I recently walked into a room of older men and women seated in a circle with upbeat music playing. They did not notice my arrival because they were clapping, singing, stomping their feet and dancing in their seats. They were exercising, but they called it “Circle Time.” The Activity Coordinator told me the adult day services participants look forward to this every week. She also told me that they do not like anything called exercise.

How inspiring it was to see people who have chronic medical conditions, memory loss and daily aches and pains doing the twist, the hustle and what may have been twerking. If they can do it, all of us can.
Being active does not mean you have to run several miles, take an exercise class or go the gym daily. It also does not mean that you must be able to lift weights or bend over to tie your shoes. It can simply mean that you make the effort to move every opportunity that you get.

Here are some easy ways that you can move more:

  • When you wake up in the morning and before you get out of bed, do a big stretch – extend your legs as far as they will go, point your toes and flex your feet, raise your arms above your head while moving your hands in circles, tilt your head from side to side and maybe throw in a couple of sit ups.
  • When you are watching television and music comes on, dance in your seat by clapping your hands, raising your arms above your head and stepping in place to the beat.
  • When doing dishes or brushing your teeth, do some leg lifts and squats.

Any extra moving you can do will make a difference. You will feel better, have less stress and be happier. I always smile after a good dance, laugh or stretch. I can almost guarantee that you will too.

Previously run in Senior Directory.
By Gretchen Funk, Chief Program Officer, FiftyForward