Feeling fitter and stronger in my 70’s than I did in my 60’s – is this possible?
For some months I have been attending strength and flexibility classes every week. This is a commitment that is a foundation for my week, as it establishes a rhythm and a marker for how my body is feeling, how it is getting stronger, and also encourages me to practice the exercises at home.
Our exercise instructor greets us warmly and begins the class with some stretches, and asks us how we are feeling today. Then she sets up a circuit with a variety of exercises to work the whole body – legs, core, upper body, and back. We also do some cardio moves to raise the heart rate.
We are reminded to stay present with the body and to feel how to move the body as each time it will be different. It is important to honour any aches or stiffness and to not override what the body is willing to do, while at the same time allowing ourselves to surrender to the movements and keep listening to what the body is communicating.
I am so enjoying this deeper level of connection with my body. I am surprised and delighted at how much stronger and more energetic I feel, and I am also enjoying an exercise class more than I ever thought possible.
Our group is so held and respected, and there is no comparison or competition amongst us, each focusing on our moves and our own body with each exercise.
To be part of a group that participates in this way feels so supportive.
While my body is ageing and there are some things I cannot do like I used to, for example gardening for hours or painting all day, or staying up late, I feel more content, fuller and at one with myself than I have ever felt. This new level of awareness about how to maintain strength and flexibility and how it affects every day living as we age is to be celebrated!
Jade 63 years young
Attending strength and flexibility exercise class is an absolute delight! When the class finishes I find myself feeling excited about getting on with the rest of my day.
My body feels stronger. There is a noticeable difference in my abdominal and thigh muscles. The class is fun!
Also the other women in the group are very supportive and I don't feel judged. Which is great because I have chronic shoulder problems and I can't do all of the exercises (yet !!!)
I also love walking and make sure I walk up hills. However, over the last 12 months I have realised that the walking was not enough. Fortunately for me some friends suggested a strength and flexibility exercise class. I now find I am doing some of the exercises at home.
A noticeable difference for me is that although I have been exercising on and off over the years I am finding these classes enjoyable. In other words, I am not going out of a sense of duty or to be "fit". I look forward to the classes.
I feel that my whole body benefits, including my mind.
Jill 75 years
For sometime now, as I am ageing, I have been feeling the lack of strength and flexibility in my body, my arms and legs especially, so I decided to attend an exercise class that was on offer after hearing great reports from others who had been going.
I have been going on and off for a couple of months now and am really enjoying the exercises. They are gentle but strong with a warm up period of gentle stretching, then getting the heart rate up and warming up the spine before we do a circuit of strengthening exercises.
At times I can feel a resistance in my body to going further, that is when I can choose to be more gentle and not push my body. I have noticed also that if I exercise through the week when I come back to the class again my body does feel stronger.
I walk most days and do strengthening exercise now and again. Connective tissue is also a part of my daily routine.
I love how my body feels after the classes, so much more alive though sometimes sore, but a good soreness reminding me how much my body needs exercise.
Our instructor takes us lovingly through our exercises with such grace and ease it is so gorgeous just watching how graceful her movements are. She connects to where each one of us are at as we go through the exercises.
I very much enjoy the connection with the other ladies sharing how we are feeling, there is a beautiful flow of energy between us, no competition, no comparison, just a beholding and sharing in this beautiful space that is provided for us.
As we exercise we are encouraged to feel every part of our body in that movement, and how that movement affects all other parts.
I am then able to feel much more of me as I focus on the muscles, tendons and bones within the movement, I get to really feel how much my body loves this loving attention.
As I left the class today I could feel such a deep sense of stillness within my body, so beautiful to feel, this lasted all day long. This certainly was not the normal way that people feel after exercising, but I would love this new-found strength and flexibility to be my new normal.
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