Now that you’re over 60, are you feeling stiff in the joints, have trouble bending over or have slowed down significantly? Do you spend hours sitting in a chair writing, watching TV or sitting on the couch?
Movement makes the difference in achieving quality longevity, and we must make time to do it more. Here are 7 reasons why.
My favorite way to move is walking, and I make it a habit to walk every morning. One thing I’ve noticed is that I am no longer stiff when I wake up in the morning because walking naturally oils your joints.
Because I’m a blogger, I sit most of the day on my computer. I make sure to take breaks throughout the day to walk in addition to my morning stroll. Having two dogs living with us in our apartment helps. They make us walk and help us stay healthy.
If you talk to anyone who is 90+ and still active, they don’t sit on their laurels all day. They move as much as physically possible. In areas of the world where people live the longest, 90-year-olds walk to the store, pick olives, split wood or weed their gardens. It’s rare to see them use canes or walkers.
All movement helps, and it doesn’t mean you have to join an expensive gym. Doing simple tasks like cleaning your own house, using the stairs instead of an elevator, carrying groceries, etc. keeps your body in good shape.
I once sat down at a party with centenarian actor Norman Lloyd who was 101 at the time. He had just given up playing tennis the year before. Norman is still completely alert, articulate and entertaining. He even has a girlfriend. As of this writing, he is active and healthy at 103 and still loves to go to parties.
Years ago, I was friends with a 90+-year-old artist and sculptor. He was alert, productive and a huge flirt. What amazed me about him was how straight he stood. In fact, he lectured me about how important it was to stand straight and not slouch.
Your posture is your lifeline. Once you start hunching over, it can cause numerous health issues. Walk with a book on your head if you have to, but always stand up straight.
Whether it is gentle yoga or warm-up/cool-down exercises, stretching makes it easier to do the simple tasks we take for granted – like tying a pair of shoes or picking up something we dropped on the floor.
Fascia, which is the connective tissue that keeps your muscles in place, may become compressed and cause neck and shoulder pain. Stretching helps to reduce the pain and move the fascia to prevent build up.
A key concern for Baby Boomers over 60 is falling. Balance exercises and strengthening core muscles should be a priority. Tami Peavy, a physical therapist who has been featured on The Today Show, works with Baby Boomers suffering from postural decline.
She believes that it’s important to strengthen the gluteus maximus muscles which she calls the ‘muscles of balance.
Whenever you start feeling depressed, try dancing. Turn on an online radio channel and dance to disco or rhythmic dance music. It will take your cares away, exercise your body and improve your mood. Even if you are confined to a wheelchair, you can move to the beat and enjoy life a little more.
How do you incorporate movement into your life? Has it made a difference in the quality of your life? Please share any exercise tips you have found along the way.
Tags Fitness Over 60