and moving.
We are magnificently made by the creator of the Universe and our bodies are amazing works that bend, move and endure. In 1 Corinthians 6: 19 – 20 Paul asks, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” So, let’s start or stay fit and workout to ensure that we are doing what’s best for our bodies and have fun doing it too! By the way, both my knee and heel spur don’t bother me as long as I keep up my exercise routine. It’s worth it!