Still skipping rope! Imagine the freedom of riding a bike or still playing the sports you love. As we age, some of us find that our bodies don’t allow us to do the things that we once used to enjoy. When our body does not cooperate with our mind, we can become discouraged. Is it possible for our body to stay young? Can we encourage it to find that Fountain of Youth? How to be young at heart, again?
Is it possible to build our bodies back to regain our former strength? It is not easy, and it does not happen without effort. With effort, it can be done.
How to be Young at Heart
Before building the body, we need a youthful mindset. A determination that we are not going to just ‘let ourselves go’. It takes determination to one day, with some effort to make a change in our thinking. “I can do this! I can make a difference!” It doesn’t happen overnight. Little by little, day after day, consistency is the key. Once we have decided that we are going to give it a go, we are on our way to seeing results.
Several years back, I decided to join a weight loss group. You may hear me refer to it at various times now and again. Suffice it for me to say, it is more of a lifestyle management group than just about weight loss. Joining TOPS has helped me immensely on my lifestyle journey. At TOPS, walking is a key component as the suggested way to get exercise. Ten thousand steps a day is great to keep one healthy. It is not only good for weight loss, but for the heart, lungs, and every other organ of our body as well.
Be Ready to Adapt
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am from Canada, and the weather is not conducive for me to get outside many months of the year to get my 10,000 steps done. We have snow and ice on the ground, usually from November through March. After having fallen on icy streets and sidewalks, it seemed best that I stay inside during the winter.
I wasn’t ready to have that lifestyle imposed on me. I do like to be active, at least to a point. Having to sit in a chair all winter and look out the window! No Way! This brings me to the point of my blog. There must be a way of staying active and still not falling on the ice or snow! I must learn how to be young at heart. Then my actions will follow.
I have explored various avenues of exercise for many years. But I had to find something that worked for me. I have tried various things, some with good results, and some with not so much success.
The first such experiment with exercise equipment that I recall, was when my mother moved in with me. It was difficult for her to get around in the Canadian winter, so to be with her and keep myself active, I bought a recumbent bike. The house we lived in was large enough that I could easily put the bike in a spare room. I did use the bike, but not as much as I use the one that I have today.
Learn from Each Experience
As life happens, we moved into the city several years later, and we sold the bike. Now we were in a smaller 2-bedroom house. Why not get a smaller exercise bike and put it in the corner of the living room? I could watch TV while I pedaled on the bike. That sounded like an excellent idea. However, the smaller bike came with a smaller seat. It might have worked for many people, but for me, it was not the answer. Well at least I had not bought the bike new, so donating it to a charity was not a loss, and I learned that I preferred the recumbent bike seat size. With each experience, we can learn something! We can learn how to be young at heart!
Quality Equipment – Get Something that Will Work for You
Again, I felt my lifestyle being cramped. I wanted to get more exercise. We were at a yard sale and I saw an elliptical machine. That will be the answer, I thought! We purchased the machine and somehow got it stowed in the back of the car and toted it home. It found a place right beside my bed! The bedroom was already small, and the elliptical machine was not a high-quality one. I found it difficult to use… so there it sat, taking up space. Again, I sold that piece of equipment. This time at a small profit, so it was a lesson learned. The equipment you acquire needs to be of enough quality that it works well for you.
Research Before You Buy
Entering the era of online purchases: I knew I needed something that worked for me. It had to be at a price I could afford, and size for my limited space. This time I wanted it to last. I found a Pilates Chair which sits nicely in a corner of the bedroom. I do not have the space to use all the capabilities of the chair, but I do use its basic function on a regular basis. My ‘go-to’ item is my recumbent bike. It is larger than I wanted, but the amount of use I get from it is well worth the space it takes up. It is in a less-used corner of the living room and is not noticed when you walk in the door. I am happy I have made my last two purchases, and I get a lot of use from them both.
The solution I have found for how I can be young at heart is to stay as active as possible in whatever surroundings I have available. Now with the season of snow here, I can get some exercise right at home. When I do get cabin fever, I can go to the mall. With a mindset of, “I think I can”, I can do so much. On my desk, I have a little saying from Samuel Butler, a 17th-century British poet:
“If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do,
we shall ere long be surprised to find
how little remains that we cannot do.”