March 15, 2017
Waning Gibbous Moon
I will skip the Ides of March stuff. There are already too many scary things to beware of coming at you from every direction. Instead, I will recommend a 30-day exercise challenge that is pretty benign, but, combined with a stretching, walking, and/or bicycling regimen, will produce favorable results for most folks. By "favorable results" I mean you will feel stronger, tighter, and more energetic. At 65, I know I am never going to look like I'm 35 again and really, I don't much care about that. I just want to feel good and this program does the trick.
It's called the Super Saiyan 30-Day Challenge. Someone found it on the internet and sent it to me a couple of years ago. There are several different programs, but I like this one for now. I am starting it today for the second time in the past year or so, along with a friend of mine from Texas. We agreed to text each other a brief message each day (e.g., "Day One done) as a way to stay on track. That helps to hold yourself accountable, of course, but it is also more fun to share a friendly challenge with someone else.
Everybody knows the benefits of aerobic exercise for heart health, so keep walking or biking or swimming if you are already doing that. If not, then start! But maintaining strength and flexibility is also important in our "twilight" years. Many folks join yoga or tai chi classes - that's great, too - but I prefer to zone out with exercise on my porch at my own schedule. These exercises can and should be spread out over the course of the day (nobody I know can crank out 350 push ups all at once!) and you are free to modify them as you see fit. For example, my right knee is shot. It will not support my weight without sharp pain when bent at a 90-degree angle. So for the squats, I only bend to an angle that I can do without pain. I still feel a noticeable gain in strength from the repetitions over the course of 30 days.
I used this program in the training leading up to my 3,322-mile coast to coast walk across America last year and it helped a lot. Since I returned, I incorporated all the exercises (with low repetitions) into my daily routine. Now that summer is coming (and hopefully some new adventures), I am ramping up my effort to get prepared. I am old but I am mighty!
Peace, Love, and Exercise,