Our bodies have done so much for us over the years and as we get older we can often feel how that has affected the body with our posture and with the way we move. In many cases the body can feel tired, sore and not as vibrant as we remember in our youth. With this can come ‘comparison’ of how it used to feel and what you used to be able to do.
Here are some simple ways to support you to feel the grace that you truly are as you journey through this beautiful cycle in your life.
As people age the body can become shorter, more contracted and closed with rounder shoulders, a stoop in the back and a general ‘hiding or trying to be invisible to the world’ posture.
- Take moments in your day to check in with your body and connect to your amazingness by standing ‘tall and amazing’ and spread your wings so to speak. In this stance, reconnect to your fullness and power.
With age, we generally become more sedentary – sitting around more, watching TV, doing less around the house and garden, avoiding stairs and hills and driving more –all of which will affect your everyday muscle strength and body fitness. Walking is a beautiful way to exercise your body because there is a flow and harmony with the movement. Walking is a simple and enjoyable way to actually be with your body whilst you move.
- Take moments to feel your feet as they connect with the ground and see if you can step even more lovingly onto this earth.
- Keep walking and moving for as long as your body will allow with its age.
- Give yourself more time to get from A – B so there is no rush.
- Take each walk as it unfolds with no expectations of how ‘you should be doing it‘, ‘how fast you should be walking’ etc.
- Choose a route that has some places for you to sit and connect to nature and other people, to support you to keep in touch with your community.
- Stairs and hills – Take your time, there is never a rush, and don’t worry if everyone goes faster – just be you and with your body.
With the more sedentary lifestyle our muscles aren’t used as much and can lose physical strength.
How often do you alter your body to make something easy and so you feel less? For example – do you lower your body into your armchair with awareness or do you just drop into it?
When you climb a hill do you tip your body forward rather than connect to the feel of your strong muscles in the legs and bottom?
- Every time you go to sit down, lower your body slowly with the intention to honour and care for it as the most precious thing that it is. This slow movement is asking your muscles to work to control you down – strengthening the legs, bottom, core and lower back! How many times do you do this (activity) everyday? It is a wonderful way to support lower body strength.
- Arms – pick up two jars/cans the same weight and bend the arms.
- Hands – these can lose strength due to pain and arthritis, love your hands by massaging regularly and always care for them as you pick things up.
- Gentle squeezes with a pair of rolled up socks can support with grip strength.
A loss of confidence in the body can really affect your balance. Balance is important for stability and fall prevention that also supports your awareness of your core stability group of muscles.
- Start by standing, gently supporting yourself with arms on a chair, wall or shelf. Take a moment to connect to your body and then simply close your eyes for a few breaths.
- As you feel more confident you can develop up to:
- Standing on one leg
- Remember, it is not a competition about how long you can stand; it is about quality and stillness.
‘If you don’t use it you lose it’ is a term to support you to gently keep moving your body in all dimensions – bend, stretch, rotate and twist – all with a quality of care for your body.
Try to keep moving your body in all ranges of movement but avoid pushing the body too far – avoid the ‘trying’, and simply repeat a few movements with care and feel how the body responds beautifully to your care and movement.
Here is a link to 2 stretch sequences for you to enjoy*:
Upper body - http://www.unimedliving.com/exercise/exercise-videos/stretch-and-move-stretching-exercises-for-a-fluid-flexible-body.html
Lower body - http://www.unimedliving.com/exercise/exercise-videos/easy-everyday-stretching-routine.html
Enjoy this time to truly honour your body through gentle connected movements and exercises. Treat your body and yourself as the precious sensitive being that you truly are.
Beverly Carter, Australia
Director Its Time to Shine Pty Ltd
About Beverly Carter
*Disclaimer - The exercises and accompanying videos/audios on this website are given as possibilities only. They are not prescriptions for you, and you should ascertain for yourself, with appropriate medical or other expert advice, as to whether these exercises are appropriate for you. Beverly Carter makes no promises or claims whatsoever as to the suitability, effect or safety of these exercises and is not liable for any injury or loss of any description, suffered by you or anyone else, howsoever sustained and whether now or in the future, as a direct or indirect result of participation in any of these exercises. Participation in any of these exercises is entirely at your personal discretion and your own risk.