Monday, April 20, 2015

It's About Wellness by Liz Flaherty

          We’ve talked about fitness before on the Heartwarming blog. I was a dragging-my-feet and staring-at-the-ground lurker during that conversation, but I’m here now, coming out of the chunky and non-healthy closet to jump on that particular bandwagon. I’m doing this because, as I admit way too often, I’m getting pretty old. I’m also doing it because I’m too cheap to buy more clothes, and in December of 2014, with its attendant dress-up responsibilities opportunities, I needed a larger different size. Not only am I too cheap, but there is little in life I enjoy less than shopping for clothes. (Except shoes, of course—that’s therapy. And another post.)

          So my husband and I went to the Wellness Center in Rochester, Indiana and toured the facility. I absolutely hate gyms or any other place that has big mirrored walls that draw unkind attention to my shortcomings, but the truth was that I didn’t feel all that good. I had sciatica that made walking any further than the refrigerator mailbox painful, I spent long hours of every day at both my desk and the sewing machine, and...oh my gosh, I love to eat.

          But the Wellness Center is different. Oh, they have the mirrored walls, but no one looks at them. They offer Silver Sneakers, an exercise class that comes free with many people’s health insurance plans—my husband’s, for instance, but not mine. Being retired means we can go to the gym when it’s not populated with bodybuilders banging free weights around or women without stomachs or neck wrinkles running—yes running—on the treadmills.

          It’s fun. The whole thing. Silver Sneakers, where at 64 I’m often the youngest participant, is a hoot, and it does amazing things for your flexibility. I’m building up to going to yoga, which I’ve never done, and using the salt water pool even though I can’t swim a stroke. I have some new friends, enjoy time with old ones, and have lunch dates with my husband at least once a week and often twice. (I still love to eat, though I’m working at healthy.) I’ve lost nearly half the weight I wanted to lose.

          The best part of all is that my sciatica retreated and I’m once again able to walk a few miles a
day on the nearby Nickel Plate Trail. I’m disgruntled by the slowness of my pace, but I really don’t mind being the tortoise in the race as long as I’m still moving.

          I’m still getting pretty old, but it’s so much fun I’m finding hard to be upset about it. And now I don’t have to buy new clothes! Except probably new sandals. No, definitely new sandals.

          

16 comments:

  1. Good for you Liz Flaherty!! I empathize with you with regard to pain being a deterrent to exercise. I don't have sciatica (at least I don't think I have it), but ever since I took a nasty spill in 2011 I've had chronic pain issues daily in my right hip and leg. Exercise can be excruciating for me, but I try to push through the pain and do some power walking or 40 minutes on my recumbent bike on most days. I used to join gyms but since I don't particularly enjoy exercising I wasn't motivated to get dressed and drive to the gym. I'm more comfortable working out in the comfort of my own home. This way if I pass out I don't have to be embarrassed by onlookers. Ha, ha....just kidding, sort of. Anyway, I love walking to the Leslie Sansone Power Walk videos at home. You can buy the DVD's or stream the many, many walking videos that she has for people of all ages and fitness levels. Here's to both of us loving life and trying to do what we reasonably can to get healthy.

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    1. Yes, Leslie is my rainy-day friend, too. She's terrific. And, yes, the loving life is the very best part of it all.

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  2. Good for you, Liz! But now, shopping for clothes will be fun because you'll look good in anything, so you'll have to try again! Walking also stirs up the creative juices

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    1. Oh, it does stir the juices! However, I listen to audio books most days. I just finished Susan Elizabeth Phillips' HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS--it is so good! I'm a ways away from the size I want to be, but feel so much better that I'm convinced I'll get there.

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  3. Yay on losing weight and feeling better, too. Those are big perks. I have Silver Sneakers on my insurance plan, but I really don't like going to gyms. I do try to walk every day. Now about that eating better part---I'm really bad about that. And I have weight to lose. Hm. Thanks for making me think, Liz.

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    1. Silver Sneakers is entirely different from anything I've ever done, Roz, and I can't recommend it highly enough. It's not even like BEing in a gym. Let me know if you try it--I want to know if you like it as well as I do.

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  4. Oh, this sounds fabulous, Liz! I was just talking to my mom today about setting aside time to walk (I've so neglected that lately). 11-11:30 is now going to be my "me" time. :) Keep up the great work--and of course new sandals! ALWAYS new sandals

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    1. Yes, Anna--you have your priorities straight! :-)

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  5. I'm glad that you found something that is working for you, Liz. That is what it's all about. I've been going really early to shop at Walmart and walking all the aisles. It isn't unusual for me to get something near the pharmacy and then walk quickly to the grocery aisles. My doctor said this really does count. :) Of course, I never miss a swing by the book shelves and check out (or drool may be more specific) all of the new Harlequin books. I would LOVE to see Heartwarming there. (hint, hint)

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    1. We would, too, Cathy! I do that at Walmart, too, plus--as long as it's not raining--I get really bad parking places to add to my cumulative steps.

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  6. I LOVE Silver Sneakers. I've recently moved but one of the first things on my to-do list is to find the closest silver sneakers gym.
    Cynthia

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    1. It's fun, isn't it? I was so surprised to like it as much as I do.

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  7. How wonderful, Liz! Silver Sneakers sounds like a great class!

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