Golden Boomer Reflections – on Exerciseâ€¦.
Savoring each step of the way – How much exercise is too much?
Couch to 5K – halfway there
One of the benefits of being retired is that your days can change from day to day, moment to moment, or week to week, etc. And one of the main things that some seniors fill the time with is exercise. But how much is too much? Should I be worried?
As an educator, it was impressed on me throughout my life that exercise is essential for good health. My parents reinforced that belief by keeping the four of us active. We had a pool in our backyard and spent hours at swim lessons and just staying cool in the pool. In addition, there was always a baseball game in the alley behind our house, or bicycles flying up and down that street and alley, or climbing the cherry tree in a neighborâ€™s yard, or a football game in the cemetery behind the houses across the street. As we reached our teen years, they encouraged us with sports such as tennis, bowling, badminton, volleyball, gymnastics, among a few. And since my college career included taking gym classes, family life classes, and health classes so that I could teach youngsters about staying healthy, those early lessons were reinforced.
My spouse and I encouraged our kids to continue the exercise habit by enrolling them in baseball, soccer, or swim team. We also took them on frequent bike hikes, and bowling, had a basketball net in our yard, went on frequent vacations that included staying active.
So now that my kids and spouses have flown the coop, and Iâ€™m a senior in a 55+ community, next door to a VERY active senior center, itâ€™s only natural that I find myself keeping the activity going. It started when I moved here with walking my dog twice a day, and because the senior center has a pool, I added swimming laps and playing pool volleyball every week to my routines. And since they have a plethora of country line dance classes, I had to add a couple of those to my repertoire as well. And even though my pup has passed away, I still try to include walking in my regular routine. Itâ€™s not twice a day however, Iâ€™ve recently joined a walking group that is aiming to get our walking up to 5k (3.1 miles). The benefits of doing it with the group is that socialization is added, as well as Iâ€™m learning new paths to stretch my legs and view new horizons.
And while Iâ€™m enjoying â€œallâ€ my activities, I sometimes fight with my psycheâ€¦. am I trying too hard? IS this just my way of trying to stay young, and beat the grim reaper? If so, I have lots of company among my companions. Or am I just trying to keep the extra pounds off that I gain from eating out more often? And maybe ward of aging aches and pains? After all, keeping those joints moving is a battle at this age. We all complain about how sitting still for even an hour, makes the joints creak and get stiff.
So are us BOOMERs, raised during the 1950â€™s and 60â€™s, really staying younger and more active than our parents did? Is it working? Since my dad died at the early age of 52 with a heart attack, and my mom lived to be 90, itâ€™s hard to judge which genes I have. But I also look at the seniors in that center next to me, that has a couple thousand members, quite a few of whom are still dancing and grooving in their 90â€™s and a couple of centenarians still driving and getting around.
And as evidenced by our politicians, since weâ€™ve just had two presidents in their 70â€™s, and heading to their 80â€™s, and lots of congressmen and women in upper ages. I heard today that the average age of a congressperson is 58, maybe us boomers HAVE stretched the viability of working into later years!
Iâ€™m just going to keep on moving and grooving for as long as I can, and stop worrying about my psyche! Iâ€™m off and running (well walking) before those April rain showers slow me down!
BTW – My latest favorite â€Beat of Our Livesâ€ to walk to is It Matters To Her by Scotty McCreery!