Many articles that I’ve read about maintaining good health as we grow older say it’s important to move your body in a variety of ways every day. Experts say that the body is designed to move and not to sit all day. Activity tones, regulates, balances and cleanses body systems. Activity improves mental functions and elevates our mood.
My work life was sedentary. I sat at a desk for so many years that it became a way of life. Since retiring, I’ve found it too easy to continue the pattern. Meanwhile, I was reading articles that said it’s important to keep the body moving and mentally agreed with them. The difference between what I was thinking and doing finally dawned on me, so I started walking several times a week and have been gradually increasing the speed and length of time.
Walking once a day wasn’t enough according to the articles, so now I get up out of my comfortable chair and do something gently active for 5 minutes every hour or so. I do the dishes, put away the laundry, tidy a room, a few gentle stretches, a little belly breathing, or some shoulder and knee rolls. I really enjoy moving to classic 80s disco music like anything by the Bee Gees, the Pointer Sisters, Thelma Houston, and Gloria Gaynor. I also love 70s power ballads by Chicago, The Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac. I’ve got them in playlists on my iPod.
After I became more physically active, I got more active in other areas of life. I started going out more frequently to find fun and interesting things to do. I met new people and made new activity buddies. I also did new fun things with old friends like going to local art galleries. The shows changed monthly, so we got to see many artists’ work. Several galleries showed artists from other countries. We loved it.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had become somewhat isolated a few years ago. It happened gradually during a busy time. Good friends moved away and some died. My social world had naturally contracted and I had simply adjusted to the lack of old friends. The new bloom of social activity has been good for me. And so has the increased physical activity. “Use it or lose it” becomes more true the older we get.
How do you keep active? What do you enjoy? How has it enriched your life?