I'll be spending the next two weeks in Cleveland with my mother, and I have great plans for both of us in terms of exercise. My mother is 92 and I'm eager to work with her on upper body strength and flexibility. As for me, I look forward to getting into a regular running routine.
We share breakfast at a table by a window with a panoramic view of the Cleveland Museum of Art and Lake Erie in the distance. Sitting opposite each other, I'm able to take her through exercises for her arms and shoulders using light weights. Upper body strength is so important in getting through the day with ease, and we've all had moments when we realize we could be doing better. My mother mentioned recently that she wasn't able to organize her closet because she was having difficulty lifting some of the boxes in it. She hasn't been doing her weights lately, so it's definitely time to get back on the program.
Stretching is also important for my mother because she has become a little stooped with age and from relying on a walker for stability. So after the weight training, we do a series of stretches that she loves. It feels so good to sit up tall, stretch the sides of the torso and lift the chest, arching the upper back gently. Then we do some specific stretches for the muscles of the arms and shoulders that we worked with weights. By the time we're done, Mom is absolutely beaming.
For myself, I put on my running shoes and in less than five minutes I'm jogging around the lagoon in front of the art museum. I do four laps, incorporating some stairs along the way. Afterwards I do a full body stretch in the park outside my mother's building and in less than a half hour I'm done. It's a great way to fit in a daily run, which is difficult in my normal work schedule.
We both start the day feeling virtuous and smiling!
Enjoy the last of summer and I'll be back on the blog after Labor Day.