What if we told you it’s possible to not only maintain your strength and mobility, but also improve them, no matter how old you are?
Joan Virginia Allen, Shelah M. Wilgus, Lora Woods and Joyce Faber are four women who have avoided surgeries that were previously thought necessary. They’ve started climbing mountains, have better balance and strength, and have less pain now in their 70s and 80s than they ever did before.
How did they do it? Just by moving differently. Here are tips for movement that they have found to be the most impactful.
Move with friends. Turn your social time into movement and socializing time. Instead of meeting for coffee, meet for a walk through your local park. Suggest a dynamic book club meeting where you discuss your favorite read on the go!
Go green (and blue). Nature, most easily accessed through parks, has green (trees, grass, and bumpy paths) and blue (water!), and being around those things improves health. Take your movement out into nature as often as you can—even if that means sitting on a bench and meditating on the pond in front of you. Or, if you’re up for something a little more dynamic, nature offers varied surfaces to walk over, for you to test out and improve your balance!
Make your kitchen less convenient. When your kitchen is full of electronic devices and all your dishes are easy to reach, again, it’s convenient, but it also means less movement. Start using your hands to knead bread dough, operate a can opener, and chop your veggies. Move dishes and ingredients you use daily to lower and higher cupboards to encourage daily bending, twisting, and reaching.
Sit in different ways. Scoot toward the front of the chair and don’t use the backrest, or sit on the floor, or up a stack of cushions on the floor, to move your hips and knees through different angles each day. And that work you do to get up and down…it counts towards keeping your body strong!
It’s never too late to start moving and moving better. The more we sit in chairs, the harder it becomes to do anything else. And the more you risk missing out on all life has to offer.
Joan Virginia Allen, Shelah M. Wilgus, Lora Woods and Joyce Faber, along with biomechanist Katy Bowman, share these tips and more in their new book, “Dynamic Aging: Simple Exercises for Whole-Body Mobility”.