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Move in the right direction for your body and your mind

By Patte Smith

Oh, please, you say, no more articles about “It’s January, I need to get in shape, I need to exercise, I need to take a class, I need to lose weight, I need a New Year’s resolution, I need to read more, I need to get organized.”  You need to STOP STRESSING about all of this because if you don’t, you will need to go to the doctor!

Grab a buddy, your neighbor, someone down the hall, a partner, one of your kids, your spouse and do something, anything.  Enjoy each day as it comes and yes – do incorporate some type of movement or exercise.  You do not need intense combat-ready exercise or to take a “hot” yoga class (if you have gone through menopause you definitely do not want to be that hot again).  

I am no exercise guru, but I know that as we age, we do lose a little energy, and we do get more tired.  Yes, we want that energy back and to be able to stay out until 2 a.m. (I think not) and you know what, it is possible to have more energy.  Staying physically active to stay strong and fit helps you keep doing the things you like as you get older and helps you maintain your independence.

Walking, swimming, bicycling and dancing does not seem like exercise to me, but it is.  “I swim every day,” one of my neighbors told me.  “I do exercises for my back in the pool, and it really helps.”  Some of my friends play bridge or bowl and others walk daily.  Doing any activity along with social interaction is good for us.  

Reading, doing a crossword or a jigsaw puzzle, or playing a musical instrument is pleasant and can improve mental and emotional health.  “I find it stimulating to get together with my book club to discuss what we have read,” stated a Castle Pines reader.  “Singing is my favorite thing,” said another.   

For older adults who are in wheelchairs or have limited mobility, there are exercises as well.  No matter what age or current physical condition, there are many ways to overcome mobility issues – whether or not you have previously exercised, and get the physical, mental, and emotional benefit of exercise.

As we all know, before you start any exercise plan, you need to discuss it with your doctor first.  There is so much information available online about adult mental, emotional and adult fitness that we do need to be careful and talk with our own physician to learn what is best for us.

Remember, it is important to choose something enjoyable for your body and your mind, and every day, smile!



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