By Pat Maurer
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you should ignore your health.
Dailyhealthcare.net says, “Being a couch potato has its consequences. A person who sits around instead of being active will find that there blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar will increase to dangerous levels while their energy levels decrease. It becomes a vicious cycle. Everybody needs rest but after a good nights sleep your body requires physical stimulation in order to maintain a healthy life.”
According to www.seniorslist.com, one of the easiest ways to improve your overall well-being is moderate exercise or a little physical activity – and it doesn’t have to be a punishment – in fact it can be fun!
Start slow. Just beginning some moderate physical activity will have a positive impact. Arthritis symptoms will diminish and bones become more healthy – and exercise will relieve anxiety reduce the chances of depression.
According to health.lifegoesstrong.com, “Just 15 minutes of physical activity every day reduces the risk of death by 14 percent and increases life expectancy by three years compared to inactive people.”
One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to exercise is walking. It is a great activity for cardiovascular health, lowering weight and building muscles. The options are unlimited. Walk around your own neighborhood or a nearby park, load up on fresh air and sunshine and enjoy the wildlife.
If it’s rainy, you can drive a little and go mall walking, where you will be sure and see many others “doing laps.”
In Clare you could join others who walk around the High School each morning. Give the office a call to find out more about this – 386-7789. Walking with friends is not only more fun but you can keep each other motivated.
If you just don’t want to go out, buy a treadmill and instead of sitting on the couch and watching your favorite show, walk while you are watching TV.
Don’t like to walk? How about swimming? Check out the local pools and see if there are water aerobics classes or if a small fee allows public use. Swimming is especially popular with seniors because it is easy on the joints. Arthritis or joint pain? This is perfect for you.
Yoga is another great activity for seniors because it helps with flexibility, breathing, back strength and more. Check around the area for classes or buy and mat and an instructional DVD, although a class would probably work best because anytime you’re with others, you keep each other motivated.
How about riding a bike? All you need is to dust off yours and have a helmet for safety. A really great place to ride and safe too, is the Pere Marquette Rail Trail, which except for a small area from Clare west to the Moose Lodge, is open from Midland to Evart.
Golf – What a great way to exercise. It fun, you can socialize, be outside and, if you walk the course, you get the most benefits. There are several courses in Clare County: Firefly on the south side and Devils Knob on the north side of the county. Eagle Glen in Farwell, Snow Snake between Clare and Harrison and Tamaracks north of Harrison. And don’t forget Pleasant Meadows Family Recreation Center northwest of Farwell.
The Clare Parks and Recreations Department and the Pere Marquette District Library started another great activity this summer, Shuffleboard. Every Wednesday afternoon games start at 2 pm. In the lower level of the Peré Marquette District Library. Games go through September 7 when the playoff tournament begins.