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Moving for Life

I know most of us want to skip posts like this when we see the title. Exercise is one of those things that you know you really need to do, but you just keep putting it off and putting it off (sort of like those mammograms, ladies!).

If you haven’t already begun a regular exercise program before your late 30s or early 40s, life can be a little more difficult. When you exercise in your 20s and early 30s, it is about looking good in that bathing suit, having a great set of abs, or really strong arms. Although there is nothing wrong with those things, there are some other benefits that come from the exercise.

Things like:

Getting out of the bed in the morning

Being able to climb a flight of stairs without getting winded

Being able to get down on the floor and back up when playing with your kids

Stamina to run around and take care of your kids all day

Sanity to deal with your parents as they age

Keeping your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure low

Keeping the middle age spare tire from creeping up on you

Having a halfway decent sex life

Exercise once we hit our prime is no longer primarily about looking good. It is more about feeling good, preserving youth and slowing down aging as much as possible.

There is nothing that should stop us from exercising at any age. Obviously check with your doctor first and heed what he says, but most anybody can walk for 30 minutes a day. And that is the type of exercise I am talking about. You can take it further if you like, but walking 30 minutes a day, every day, should be the minimum that you do for your health’s sake. You may or may not lose any weight by doing this, but you should feel better, and your pants may be a little less snug.

Functional Fitness

This is a buzzword right now, especially with Baby Boomers. It is about being fit enough to carry out daily routines without significant pain. Normal activities like twisting to get groceries out of the car or raking leaves are examples.

Yoga and Pilates are two types of exercise that actually do a pretty good job of building functional fitness because they use and teach the muscles to work together. Things like walking or cycling or weight lifting do not necessarily. I have never been a tennis player, but it seems to me that would be a pretty good one as well.

Below is a line taken from the ACE website that may explain it a little better than I can:

Exercises that isolate joints and muscles are training muscles, not movements, which results in less functional improvement. For example, squats will have a greater “transfer effect” on improving an individual’s ability to rise from a sofa than knee extensions.

This is not to say that weight lifting is not good or useful. It just needs to be part of an overall fitness and wellness program. To learn more about functional fitness, do an online search or start at Lance Armstrong’s site.

My husband, dear soul, thinks that exercise will affect him by osmosis or something. I laugh at him and tell him that I am going to order one of those chairs that lifts you up because he struggles every time–huffing and puffing to get up out of his recliner!

So, do you move it every day? You know what they say…use it or lose it!

When I grow up, I want to be like the 73-year-old woman, Ernestine Shepherd, in this video!


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://primeparentsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/40MomsClub-Self-Contributor-Bernice-Wood.jpg

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[author_info]About the Author

Regular Contributor Bernice Wood is a mother of 4 young adult kids, plus Nana to 7 grandchildren. After a major life change summer 2010, she began blogging to journal her personal struggles and transition. To help others avoid the pitfalls of stress and burnout and learn to live a more healthy life, she recently launched her new blog at Living the Balanced Life. She and her husband are also beginning a new blog at Empty Nesters Off the Chain. [/author_info][/author]

10 Comments

  1. Beth

    April 9, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Good for her! She is a great example to the rest of us.

    I got very fit for awhile, but once I went back to work, I slacked off. I need to get back into the habit!

    • Living the Balanced Life

      April 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      That is very easy to do! Just try to fit 15 minutes into your day. Don’t push for a full-fledged workout to begin with, just walk around the block!
      Bernice

  2. Jan

    April 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    You are absolutely right about age 40! I could breeze past little things and do reasonably well up until then. Now, I have to exercise and stretch just to keep pain at bay.

    I loved the video–I want to be like her when I grow up! LOL!

    • Living the Balanced Life

      April 8, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      I had been doing yoga regularly but ran into a hip problem (from other things) and stopped for a few months. The hip problem is mostly gone but I had gotten very stiff. I am working back into my yoga routine so I can get in and out of my hubby’s truck!
      Bernice

  3. Sally Brown

    April 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I really enjoyed this. I am working myself at getting back to a regular exercise routine. Thanks for the post.

  4. Eileen Ludwig

    April 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Wow, Every day I say I need exercise. Right now I have been sitting at the computer for over 6 hours without eating because I want to do ONE more thing.

    Been getting the dust off one of my blogs http://www.web-designschool.com/ and put out four posts and cleaned up all the rest some.

    I liked your page
    Here are links to my Facebook pages and websites, if you are interested

    http://www.freelancetourist.com
    http://www.socialmedia-school.com/
    http://www.eileenludwig.com
    http://www.web-designschool.com
    http://www.facebook.com/eileenonline
    http://www.facebook.com/SocialMediaSchool
    http://www.facebook.com/WebDesignSchool
    http://www.facebook.com/FreelanceTourist

    • Living the Balanced Life

      April 8, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      Eileen, you remind me of me! I can do that too, sit so focused and not move or eat! Not good to do! We gotta get up and stretch and move around a bit!
      You are a busy woman, I will have to check out some of what you are doing! I can see how you would be glued to your computer!
      Bernice

  5. Jacqueline Wilson

    April 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    NO WAY that woman is 73! Without being disrespectful (and weird), she is TOTALLY HOT.

    Good for her…and good reminders in this article.

    • Living the Balanced Life

      April 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      I know, right? It is crazy! And she didn’t actually start working out until she was 60!
      Love the hat in your avatar!
      Bernice