Tag Archives: exercise

A Matter of Balance

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A Matter of Balance

Anyone who knows me well is quite aware that I am constantly taking courses. I have this thirst for knowledge and have way too many letters that come after my name. Thanks to the internet I have taken courses from Rice, Harvard and several other prestigious American universities. While the majority of these courses have been in the field of psychology, I have also begun delving into the area of health and fitness in more depth.

Back in 2017, I began attending SAIL classes in Leavenworth. No, this has nothing to do with boats or water. SAIL is an acronym for Stay Active and Independent for Life. After a couple of weeks, I was approached and asked if I’d be interested in taking the training to teach these fitness classes. It was a natural fit after teaching water aerobics classes at the YMCA back in Canada.

SAIL is a fitness program for seniors geared towards fall prevention. Classes begin with a warm up followed by an aerobics component. Dynamic and static balance exercises are next, followed by strength exercises for both the upper and lower body. Next are flexibility exercises for the upper and lower body as we cool down. I am now into my sixth year teaching here in Washington.

Always eager to learn more, this month I am taking a course called A Matter of Balance. This is a program based on Fear of Falling: A Matter of Balance offered by Boston University. I have very legitimate concerns regarding the fear of falling, primarily due to the fact that I’ve had two knee replacements. Some cognitive restructuring is in order and this course has been most beneficial to me.

I’ve met some amazing people in this course. The oldest in our class is ninety-one and I’m the baby at seventy. The others are in their seventies and eighties. We are all interested in remaining active and independent. Regular exercise is definitely a part of our daily routine.

As a child, I remember well when my own grandmother turned seventy. I recall thinking that she was old. Well, I’m that age now but I feel healthier than I did when I was in my fifties. And I attribute a lot of that due to the exercise that has become such an important part of my life. I do not feel old.

I look around me at the participants in the SAIL classes I teach. In their eighties and nineties they are a true inspiration to me. And I look forward to sharing with them what I have learned in A Matter of Balance classes.

Falls are a serious concern. The statistics from ERs regarding fall related incidents are staggering, as are those related to hospital admissions.

Most falls are preventable and falls should not be viewed as a natural part of aging.

So SAIL away with me today and perhaps some day I may have the opportunity to coach you in A Matter of Balance. Yes. I think that coaching in this program will be the next step for me.

Something Different

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Something Different

This post is not about COVID-19 or Trump. I want to forget those for a moment and write about something completely different.

Monday night I went to a baby shower. I can’t remember the last time I went to one but I know it’s been years. It was such fun to see all the cute items for this precious new baby.

Yesterday was our exercise get together. We have now grown to five from three. My body really appreciates this as the colder weather has a tendency to stiffen up the joints.

Usually at this time of year, if I’m not already back in Mexico already, I’m shopping the summer clearance sales for clothes. Instead last week my purchases included boots, a toque, lined gloves and a cozy pullover sweater.

Although many of the trees have lost their leaves, there are still many showing off their glorious hues of red and orange. The recent rain has kept them hydrated.

While I turn to Duolingo every day and text in Spanish to some friends, I must admit I’m enjoying watching movies in English again. But I did go to my favorite Mexican restaurant last week and I always get to use my Spanish there.

I’m really enjoying my new tablet and am in the process of buying a new computer. However I became so reliant on technology is beyond me. It’s sure a different world.

And then there are the video calls. My granddaughter Madeline in Canada turns three in February and thinks her grandma lives in a phone. My grandson Juan Carlos in Culiacán is eleven and we converse in English regularly. Now if only I could convince my son in Canada to do video calls.

Today is another shopping trip to Wenatchee. More warm clothes for winter are very much needed. Somehow my usual wardrobe of capris and tank tops are not appropriate attire here in Leavenworth at this time of year.

The best part of being here is that I’m having a great time renewing friendships, meeting new people and making memories. My extended family just keeps on expanding. Life is more than good.

Taking Care Of Me

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Taking Care Of Me

Taking care of me is a relatively new phenomena in my life. Until about ten years ago, I had spent decades putting other people first. Now it was finally time for me.

The downside is that I have spent the last ten years mostly traveling around. This is not exactly conducive with getting involved in a long term relationship. And I find myself alone now in a foreign country waiting out this pandemic.

Why didn’t I return to Canada when I had the chance? I haven’t had a home there in ten years. I had nowhere to go. Yes I have children and friends there. But it’s one thing to come back to visit for a week or two but quite another to come back for a longer period of time.

Where I really wanted to go was back to Leavenworth. I discovered this quaint village four years ago and I’ve put down roots there. But I’m Canadian not American so the border is closed to me.

I have been taking care of myself here in Aguascalientes. First and foremost is that I have a comfortable place to stay and a neighborhood where food and other supplies are readily available within walking distance.

While I am living alone I am definitely not lonely. I have a great phone plan and have unlimited international calls. My family and friends are very accessible.

The highlight is definitely the video calls to my daughter and granddaughter. The other day Madeline sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to me and my heart melted.

Then there are the texts and messaging on social media apps. I’m really limiting my time on Facebook as I’m tired of all the misinformation and inaccurate statistics. I know what I need to do to stay healthy and I’m doing my best.

I go out for two short walks daily. I usually pick up food at this time as well. My fridge may be small but it’s adequately stocked.

I join in discussion groups on the Mayo Clinic website. These are a great source of support at this time.

I’m really enjoying a course I’m taking from University of Toronto. The topic is dealing with anxiety in the face of COVID-19.

I color every day and I listen to music. I watch movies in Spanish. I’m participating in an online Bible study. I do online church services. And I still do the SAIL exercises.

I take time to meditate. And I take time to contemplate life. I’m pretty sure there will be some big changes in my life when this pandemic is no longer a threat and becomes treatable instead.

I live in the present. Mindfulness is key. I want to avoid any unnecessary PTSD in the aftermath.

Last but definitely not least, prayer has been an important part of my life for some time. But it is even more meaningful now.

What are you doing for yourself?