Aging Gracefully into 62, Part 1 – Back to Fitness
About moving from Vermont back to Texas, getting ill, and beginning to recover. Yes, it’s a process. 😉
Pictured to the left, “Nice Thing ‘Bout Getting Older”
Available FREE at most online retail outlets.
“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”
Back to Fitness
I hadn’t realized how badly I had slipped in my health until I saw the picture my wife took of me at a Starbucks near our place in Austin. Very different from the feeling I had of my health when we had first arrived in Paris (our detour via Vermont to Texas). 😉
But more seriously, I remember thinking, though I was 62, it was the first time I had actually felt the way I had imagined being old might be if I didn’t take care of myself. Scary.
Besides fatigue from seemingly endless problems with our move (furnishings, our car, securing a location, cable, getting new phones, long plane rides 😉 ) being away from Central Texas allergies for nearly three years left me unprepared, with convenient memory loss, for the impact of sniffing this much pollen every day. 😉
I started with my (from childhood growing up in Houston) trademark “enhanced” congestion, developed the not too frequent sinus infection, followed by a rarer upper respiratory infection.
I was sick. Missed Paris. But worse –
Hadn’t exercised regularly as accustomed in Vermont, where I taught 3-5 senior fitness classes a week through the Burlington Y, since we had left Vermont.
As you can see, from the right side picture, three weeks after getting immediate expert doctor’s care, I was better. Not good. But at least functional. 😉
My wife Sheila had also gotten very ill, and together we forced ourselves to begin where we had begun. With ten minute and partial sets from our go-to fitness DVDs from years before: Stronger Seniors and Denise Austin. Sheila has also been able to get regular SilverSneakers classes at a nearby Gold’s Gym.
Getting Back to October Levels
About a month ago, I finally was able to, for a short quick photo, climb onto a trampoline and pretend to be able to stay in it. Luckily I had help getting off before I flipped 180 degrees. 😉
This was some beautiful grounds at Krause Springs out by Spicewood.
Our youngest girl was expecting her first child, and we’d gone out there with her in-laws and husband for some great bar-b-q.
I actually think, here in mid April, I’m in “fairly” good shape, but not at my preferred bantam weight senior class level. 😉
But I’m not “too” worried. I have a secret.
Sheila and I had trained and became fitness instructor certified (about nine months of study) and we had learned a lot!
One extremely important item, among a very many, was that once we (people in general) learn something physically, a memory is created in our systems. Like riding a bicycle after a long period.
In other words, the return back to fitness, is shorter and on a known road compared to before.
Keeping the Engine at Least on Idle
This is very important. Yeah. I know. What isn’t? 😉
But keeping the engine of interest in one’s life, well, alive, is paramount.
If you are unable to exercise for a long period, very ill, in a long recovery, or any of the myriad things we get to experience in life, find those pockets of interest that will keep you curious and wanting to do more.
Don’t be embarrassed about whatever it is.
Love of grandkids. TV shows. Reading. Painting.
And hey, daydreaming is, as they say, vastly underrated!
For me, it was continuing to work on my new fiction work set in Paris where we had just traveled from.
And coming up with the idea of a long term blog post series of Paris Photos.
Then, as I gradually recovered my strength and my health, being able to visit and be with more of family again.
Luckily for me Sheila and I partnered the effort. 😉
The After-Snack I Found I Need
As we very slowly began exercising more regularly, one of the most surprising things I had learned when we became certified via AFAA, was the body’s need for fuel to rebuild, especially the first 30 minutes after a workout.
I found this to be a good Google search starting point for when to eat after exercise.
My Own Most Important Fitness Reminder Tip at this Time
Of all the tips and necessary information and pointers and reminders, this was the most important for me, and, as Sheila and I taught our senior classes, for most of our class participants.
Because ten minutes is not just a convenient time frame for mini workouts on DVDs, it’s a building block of time for our bodies.
One ten minute block of time is good. Three of them, continuous or distributed through a day, is even better.
Plus, it is a short enough stretch of time it can be fit into almost anybody’s day.
And the more conscientiously and with awareness that ten minutes is practiced, the more effective it is.
And, it is a short enough time that if one is really having trouble getting going, where just moving is an exertion, and believe me, I’ve been there! then getting to where one can do ten minutes of continuous movement is a fantastic goal! Don’t let anyone tell you different! Unless you want to. 😉
There’s many things that are actually kinda nice about getting old(er) and one is that you can pace and enjoy being active, without needing to feel you are competing for a marathon or such. 😉
Weights, Cardio, Yoga – Which First / When
SilverSneakers has a really comprehensive training program for its seniors classes instructors, and Sheila and I were fortunate to have gone to three of them.
Because each component, strength, cardio, and flexibility, are so important and so intertwined, one lending to the other in terms of enhancement, when people favor one over the other, which is natural, there tends to be excited discussions as to which is most important.
Basically, in my opinion, whichever you are least developed in, you should concentrate on until you feel you’ve reached a point of balance. Your doctor or medical adviser or trainer would be a good place to start. Your sense of well-being would be a good place to keep in mind.
What surprised me, because I favor both flexibility and cardio (especially dance) over strength training, is that, as per SilverSneakers, if one is totally de-conditioned, often for any number of valid or life stressing reasons, then regaining and maintaining the strength to move, is most important.
With sufficient strength, one can move more safely and more enjoyably. With sufficient strength, stretches can be enjoyed and enhanced because the opposite muscle system in our body can stabilize us so we can stretch, so we can line dance and do some foxy shuffle moves. 😉
And you can begin with a goal of ten minutes increments.
New Website Name, Same Guy 😉
For those folks who have seen my fitness articles in the past, I have changed my website’s name from Yoga-Adan to my full name, Felipe Adan Lerma.
I’ve always envisioned my site as an integrative effort on my part about the main things that interest me: the arts, fitness, yoga, family; and naming my site after myself seemed to the right thing to do.
I’ll be doing two more fitness slanted posts before returning to my Paris Photo series.
I too, I know too well 😉 have to maintain the balance that is me. 😉
blessings everyone 😉
namaste´- con dios – god be with you
Other “Aging Gracefully” Related Links
Aging Gracefully into 62, Part 3 – Breathing, the Nano Stretch with Mucho Effect (in progress)
INTEGRATING YOGA FITNESS AND THE ARTS
- The Indie Spotlight : “The Children”
- Aging Gracefully into Mother’s Day – Original Poetry by Felipe Adan Lerma (felipeadanlerma.com)
- If Moms Were… – Original Poetry by Felipe Adan Lerma (felipeadanlerma.com)