Monday, November 6, 2017

Age Smart by Melinda Curtis

It's official. I've reached a certain age. In the last four months, I've developed bursitis in one hip, had my tennis elbow flare up, be told by my doctor I have rotator cuff issues, and now...I have a stress fracture in my foot. For a woman about to be a grandmother for the first time, I'm starting to feel OLD.

At this point, I can tell you what the doctor will say about every muscle twinge and stiff joint - stretch! Stretch? Stretching is for sissies! Stretching is boring! Stretching is...necessary. Sadly, it's not just a quick touch your toes and swing your arms side to side. I have four different stretches for every over-used, worn out body part. It takes me 20 minutes to stretch "properly." I'm the kind of person who complains about the extra five minutes it takes to blow-dry my hair. Twenty minutes of stretching? Torture!!!

And speaking of torture, take a look at my stretching aids.

The green foam roller is absolutely necessary for my hips, IT bands (side of my thighs), and calves. When things get tight - because I haven't stretched enough - I sit on top of my foam roller and work that thing like a rolling pin beneath me.

The nubby roller is advertised as a way to break up fatty tissue, but I've found it's very useful in getting to deep tissue. Does it hurt? Oh, my, yes. And upon first use, I bruised. Does it work? Sadly, yes.

It's not shown here, but I use a tennis ball to roll over the soft tissue around my "tennis elbow" to loosen that up (this is called irony, kids).

I was raised in a time of going for the burn and work your body until it hurts for days. But let me tell you, I'm not a fan of the burn or hurting anymore. I also gave up 5K runs and have fled screaming when people ask me to come do mudders (plus I don't like to get dirty). It's time to age smart.

Are you slowing down? Are there physical things you don't do anymore? I'd love to hear your aging stories.

Melinda Curtis is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author. She writes sweet romance for Harlequin, sweet romantic comedies and sexy sports contemporaries. Her latest releases are Support Your Local Sheriff (a full-length Harlequin, $4.99), Rumor Has It in Christmas Falls (a full-length sweet romantic comedy, $2.99), A Heartwarming Thanksgiving (a collection of 13 turkey-day related romance novellas by Harlequin Heartwarming authors - a steal at 99 cents), and Heartwarming Holiday Wishes (a collection of 10 Christmas romance novellas - a steal at 99 cents - includes a $1 off coupon for a Heartwarming purchase at Harlequin.com).

35 comments:

  1. I feel your pain with the tennis elbow, Melinda. It certainly makes it more difficult to get our stories written. Although I work out for an hour every day, I'll admit, I don't stretch, but I think you've convinced me to change my ways.

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    1. Stretch! The more I age, the more I stretch

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  2. The physical part of aging isn't a whole lot of fun, but we make up for it with heightened intelligence, empathy, and common sense. That's my story and I'm going with it.

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  3. Did my yoga stretches and t'ai chi warmups before I sat too, Melinda. Yeah, I know, we need to stretch so we undertake sitting.

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    1. Isn't that the biggest irony? You have to stretch before sitting!

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  4. I too can totally relate to your current woes, Melinda. It seems every doctor visit ends with the comment “part of the aging process”. But I heartily recommend stretching - I go to a great exercise class (yeah, for seniors!) and afterwards I feel like I’ve had a massage. As Liz says, the body betrays me these days but my mind is sharper than ever. :)

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  5. Oh my goodness!!! I was just recently diagnosed with tennis elbow and he gave me a shot of cortisone to help with the pain. The shot was worth than birthing my children and I writhed on the floor in pain for 3 days. But now it feels great. And without the pain in my elbow slowing me down, I realize how bad the pain in my wrist is. Not to mention the fact that I have a standing appointment at the chiropractor every week for back issues. Stretching usually isn't an issue for me because I teach gymnastics and lead the stretches with my students, but I've lost so much muscle tone and really need to lift weights. This getting old SUCKS!!! Congrats on the grandbaby by the way. Grandkids rock!!!

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    1. OMG! My doc won't give cortisone shots anymore. Apparently the kind they have make you gain weight. What a world!

