So You're finally a Senior Citizen - Part 1

Ok, so now you are really and truly a “senior citizen”….you are 62+ years old, you may be retired but may also still be working…either by choice or necessity.

Lets say that you are at home, typing away on your computer every day….watching the daytime serials (in my day they were called “soap operas”), doing housework or "make work" but not really doing much of anything to keep yourself healthy.

Sorry friend, it's about time you start thinking of that nasty word that nearly everyone avoids ...EXERCISE !! Yes, I know, that’s something you think about doing but do nothing about.

I belong to a fitness center and do my exercises there. I could do them at home, but being with a group at a specified time and place makes it more of a committment. Three days a week I attend a stretch/fitness class.

Our instructor realizes that some of us have physical problems and teaches her class accordingly. We can modify the stretches or exercises to fit our bodies and abilities. We are not practicing to be the “Radio City Rockettes” so we do not have to do things in unison.

Pilates are one of the best exercises for older people….gentle and non-evasive. Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to stand on your head or balance on one leg while singing “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” to be doing Pilates.

Pilates is a system of exercise that, when regularly practiced can improve your flexibility and strength. This exercise is called “toy soldier” and is very easy.

Stand tall with your feet apart and knees soft. Breath in. Reach your left arm to the ceiling and your right arm to the ground. Breath out as you swap arms. Keep your torso still and stretch the top of your head to the ceiling. Keep the speed slow and the action smooth. Repeat 10 times.

See, that wasn't so hard!!

And, did you ever think that someone would have to teach you how to breathe? Bet you think you’ve been doing it all your life. Well, consider your lungs to be a bellows moving in and out.

We normally take short little puffy breaths and NEVER fully expand our lungs. Think of all that dead air just taking up space in the bottom half of your lungs! Some of it could have been there from way back when you smoked your first (and hopefully last) cigarette!

Right now, as you are reading this, sit up straight and take a biggggggg deep breath through your nose, open those air cells way down in the bottom lobs of your lungs and then let it out through your mouth. Do this a couple of times...also very easy. Remember to breath deep at least once or twice a day.

While you’re standing in line at the grocery, bank, sitting in the car waiting for the light to change or the first thing you do before you get out of bed in the morning......lay there and take some deeeeep breaths.....You'll feel ready to start the day…’re improving your health!

One more thing while I’m thinking of it. DON’T hold your breath while picking up and carrying something heavy, not even if you are a weightlifter. Holding your breath can result in a stressful increase in blood pressure.

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