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Beck Diet Solution: Day 9----Select an Exercise Plan

Friday, March 09, 2018

I personally think this is one of the easier days to 'arrange' simply because there is/are so many different kinds of exercise plans to choose from. I can say though that those of you who are much younger than I would never understand what constituted exercising even 40 years ago but this is one area that has really evolved and for the better.

Back in the mid 70s when I was attending a local community college we had to have 2 credits in PE (physical education) and, believe it or not, the administrative secretary would don on her all black leotard and tights and lead us in leg lifts, sit ups and running around the gym. I lived in a small town in the Midwest and women's sports was something that was just beginning to be discussed within the school setting. I did take both tennis and golf for my other credits but I found it hard to find other people who knew how to play and who wanted to play so I abandoned those sports even though I enjoyed them both.

Then, Jane Fonda et al exploded onto the physical education 'scene' and soon we were all jumping around in our matching tights, headbands and leg warmers. By that time I was seriously overweight and although I could squeeze into a cute ensemble I was jumping around with the best of them. The only problem is there was only one kind of aerobics---high impact --and so I spent as much time at the podiatrist office treating a foot injury as I was in the class in spite of the hardwood floor with suspension underneath.

Things changed for me when I 'discovered' my then husband work out bench and a $3 book on basic weight lifting moves. The barbells were heavy iron, smelled of sweat and hard for my smaller hands to hold but I fell in love with how it made me feel both while I was lifting as well as afterwards. I developed some serious muscles. Fitness centers were opening everywhere and soon I was a lifetime member. I faithfully went to a fitness center for the next fifteen years. When I wasn't at a fitness center I was taking a 3 mile morning walk. I did this without break for seven years straight. Best exercise streak I have ever had.

I kept up the rigors of being active in spite of being heavy because nothing was ever said about nutrition except for the few diet centers that were starting to pop up here and there. I was able to do a lot of weekend hiking and even hiked extensively in the Rocky Mountains for a three week vacation. However, I continued to have injury after injury and I know now it was simply because I was too overweight for the kind of physical activities that I was doing.

A second divorce, knee surgery, gall bladder surgery and having to face a lot of the issues from my earlier life and my once active life started to fray around the edges. I kept it up mostly on the weekends until I hit my 50s which at that time the combination of a sedentary office job, continuing to gain more weight and just plain aging was all catching up with me. I just wasn't able to bounce back like I had in my 30s and even 40s. Needing to work more hours and not less also left me feeling super fatigued and also turning to food more than I had previously.

Long story short: what you don't use, you eventually lose. All of those years of being active were fading right before my eyes. I now preferred sitting in front of the t.v. over getting outdoors and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Depression started to darken my focus and the past became more distant.

Now, nearly 15 years later, all of the effects of the sedentary life that I have been leading have caught up with me. I move a lot slower and with a lot more pain. I have at times came 'alive' again and rejoined a group effort to get fit and it worked for a few years here and there but I have never totally regained the level of fitness that I once enjoyed and had.

So, here I am with this day's recommendations and I am basically almost starting over from scratch. I would say that rather than choose an exercise plan I am going to have to start with the very basics. Considering the memories I have from my more active years that is almost hard to believe but it is my truth and reality today. IF I were 30 years younger I would be overjoyed with what seems like unlimited choices available today but I am not. So, now it is more like senior citizen center here I come. "Put your left foot in, put your left foot out, shake it all about...." Wow!

Well, as bleak as that may sound, thank goodness, there are a lot of seniors who join Silver Sneakers through their health insurance (which will foot the bill if you join) and other classes either at the nearby senior center or Y. It may be slower paced but it will still be worth it.

I recently joined a fitness center so I could attend the water aerobics. I hope that once my back heals I will be joining in on their classes. I do have weight restrictions because of arthritis for how much weight load I can lift but I can still do a more modified routine. Considering that there are many older people who live 30 plus years after they retire that is a long time to just 'do nothing' so I am not alone in looking for some kind of activity to keep me going long past my more active years.

What I choose now (based on my abilities) is a much gentler program but it will get me moving and that is the main thing. Now, what I have added is something called 'Functional Fitness' and basically what that means is exercises which help decrease the likelihood that I will fall. Considering that I have three very serious falls since I turned 60 which have left me bruised, broken and unable to move period this is something that I feel that I must heed if I am going to enjoy my retirement for many years to come. Other than that, whatever strikes my fancy is what I will attempt and ideally gain some skill level at. The only thing that is stopping me is ME. So, let the games begin.....

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    806 days ago
    Wow, what a history, I love reading about where people come from and what brought them to today !!

    I think water exercise is excellent for a body that needs low impact workouts. A couple of suggestions, can you walk? Try walking, start with 10 minutes a day and add 10 more minutes every week. Try to walk close to home or from home so that it will be easy to do every day. My other suggestion is to try Tai Chi. I have been doing Tai Chi for about 2 years and I love the benefits of a more resilient, more flexible and better balanced body and it helps a lot as a peaceful mental break to relieve daily stress.

    Rocky Mountain hiking would be my dream :) You must have great memories.
    807 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/9/2018 4:18:45 PM
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    807 days ago
    Those water aerobic classes are great! My fitness center has arthritis specific classes - hopefully yours does also. good luck - sounds like you've been a trail blazer all your life. emoticon
    807 days ago
    Thank you for this brilliant historical overview!
    Your plan sounds positive an realistic,
    I'm sure it will improve your strength, balance and flexibility.

    807 days ago
    807 days ago
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