The Challenge: Reawakening Your Dormant Body in Retirement

Jul 26, 2019 | Ann Burnside Love

By Ann Burnside Love

To re-introduce myself to readers, I’m Ann Burnside Love, founder of Love & Company, and for the last nine years an actual resident of a real Senior Residential Living community in central Maryland — and a very contented resident. A few years ago I regularly contributed commentary about “real life inside” for this blog, but then some real life challenges put a temporary end to that…

My beloved family doctor scribbled this on a scrap of paper and handed it to me the last time I went for a checkup: “Couch Potato Leads to Falling.” Just because I was pleading for help in restoring my once-famous energy and balance — while often fearing I might fall backwards — he was pointing out that only I could alleviate that fear, through action.

I can’t imagine why he thinks I’m a couch potato just because I’ve never been able to stick to a routine exercise program for more than a couple of months. For we lifetime writers, sitting/working for long hours in front of a computer is not only normal, but necessary. Thus I have done relatively little to prevent what is, alas, currently happening to my body.

(Note: I have developed enough good-to-reasonable reasons, as I see it, for avoiding exercising in my collection of excuses that someday I may offer my list to the editor of this blog. Which, of course, would be my last act in this forum.)

So I’m starting out yet again — with a frank admission that I have never been able to keep up a routine exercise program successfully, but it’s going to be different this time. Why? Honestly, because the alternatives, which I could describe quite genuinely, may be hovering.

With a prescription from said physician in hand, I got in touch with our Rehab Department, located at the other end of our very large building (thus built in walking exercises for coming and going) and set up an evaluation meeting. The result: twice-a-week appointments, with monthly evaluations. Since everyone who enters this process gets a customized program of exercises, it’s enough to say that mine includes lots of walking as well as a growing program of stretches, lots of lying down exercises, standing stretch-band exercises and stair climbing. And I’m sure there will be much more to come.

Alas, recently I’ve been sidetracked by a series of uncomfortable seasonal short-term health challenges, some probably caused by the most heavy-duty pollen count we’ve had in ages, but I’m happy to say I’m getting back into the program this week. Yes!

Best wishes to everyone who has ever needed to get back into an exercise routine — and actually does it and sticks to it! It’s a boon to be living in a community that supplies everything we need for this, including several outdoor courts for bocce ball, horseshoes, plus different activities, and walking paths galore. And I appreciate that in all sorts of ways many times a day.

Today I’ll leave here this morning for a board meeting of Love & Company at our offices about fifteen minutes away. Planning ahead, you might ask? Of course!

Carry on!

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