How many times do we say to ourselves I’m too old to do that or tell ourselves that our backs or our knees won’t cope due to previous injuries and health conditions? Some years ago, I gave up on exercise (except for walking) due to lower back issues, but over the last two months, I’ve slowly started to do some gentle stretches, some core work and mild aerobics.
What I have noticed is that I feel better within myself after exercise, more energetic, and just brighter in myself, as if I’d had a tonic, and I am now ready for the day.
Then the other day something miraculous happened. I was washing my car and found that I was crouching down to wring out my sponge with a sense of ease in my hips, lower back and knees, and I was able to get up and down without struggling.
Then a couple of days later another miracle occurred. My husband and I were measuring our living room for some new blinds and to do this we had to jump on the back of the couch and stand partly on the windowsill. You might ask why didn’t we just move the couch but it was made to measure and has to be dismantled. What struck me this time was the ease with which my body was able to do this. Usually, I would be cautious and very slowly navigate my way up, but not on this day.
Then another miracle occurred – three in one week! I had recently started a new routine of exercise where there was more requirement to be on the floor for some core strengthening. For the last two months I have struggled to get up off the floor without huffing and puffing, and I moved fairly slowly, but I noticed how sprightly the instructors were on my exercise video. Then all of a sudden, I found myself getting up off the floor with ease, as if my body was used to jumping up ready for action.
To some, these things may seem small, but as we age and take on the mindset that our bodies can’t do something, we stiffen up and feel less confident to do physical things. It’s easy to see how people lose their confidence when they age, especially when a few falls or injuries have occurred.
What has been amazing and continues to surprise me is how the body will enjoy the stretching and the movement when given the attention and opportunity.
My movements are as gentle as I can make them and I can now feel the difference in how my body responds to exercise and my willingness to care for it. My hips, back and knees are feeling freer than they have for many years, and I look forward to and enjoy my daily exercise and movement.
Julie M., UK
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