FEELING GREAT: Go for it! Start your exercise regime as you mean to go on

I hope you have all made that New Year resolution to stick with an exercise regime after reading last week’s column!

“I’d be pretty confident that even the people who don’t talk about losing independence must think about it from time to time.”
“I’d be pretty confident that even the people who don’t talk about losing independence must think about it from time to time.”

Never underestimate the benefits of regular exercise – and what better time than now to either start of resume?

When we help people at the Paul Gough Physio Rooms (usually in their 40s, 50s and 60s), they often reference the ill health or inactivity of their own parents as something they hope they’ll never have to go through themselves.

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I get the impression it worries most of them that it’s not too long before it’s going to be forced upon them too.

I worry about ill health in the future - it’s something I hear regularly from people of a certain age, often the younger son or daughter (still in their 50s or 60s), who really doesn’t want to live a restricted life like their mother or father, so they begin, sometimes for the first time, to really think about what they can do to avoid becoming so inactive or immobile.

And I’d be pretty confident that even the people who don’t talk about losing independence must think about it from time to time. It’s human nature to worry after all.

And let’s face it, we’re very lucky that with health advancements and so much how-to type information on the topic of health freely available to us these days, we’re in a much better position to stay active and healthy than our parents were.

There’s a client in his 90s who visits regularly. You should copy his best habits and thinking.

He has no immediate family, so his independence and mobility has to be maintained by himself, with the help of a mobility scooter.

If he wants to go for a swim, he gets up and walks or waits for the bus to get himself there.

It’s the same with his weekly shopping or trips to physio.

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Swimming is a great daily habit which keeps his joints supple and muscles loose.

It’s great for his heart and lungs and above all, it maintains his independence and adds social interaction.

Now, I agree that life has to be kind to you in terms of illnesses and physical issues so that you can still be this active at 94.

But, there’s surely something to this story, don’t you think?

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Well he didn’t start this daily exercise when he got to 90!

He has been swimming daily for more than 35 years. You could say that’s how he made it to 94 and is still so active.

So go for it – start the new year as you mean to go on!