Sedentary Elders Benefit from Exercise


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I’m so impressed with the members of my chair exercise class. I’m sure they don’t think of themselves as frail elderly. They come to class regularly to move beyond inactivity. We loosen all the joints, gently warm up all the muscles, and enjoy moving to music.
But it’s not the regular attendance that wows me,  it’s that members of the group are applying the exercises to their everyday lives. At each class, I hear stories of success using a practical exercise or its benefit out in the real world.
With her permission, here is Bernice’s story:
“I had a little accident with a shopping cart the other day and ended up with my whole hand bruised. I remembered our hand and finger exercises and did them throughout the day. The bruising diminished very quickly and I’m glad I remembered I could do something to dissipate the internal bleeding.”
After hearing Bernice’s story, the group discussed the connection between exercise and improved circulation to speed healing. “As long as it doesn’t make it feel worse,” Janet adds.
Some of our regular moves aim directly at providing a solution to a common issue. We’ll even use that as the nickname for the exercise, such as, “always able to put on your socks.” If you don’t challenge your  flexibility on a daily basis, you tend to lose your range of motion and then what was once a simple, daily action, that hardly took your attention, becomes a challenge demanding new equipment or assistance. Invest in what you want to be able to do.
The members of the group are sedentary, but they know that any effort to move is a move in the right direction, toward being more able: just the regular participation in the group has kept most of us more  independent. Regular exercise has numerous benefits, and one of them is to maintain the ability to do everyday tasks.

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