Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

Today’s post comes to us from Crystal Bay.

At 74, I’ve been experiencing increasing physical weakness. A year ago, my three kids did a one-by-one intervention on me to get me to move and gain some physical strength for my upcoming trip to Africa. I still can’t believe that my first trip away from Minnesota was to Africa! It’d been years since I’d even walk to my mailbox. I’d pick it up when I drove past it a couple of times a week. They were very adamant that my excursion to Africa would deplete me because I was so physically weak. Finally, I took them seriously.

I agreed with them even though they’d tried for years to get me to do something – anything- to gain physical strength. Finally, between them and my upcoming Africa trip, I joined a gym and began working out five days a week. I started doing what’s called “TRX”, a class of around a dozen or more mostly older people which involves using long straps with handles. Each day, we work out every muscle group for about 45 minutes. We talk the whole time which makes it a guaranteed daily social experience. Going to a gym solo would never work for me. Hell, I won’t go to a restaurant or a movie by myself! For me, everything has to be a social experience. What fun would it be to go to a movie without someone with whom to share it afterwards? Or go to a restaurant without chatting while eating?
I am stronger now and have some sinewy muscles. One day, I took a picture to text to my kids, but the pictures showed sagging skin beneath my new biceps so I deleted them. Still, I can’t deny that I have more strength and stamina now than I have in years. This class has people from 20 to 96 and is so doable. Most of all, I enjoy the camaraderie of people I’ve come to know.
These daily classes also get me out of the cottage and away from my obsessive opinion posting. Truth be told, until this daily routine, my lifestyle would be perfect for a nursing home resident (a thought I’ve had many times). I still go when I don’t feel like it after a whole year. My kids are very pleased. And, in a small way, I’m proud of myself.
Describe your favorite fantasy fitness regimen!

45 thoughts on “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes”

  1. You should be proud. I am trying to figure out how to inrease my state of fitness, which is quite sad at this point. I will try walks and gardening and hope that helps. My fantasy regime is at tbe gym doing weigbts.

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  2. Rise and touch your toes, Baboons,

    This morning the topic of yesterday must have infected my psyche. Each evening I set up my coffee for the morning. I did that last night. When I walked into the kitchen at 6:30 this morning, there was coffee all over the counter. I forgot to place the carafe under the drip. I could not believe myself. So there is yesterdays spill story to replace spilling the beans.

    I usually do my “dream workout” which maybe is really my nightmare. I lift weights 2 times per week and do cardio stuff most days. I don’t get a choice on this. I have osteoporosis and cannot tolerate the medications to treat the conditions, so staying active is my choice. We do get the “Senior Discount” at the Community Center which houses the gym, so it is affordable.

    In AZ in March, though, I was allergic to EVERYTHING in bloom, which thanks to landscape architects, was a lot of stuff. I struggled everyday with sneezing hard and often, fatigue,foggyhead, and headaches (which have since cleared up here in MN). I could not complete my workout due to the fatigue. Now I am still weaker than usual due to that. No more March in AZ.

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    1. Making coffee. Oh, how I can screw that up. No water added, basket not in slot, basket empty, cup not under drip. But I only make a cup at a time in mine. I make it on a bench in my little office area. I have a one inch deep baking sheet under it, which makes my clean ups easier.

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    2. I agree about yesterday’s topic invading today. When I was home over lunch to let the dogs out I spilled a huge carafe of water all over the kitchen floor. I quickly grabbed the towels that are on the back porch for muddy feet to stop the water from going everywhere and of course made mud. So that’s what I got to do when I got home from work tonight … first vacuum to get up the dried dirt and then mop the whole thing. Sheesh

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  3. My dream workout would be to swim in a clean lake or ocean out my back door everyday while living in a paradise with 65-70 degree temperatures all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. CB- You ROCK! Way to go on the workouts and GOOD for YOU!

    I keep saying I need a routine, but first I need to figure out when I’m fitting it into my schedule.
    Today is our annual ‘Township Road Inspection’. I’ll let you all know later if the roads are still there.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yep. Roads are still there.

