To Exercise or not to Exercise?

To Exercise..or Not?

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.” ! Corinthians 6: 19-20

Hello Colors of Sunset readers,

Recently  one morning I woke up as usual, and my knee was so stiff and sore, I could hardly move it. What’s the deal here?  I don’t consider myself a ‘couch potatoe’ or anything  and didn’t remember having done anything out of the ordinary. Physical activity like going to a gym is something I have always enjoyed.  So why all of a sudden do I have difficulty getting out of bed and just taking a step? Someone told me it was all part of the normal aging process. That may be, but not all older people have physical ailments, or do they?

I was considered somewhat of a tomboy when I was younger. I much preferred to be doing something active to sitting around playing with dolls or putting on makeup. In high school my sisters and I always earned those Presidential Awards for physical fitness that were offered as incentive in our PE classes. After college, I took up jogging and got a gym membership for a short while. I jogged during most of my first pregnancy and after that it was basically walking with the kids or doing work out videos at home. Now with kids grown I have joined a gym again but the monthly payments are much too expensive. Since we need to start saving more for retirement, we need to look for a less expensive gym.

Another consideration is that naturally as my hubby and I get older, we try to remain in as good as health as possible and take care of our bodies so we live a long healthy life. We don’t want to be a burden on others. Be that as it may, I’m finding out that my body does not seem to want to cooperate as well. It seems that even doing the most routine type of exercise that I am accustomed to, the body protests the next morning with aching stiff joints that will not move as easily as they used to.  No one in my family has knee issues, back issues yes, but not knee problems. The doctor gave me the news that my knee caps don’t stay centered and there is no more cartilage in my knees; so the ultimatum was exercise or surgery. Ugh!

Hubby just had hip replacement surgery which went well and he has recovered nicely. My knees decided to act up because I was doing extra work at home helping hubby recover. So what is the best way to keep shape for an aging body? What about the Silver Fit or SilverSneakers programs? Some health insurances will pay for gym memberships to seniors 65 and older in good health or under 65 with medical disabilities. Or perhaps get your own treadmill or cross trainer machines to help you exercise at home. If you have a pet, walking your dog daily or twice a day is good for you and your pet. But then I have also seen a lot of seniors at the gym who go to classes there together or exercise together. It seems going to the gym has become a great way meet others in the same boat.

I know of some other friends who have started doing races where you walk/run for certain distances, 5K, 10K, half-marathons, or whatever they can handle. They can support and encourage each other and it is more fun to do it with someone. You even get to practice to help each other get in shape. You can encourage and support each other in the process and build relationships. Even Park and Recreation sites or Senior Centers in the city offer classes that don’t cost too much, like tennis or swimming, even dancing. My 80 something year old dad learned dancing that way. He is in pretty good shape physically to the point he still mows his lawn and walks his dog regularly.

What do you do regularly for exercise or how do you keep physically fit and active?  The more I look, the more different options I find that are open to seniors and if one doesn’t work, then find another. What works for you or do you just exercise at home? There are many ways to get exercise and be able to spent time socializing as well. Happy exercising and maybe I’ll see you at the gym!

It is never too late to be what you might have been. George Eliot

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