Hey Seniors, Cleaning House is Great Exercise!

Oct 27th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

I was intrigued to find how many of the exercises the Physical Therapist prescribed actually are duplicated as one goes about cleaning house.  The therapist was demonstrating for me the kinds of things I needed to be doing to improve my gait, balance, and self confidence in movement.  It was practical, not at all strenuous or intimidating, but matter of fact and need.

So I decided I should go about the movements of house cleaning in a deliberate attempt not only to do a good job, one my spouse would approve, but to accomplish my regimen of activity the therapist advised for each day.  Of course, I won’t be cleaning so thoroughly every day, but when I do I will be aware of my bending, stretching, moving, lifting, and generally addressing the needs of my knees, feet, ankles, hips and legs.

Physical therapy is simply another word for exercise.  It is a way to help us be aware of the need to keep our body in shape.  It is so easy to avoid and ignore the discipline of deliberate exercise that our bodies stiffen up and leave us with aches and incite protests when we attempt to correct some of our bad habits.

If we can simply develop a pattern of daily exercise, consciousness of  our need for movements and activities that enable our joints to get their due, we will become healthier and more flexible in our daily doings.

I know the big question is:  how long will I keep it up?  The practical answer is:  for so long as its rewards and my intentions stay alert and responsive.  It is so easy to slide.  It is so easy to excuse oneself from a daily discipline.  Part of the discipline is walking our two pets twice a day.  They like to remind us and we enjoy the tour we take.  But, even with their urgings and our own cognition, we can still slough it off.  Life is worth at least as much as taking a walk, engaging in a few simple exercises and staying alert to one’s own basic needs that we do at least the minimum every day.  Isn’t it?



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