      Some need gravel. A few culverts need to be replaced. In some of the paved subdivisions we need to have some crack sealing done.
      Always tree trimming to be done.

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  5. Thanks, CB, for an inspiring post! A friend of mine is doing a program with some machines at our senior center, where I do t’ai chi, and she is making such headway, I am about ready to sign up.

    My dream workout would be to do more yoga in the morning (I do about 5 minutes now but stretch about all the muscles in my body, and I know it’s keeping me limber). Then I would bike to t’ai chi all weekdays (instead of two), and we would be outside in a park like they (used to) do in China. Some days I would bike or walk to work out mentioned above, other days go walking or biking in the woods – there are plenty of bike trails in this area…

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  6. Not long ago, walking was my hobby. Now, for all practical purposes, walking is a fantasy. I was shocked recently to learn how low my fitness level has slumped. I’m trying hard now to walk a bit each day. As of today, I don’t use a walker, but probably should.

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    1. Steve, there is a very funny video to be viewed if you go to Pflegememes schwiiz in your browser. The video is called war doch opis furd. I can’t upload it to the trail. It shows creative uses for walkers.

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    2. We are always on the same vector. I had to give up even my pt exercises. They did an X-ray of my knees. Some mild reduction of space, spurs on patella. I have spurs every where, except on the back of my footwear. Nothing to be done for it.
      I too dream of walking, and biking. I hav few social contacts but one of the recurring questions is if I miss it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. One day a week for an hour at the fitness center…treadmill, elliptical, leg and muscle, core exercise machines…then lunch. rest. Meanwhile hauling water for horse, goat and chickens…and straining my shoulder pushing the old-fashioned lawn mower (gas machine failed in 5 minutes) over overgrown last summer’s grass…retirement has been good for my body. so far.

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    1. my son has a buddy who is a professional hockey player who does electronic stimulation on his abs and sits in a chair 30 minutes a day watching tv while he gets his work out in. like doing 500 situps.

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  8. I applaud you, CB, for sticking with your workouts – especially on days when you don’t feel like it. Are you no longer dancing?

    I’m afraid that my fantasy fitness regimen would be exactly that, fantasy, but I’d love to play a couple of hours of tennis every day.

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    1. Oh yes I’m still dancing! Vigorously. Everyone who watches this joyful spectacle assumes that I live my life with Energizer Bunny energy. Little do they know how sedentary my lifestyle really is. My energy for this very-odd-old -woman activity is in direct proportion to the adrenaline surging in my system. The problem with dancing for aerobics is that, after time is passing, there are fewer and fewer bands which still play the only kind of music that gets me going: funk, soul, Motown

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  9. Back in my 30s I was a workout fiend – high impact aerobics, step, weight machines, etc. and was in great shape. Boy, have things changed over the past 30 years. Once I started slacking off, it became too easy to make up excuses not to exercise much. The one thing I always stuck to was walking. But fracturing my hip in a freak accident 20 months ago really put a dent into my routine. Recovery took about 10 months before I could resume my long walks. I also found a great set of DVD exercises designed for people over 50. I was doing well until mid winter when my hip started bothering me again. Turns out the hardware holding my femur together was now causing calcium deposits to develop, Sooo, a month ago I had the hardware removed and am just now able to walk almost normally. I have the OK to begin exercising again and now that Spring has finally arrived, hopefully I can get back to long walks, too.

    In my fantasy workout I would do yoga every morning, walk three miles every day (or do a scenic hike), do weight training a couple times a week, ride my bike three times weekly, play lots of golf, and paddle my kayak often. Of course, I’d have ideal weather every day, too.

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      1. BR -The company is called Livati and the workout is called Body Dynamix. I ordered it through an ad on Facebook but you can probably just google it. There are 2 DVDs with a total of 7 different workouts plus an intro. You can pick and choose which ones to do – target upper body, core, lower body, yoga flow, and stretch. They range from 15 minutes to about 40 minutes. The instructor is easy to follow and the women working out in the background are just “real” people – not super fit/super thin “models”.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. My fantasy would, of course, be to,go back to riding 5500 to 6500 Miles a year. I always deny I miss hiking and biking, art and typing. But it’s a lie.
    My joy of the day: Sandra reads harlequin type romancescby the bushel. Where do they all come? Now she is, to my delight, reading Scrooge Wore Spurs. My colleagues and I used to invent names for pulp books. I had my kids get in on the fun. Scrooge Wore Spurs is a 9.9 out of 10.

