I used to breeze by the exercise classes for seniors on my way to an intermediate yoga class or the swimming pool or the resistance trainers. Silver Sneakers, ha. I’d never be one of those oldsters doing their exercise sitting down, at least not for a long time.

This was not so long ago. Before the wrist pain made Downward Dog impossible and yoga less enjoyable. Before knee pain derailed my regular fitness regimes. Before I let inertia take over. It is amazing how quickly that can happen. Nothing is easier than not exercising! And the older you get, the easier it gets and the faster you go downhill.

My husband and I joined a nice Kroc Center last summer, shortly after we moved to the city, but we didn’t use it much, preferring to walk outside (me) or bike (him) when the weather was nice. I was finding more and more excuses not to do even that. Too hot. Too rainy. Too icy. My knees hurt. The most effective habit is walking, never driving, the .8 of a mile to the library, because it brings the reward of a new book or two to read. However, because of this resolution there have been many weeks in which I have read only e-books.

It is trite to use the New Year as a boost to one’s resolve, but I am now starting to use the Center more frequently. At first I used the pool and the crosstrainer, but I decided to swallow my pride and try some of those Silver Sneakers classes.

To my surprise, I like them. Maybe it’s an indication of how far I’ve fallen off the exercise wagon, but they are just challenging enough to get me huffing and puffing and give me a few sore muscles. Face it, I am 73 and a bit overweight, definitely in the target range for these classes for seniors. Sitting down for at least part of the class feels good. There are plenty of things you can do in a chair and that is good to know–for later, maybe? Today I went to a class of dance moves with 2-pound weights. Shimmy and shake!

Fortunately these classes are conducted well out of the public eye, unlike at our previous fitness center. No one can walk by our class and say, I’ll never be that old.

I have a lot of open time in my schedule in coming weeks, before the garden goes in, so I intend to explore as many classes as I can and settle on new fitness routines. Maybe by the time my new perennials arrive this Perennial will be blooming with energy.

I feel better just thinking about it.

7 thoughts on “Exercise

  1. Dear Nancy,,You inspire me to branch out! I remember following a Sittercyze Class on TV many years ago. The woman who led the class was so cool, that I found it to be fun, and surprisingly challenging.I have been considering trying to find videos of these programs to follow at home. I have the same issue of elder body shaming myself. Not productive, at all. I have been spending Tuesdays with Rondy, my personal trainer, at LA Fitness. After a year of working with him, I have lost 20 lbs, and more than 2 inches off my waist, hips, thighs, and neck. My upper arms, 1 inch. I do cardio on my own, treadmill, elliptical, exercycle, and have very gradually challenged myself.I am building up my confidence to try the Zumba class. I watch them, and it seems so intimidating. I need to talk to the leader of the class, and ask if I can try it at my own pace.Here is to building stronger, more confident relationships with our aging, but fabulous bodies!Love and Hugs,Cecilia

  2. Way to go! I’d love to go to some senior classes. Unfortunately my his
    health really keeps me from having much free time. Keep up the
    good work!!

  3. Dear Nancy. I have realized that longevity does not come without effort on my part. A surprising blessing in our small Alabama town is an excellent Wellness Center, a part of the hospital complex. We can utilize it for a very reasonable cost as seniors. The secret for me has been to make going there a part of my daily routine. Get up, have breakfast then go to the Wellness Center. I am at the point that I miss it when I don’t go there. I do 30 minutes of cardio on a recumbent stationary bike, then I do weight work. I have some balance problems so I do leg extensions & curls to strengthen my legs. I want to avoid being stooped over so I work on the muscles in my upper back. And I want to stay reasonably trim so I do ab crunches. I am almost always refreshed when I finish. The Wellness Center also has a social component. Being new in town I have made numerous new friends; mostly old guys like me. We discuss everything from local issues to Alabama/Auburn football. The whole experience has helped me to feel much more at home in Winfield and much better about myself. I applaud your renewed efforts and know that you will continue to benefit. Charlie K.

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