By Don Posh IndiGO
As the Colors fade we move into the snow season. How do we prepare? It is as individual as we all are. Some of us leave for a warmer climate to return in the spring. The rest of us just tough it out.
Exercise is important to maintain our bodies and minds. Winter changes our habits and with shorter days that can leave us on the couch. If you have been walking or bike riding, how do you continue with heavy snow or frostbite temperatures? There are fitness centers in some towns which may be good for someone that needs the group for motivation. You may check with your Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) to inquire on exercise classes they may provide or just do it on your own. My 88-year-old father uses a stationary bike daily to maintain the mobility he has. It strengthens his leg muscles and helps to pump blood to his brain. Exercise bikes are sometimes available for free or very low investment. It doesn’t need to be fancy or computer controlled. For the most part it just needs to be used regularly.
My situation is a bit different. I have lower back and neck injuries from an auto accident. Over the decades I have been a guinea pig for pain relief medications that really didn’t help much. Is this it? How will the household chores like shoveling snow get done? Will I still be able to fish when I retire? What about travel and all those other goodies that come with retirement? What did help is a regular routine of stretching and exercise. I was always limiting myself, so afraid to do things that may aggravate the injuries that would lead to severe pain. What I found was all my muscles were so tight from avoiding pain that it created pain. A PBS TV show called Classical Stretch helped to educate me and get more out of life. The host Miranda Esmonde White has some videos on aging backwards which state, at any age you can improve your mobility and quality of life. It took over a year of daily stretching and strengthening to get me where I am today. I am so glad I did it. I am in much better shape now at 62 than I was at 45 and no more pain meds with their side effects. It’s not just me, but my friend that was severely injured from a 20+ foot fall on to rocks was told by doctors he should get used to his wheelchair. He forced himself to take a step, then another. If you saw him today, you would never think he was expected to not walk again. He got his life back! Sometimes being told what we can’t do discourages us from focusing on what we can do.
Be Well…We’re All in This Together!
For more information on independent living contact: indiGO serving Douglas, Bayfield, Iron, Price, Sawyer, Washburn, and Burnett Counties including Tribal communities of Red Cliff, Bad River, La Courte Oreilles and St Croix.
Main office: 800-924-1220 V/TTY
Our non-profit agency, indiGO, aims to empower individuals
living with disabilities and we are available to assist ALL ages and
disabilities. We are not a vendor and do not sell any products,
but we are here as a resource.