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It's a Brand New Year! ... almostPosted Tuesday, December 14, 2010, at 4:03 PM
We can now forget all the things that we planned to do last year and start a brand new list. Just think, new resolutions, new "to-do lists", new promises to our spouse. What an opportunity!
You may remember one of my resolutions last year was to gain a few pounds and eat more chocolate. Well I'm proud to say I kept those resolutions, I wonder how many of you can say that you kept yours.
Seriously, this would be a great time to start making healthy decisions and there are lots of ways to do this. One of the best ways to keep your body and mind functioning at its best is to exercise. Participation in regular strengthening exercises will help you to build muscle and increase bone density. This helps prevent frailty and osteoporosis. Regular exercise improves physical, emotional and mental health.
Strength training can help with Arthritis relief and can improve balance. Improving balance leads to fewer falls which are particularly dangerous for seniors. This type training will strengthen bones as well as muscles, it helps with weight control and helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It enhances flexibility and reduces stress.
The Missouri University Extension Center in Jackson has a ten week program called Stay Strong, Stay Healthy for middle-aged and older adults. It provides a safe, structured and effective training program. The program's goal is to improve health and quality of life. During this time you will learn exercises to improve strength and balance.
The program starts January 10 and goes for 10 weeks at the Cape County Extension Center in Jackson. You should call 573-243-3581 to register. There is a fee of $20 for the entire program. Weights will be provided. Other county Extension Centers have trainers for the Stay Strong, Stay Healthy program but may not have one going right now. Call your local county Extension Office to see when the next one will be held.
If strength training doesn't fit your schedule the Regional Arthritis Center has a water exercise program that is held at St. Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau and they also have arthritis tool kits that you can borrow, or buy that have exercises that you can do in the privacy of your own home. You can call Marilyn at 573-331-5880 to learn more about these programs.
The one exercise that most anyone can do anywhere and any place is simply walking. Walking outdoors gives you time to enjoy nature and see things that you usually miss when driving by in a car. I particularly like to see into the woods when walking in the winter time because I can see so many fallen trees, and little animals scurrying around, and other things that I simply don't see in the summer when all the leaves are on the trees.
I've read that it takes three weeks to form a habit, try some of these exercise programs, give them three weeks and learn how much better you feel physically and mentally.
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Ruth Dockins is the Public Information Director for the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging and author of 'Age Spots,' a column/blog which is featured in several Southeast Missouri newspapers and is devoted to seniors and senior lifestyles.
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