We’ll we’re about to finish up January – the first month of 2013. Seems like yesterday I was contemplating my resolutions for the New Year. Did you make any resolutions? Have you stuck with them?
I didn’t write any down, but they tend to be the same from year to year. Usually my list looks something like this:
- Eat better
- Lose weight
- Exercise more
- Write more
- Spend more time with the family
I suspect the top three things on my list mirror many other people’s pledges. But the fact is, in the past, I’ve usually fallen off the resolution bandwagon by this time each year.
However, this time was a little different. I’d been doing pretty well with my resolutions until I got the flu about ten days ago. I’m recovering and anticipate getting back to my resolutions this week. I hope I can regain my momentum.
But what about you? How are you doing with keeping your New Year’s resolutions?
Did you promise yourself you’d eat better and exercise more?
Are you finding excuses to not get off your fanny and work out? Let me introduce you to a group of people who exercise six days a week, every week, every year. In fact, they are so excited about getting their workout in, most of these people show about a half-hour prior to the class so they can sit in their favorite chairs.
Who are these over-anxious exercisers? Residents of Vintage Simi Hills Assisted Living. Many of the class participants come to the class utilizing their walkers, wheelchairs or electric scooters. For some of them, it’s quite an effort just to transfer from their mobility aid into their exercise chair.
The group is generally about twenty to twenty-five people on any given day. Sometimes they miss class because they have doctor’s appointments, or maybe have family visiting.
There are two centenarians in the group. (A centenarian is someone who is 100 years old.) There are at least a half-dozen folks in their nineties. In fact, I’d be surprised to find anyone in the group who isn’t over seventy years old. Their age doesn’t matter, because what they bring to the class is enthusiasm.
The classes are conducted while sitting and the number one rule of the class is that no one does more than they feel they can – no one is to get hurt. We start out with deep breathing and the some stretching. Then each participant picks an exercise they like to do and we all do that exercise.
Elvera likes shoulder shrugs, Esther likes to stretch her neck, Shirley likes to do arm circles. Lest you think the class is filled only with women, Chris likes to do boxing moves and Andy favors any exercise that hasn’t already been done. Andy’s wife Belva likes us to rotate our ankles and if Belva doesn’t choose that exercise, Judith does.
I’m kept on my toes by Mim who sets me straight if I forget what count I’m on. Angie, likes to work her arms, while Rosemary has us swim using four different kinds of strokes. Helen gets her inner firefighter on by having us climb the ladder, and my own Mom wants us to get down doing the funky chicken.
Mary Jane a former pro ice skater leads us on a bike ride, and Enoy gets us ready for the NBA by practicing our dribbling skills. Renee is our ambivalent exerciser and usually lets me choose an exercise for her. Never ambivalent and always ready to go is Sadie.
One of our main cheerleaders during the class is Betty who encourages us to, “Use it or you’ll lose it.” Ellie fights arthritis by having us look over our shoulders – first one side then the other. Vi has us stretch our backs and we should all be as limber as she is!
Ruth likes to do what we call scissor arms crossing our arms in front of our bodies much in the fashion of scissors. Amelia encourages us to take deep breaths and fill our lungs with air. Doris exercises from her motorized wheel chair. Elizabeth exercises wearing a protective boot on her ankle. Ennes with her lovely accent keeps things lively.
Bonnie recently joined our group and goes with the flow. Another new addition is Helen who has visited us several times. Leia has sat in with a couple of times as well. At the end of each class the group shoots balls into a couple of baskets…Watch out Lakers – this team is good!
I’ve volunteered to lead their classes two days a week and those classes are definite highlights in my week. On the other days of the week, this group works out with light dumbbells and exercise bands with Eileen, practices Yoga mid-week, and exercises with Flo and Vanna on the other days.
All these seniors exercise with different levels of mobility and physical and mental capabilities. If they can exercise six days a week for 30-45 minutes…why can’t you?
Until next time,