I’m getting older. The signs of change are unmistakable. I have more wrinkles (inside and outside). I have some grey hairs. And, I need to put more effort into maintaining my health than when I was younger.
A big part of maintaining my wellness is movement, movement and more movement. Getting a good dose of vitamin movement is important at any age. Though, some people in my age group (I’m 59 by the way) start reducing their movement instead of maintaining or adding more.
Why? Could it be fatigue? Aches and pains? Limiting beliefs? Our culture? Sometimes it comes down to injuries and conditions that truly make it hard to move. And yet, movement still matters.
“The longer we’ve been inactive, the less all our parts move, and the more we start doing things in our life that repeat the cycle.” ~ Katy Bowman, Dynamic Aging. Pg 26
Here’s my motto for my own journey: I do what I can. I challenge myself. I don’t give up.
Easy for me to say? Yes! And, every time I have relied on movement to help me with an ailment, I have felt better for it. What I do each day may not work for you. So, start where you are and do what you can. To illustrate my point, here’s a story about my dad and the last Christmas we shared.
My dad came to Calgary to stay with me in December 2011. He was not well and did not move well. He was on oxygen, used a cane and moved very slowly. In the time he spent at my home, he needed to climb the stairs to get to and from his bed. This was something that he didn’t need to do when he was at home and living on one level. As a result of this and his health issues, he lost the ability to go up and down stairs. The first night of his visit, he needed two strong assistants to help him up the stairs. By the time he left, he was able to do the stairs on his own, just by doing it once a day for about a week. I still remember how good he felt about this achievement.
My dad thought his ability to climb stairs was lost to him. And yet, in a short time, he was stronger and actually wanting to go out and do things. He had more energy. I call that success!
Movement matters for so many physical, social and psychological reasons. So, no matter where you are, do what you can. Challenge yourself. Don’t give up.
Nora is a senior yoga teacher, certified massage therapist, and certified personal trainer – Restorative Exercise Specialist through Nutritious Movement™
If you are over 50 and want to be a better mover, check out Katy Bowman’s book Dynamic Aging.