It is too easy, as we age, to tell ourselves that we can’t move like we once did. That may be true. We may not be able to move like we once did but that does not mean that we can’t still move. Let’s do a Hey, Boomer Walk-about. More about this below. First the facts…
Here is the truth, from the National Institute of Health. “Older adults who lose their mobility are less likely to remain living at home; have higher rates of disease, disability, hospitalization, and death; and have poorer quality of life.”
My chiropractor told me that sitting in front of the computer for hours, or sitting in front of the TV for hours, is the new smoking! According to the Mayo Clinic, excess sitting is linked with many diseases and conditions, like obesity, hypertension, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and depression.
If you have not been pursuing movement, this will require a mindset shift. Like any change, unless you see a good reason to add movement, you are not going to do it. It is a strange thing about humans, we may know something is good for us, but it seems like it is difficult to embrace the changes we need to make. And change takes courage because it is outside of what is familiar.
How many times have you told yourself you were going to cut out fried food, or you were going to go to the gym at least 3 times a week? You make a valiant effort, for a week or two, maybe even for a month. And then … well you know what happens. Life interferes. Without that compelling reason to stick with the new behavior it is easy to let it go.
How do you determine your Why around movement? Sometimes it is a diagnosis that compels us to make a change. Could you find a reason to move more before it became critical?
- You want to be able to play with your grandchildren, toss a ball, walk to the playground, take a hike…
- You want to be able to dance at your child’s wedding, or at your anniversary, or just for fun.
- You like growing flowers or vegetables, and you need to keep up your mobility to maintain your garden(s)
- You want to feel good
- WHAT IS YOUR REASON, YOUR WHY, TO ADD MOVEMENT TO YOUR LIFE?
Add movement to your day
Start slowly. Set yourself realistic goals. If you over promise yourself, for instance, you say that you are going to walk 5 days a week, you could feel like a failure if you don’t achieve that. If you have not been walking at all, how about trying for short walks 2 days a week? Once that feels good, add on another day or a longer walk (or both).
Exercise not your thing? How about fun? Here are some fun things you can do to increase your daily movement.
- You could ride a bike
- Paddle a canoe or kayak in a nearby lake
- Play pickleball or tennis. Shoot some baskets with friends
- Dance, at home or at a club
- Take a yoga class
And here are some more ideas for adding movement to your day.
- Set a reminder to stand and move every hour
- Park far from store entrances
- Walk around your house when doing routine things, like brushing your teeth, or talking on the phone
- Call a friend to take a walk with you. This is good for your mental health also.
- Do some stretching in front of the TV or walk around during commercials
- Walk your dog rather than just letting him/her out into the fenced backyard.
So, what is this idea of a Hey, Boomer walk-about? Once a week, I will go on a walk with one of you. If you are local, we can schedule a time and place to walk together. If you are not local, we can schedule a time, and we will call and talk to each other as we walk. If you are interested in joining me on this weekly walk-about, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get this scheduled.