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    1. I once had a client was truly addicted to sky-diving. Seriously. She had to go every weekend to avoid life in general. The sensation of the only 60 second free fall was the only time in her life in which she had no control.

      Another client compulsively ran 100-mile races.

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  11. My fantasy involves having a 25th hour in every day, a workout routine that’s a little different every day with some dancing in it, a highly air-conditioned gym in which to do this dancing, and no sweating.

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    1. that’s funny – I never sweat, even while tanning in 90-degree weather. When I told the gym owner that “I never sweat”, he said that I just wasn’t working hard enough. I call BS on this one!

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  12. I like it when something I’m doing because I choose to do it for another reason happens to have a fitness benefit. For many years, I’ve been doing gardening work for pay. It also has the side benefit of keeping me active. Wanting to get somewhere without having to pay for gas and parking has the side benefit of making me walk. Having to go somewhere and pay them money for using their facilities…that’s a disincentive.

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  13. I confess, working out has never been a “thing” with me. But, because I have always been athletic and enjoyed any number of sports, I’ve always been in good physical shape. Riding my bike to and from work, walking the dog, ballroom dancing, kayaking, swimming, diving, playing tennis and racquetball with friends have all over time featured in my daily routine, not in pursuit of some fitness goal, but because of necessity and because I liked it. These days when any physical activity is a challenge for one reason or another, I find it hard to motivate myself to do it. If guilt alone worked, I’d be a the gym every day, but apparently I can’t even muster enough guilt to get my ass to a Silver Sneakers workout anymore. It just bores me to tears. I’ve turned into a couch potato, although my favorite seat is a recliner. Vicariously, though, I’m still leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

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  14. my dream fantasy began with sex but i figured i had better go a different direction with this group or id be banned.
    6:00 is the time to do this to begin the day.
    i used to thing a deep tissue massage to start the day would be ideal but i think if i did something first that might be good. so sex then a massage. for the workout part of the follow up. id like to downhill ski the swiss alps and the canadian rockies then off to hawaii to do a little surfing maybe a rolfing session on route from one to the other.
    i could do with a set of dumbells and weights to use on the transporter to allow me to do that.
    in real life i got back into a workout schedule 4 times a week and i am still in the starting phase so i only do 1 set of 10 reps for each station. i do 2 days with day one being back bicep chest and triceps day 2 is legs abs shoulders and neck
    each damn workout beginns with 300m on the rowing machine. it only takes 1 minute and 15 seconds but man does it kick my ass, i hate it. as soon as i get to the point where it doesnt kill me i can quit. i am guessing by the time i get there i will understand it is needed.
    i like the elipical but the 20 minutes is more than i can spare these days.
    my workout at the gym is 30 minutes with a steamer and whirly thrown in
    this summer i hope to plug in bike riding as an activity to get my cardio up to speed. i saw something today that suggested doing 50 pushup situp and squats before the shower in the morning. not a bad idea but i may have to work up to it.
    congrats cb on getting the workout in. it really does feel better doesnt it?

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    1. oh yeah and lap swimming. i was up to 4 lengths a session after the workout but the swim lanes were filling up at my time slot and i cant stand waiting in line for a workout so i head straight to the steamer then the whirly instead. with summer in place i am guessing the lanes will be open. i hope to work up past the 4 lengths but we will see. like the rowing machine i hate it but it hurts so good. i feel like ive done something when i have finished

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  15. On days in which I do heavy property work, I don’t go to TRX. Like the last two days spreading 80 bags of mulch. A couple of male friends took the 30-lb bags around, dumping them into large piles, but I was left with raking all 80 throughout the landscape beds. My lower back just throbs.

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