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Health ... Fitness

Use It or Lose It

article provided by Leslie Kahn, NCTMB,  Knead A Laugh

I am living proof that if you don\'t use it, you lose it. At age 55, although technically I am a senior citizen, can join AARP and receive senior discounts, I don\'t think of myself that way. I have a 9 year old child, after all. Can you imagine the response were my husband and I to apply to a senior community with the 9 year old? I don\'t think it would be favorable!

I recently broke my ankle in a slip and fall and after 2 1/2 months of immobilization, I was given the OK to start walking again. Was that ever a shocker? I thought I would put my foot down and start walking again. How wrong I was! That was 2 months ago with 5 weeks of physical therapy and I still am not walking the way I did before my injury! I was walking 5 miles a day before my injury and am currently walking at least a mile a day at half the pace.

My 85 year old Mother is another case in point. She was very active, both physically and mentally despite having severe rheumatoid arthritis until my Dad had a stroke 9 years ago and then everything changed for her. As a result of a clinical depression which robbed her of the desire to interact with the world, she is now frail, profoundly deaf, can no longer walk and sits in a chair all day with nothing to occupy her mind.

But there are plenty of seniors the same age as my Mother who lead active, vibrant and interesting lives, mainly because they have a passion in life. Betty White is a perfect example. She is 88 years old and is sharp as a tack and twice as filthy. Keep your sense of humor! They also keep it together by exercising regularly and eating well. I would also add receiving regular massage treatments and stretching on a regular basis to the list of ways to maintain good health during the "golden years". There is an expression. I\'m sure my Mother would not describe them as "golden".

As we age, our muscles lose the elasticity that they had when we were young and so every time our muscles contract and relax, they don\'t fully return to their relaxed state. The muscles can become tight and painful and effect joint mobility. The older we are, the more we need to stretch. Also, receiving regular massage treatments increases the circulation, decreases your blood pressure, strengthens the immune system and it feels so great! My plan for the rest of my life? Regular exercise, massages, daily stretching and laughing every day. It\'s a lot of work, but well worth the effort.

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults Myth 1: There no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway. Fact:Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high […]

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