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  6. Congrats on the grandbaby! I can order off the Denny's senior menu and a few Wednesdays ago the cashier at Albertson's gave me the Wednesday Senior ten percent off without asking.
    ARGGGGG

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    1. LOL! Our local restaurant gave my husband the senior price and he told the owner not to do that again

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  7. Mel, Thank you for making me laugh this morning. I really needed it it. Yes to all of those things. My IT band gives me fits and the tendinitis in my heels is infuriating. I like Liz's theory about how we make up for the physical issues with heightened mental acuity. Now, if I can just remember it....

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    1. Exactly! Why did I click out to the internet...oh, look at that cute picture of a kitten!

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  8. Thanks for the reminder to stretch. When I exercise, I've tended to skimp on that step. I'm always on to the next thing--and I don't like the time it takes to blow dry my hair, or would take if I did it right. It's odd how these odd wear and tear things sneak up. I'll stick with Liz's story, too! Thanks for the post!

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  9. Oh boy! I relate so much and hate to. This aging thing isn't for sissies. I don't know that stretching will help all my aches and pains any more. But you've got to stay in shape to play with your grand-baby.

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  10. Stretching, hmm? I've noticed the random aches and pains getting more frequent and if I sit any length of time I get stiff. I'll have to do better about moving and stretching. In the meantime, I'm with Liz.

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    1. Those hips...they don't just get wider, they stiffen up

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  11. oh my goodness, I so feel where you are coming from. I have many issues also. Fortunately my chiropractor was a sports chiropractor for many years. So he has been giving me stretches and exercises that we wrote down (LOL so I don't forget) and they really work. Praying you start feeling better in all of your areas of need.
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

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  12. Roz beat me to the "getting old isn't for sissies line". :-) I don't climb trees any longer...or skate...or play tennis because of my knees. But I'd still climb on a horse in a heartbeat. ;-)
    Great post!

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    1. I'd climb on the horse, but I might have trouble walking when I get off!

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    2. I'm sure I would, too, Mel! lol My daughter has several horses and up until you reminded me, I was thinking about riding next time I went to South Florida. :-)

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  13. Thanks for the reminder...I've got frozen shoulder and I'm supposed to stretch...

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  14. Melinda, you've got to try the yoga wheel! A company called "Plexus" is advertising for them now but I got mine for around $20 on eBay. It's incredible and they say it's different than a foam roller because it gets in between your shoulder blades to release tension. It doesn't really hurt or burn but oh yes, there is pressure on your spine, hips and shoulders. But after I roll a few times on it, I feel so much better. I applaud you for sticking with stretching. I sprained my lower back last year and went to physical therapy where I was told to simply complete the stretches they printed for me twice a day. Sounds so easy but I made a huge deal out of it and sadly, most times, I skipped it altogether. Took me much longer to feel better. Stretching IS necessary!

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    1. I'll look for this Plexus yoga wheel right now!

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  15. Oy, Mel. Right there with you. Growing up, I was a dancer and gymnast. Imagine my surprise a few years ago when I discovered getting up and down off the ground wasn't as easy as it once had been. Definitely not for sissies, but I have to agree, stretching is the answer to most of the aches and pains. Need to incorporate that into my daily routine--and I use a tennis ball on my forearms every day! only thing that keeps my hands from screaming during the night after a day at the keyboard. Take it easy!

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  16. Mel, I'm like you--hate to waste time on hair-drying (or matching socks) or stretching. I lost quite a bit of weight about three years ago, and I started exercising every day-ish. I feel fine as long as I do that, but if I skip two days of exercise, everything starts aching. It's a horrible shock because it implies that exercise really is good for you. Who knew?

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  17. Knees. Right now I have bursitis in both. Sigh. That’s what I get for doing the weight machine without it being right for my frame. Must stretch more! Thanks for letting us know that we are all kindred spirits in this aging business.

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  18. Oh, man, I hope you feel/heal better soon, Mel. I'm the same way and have suffered numerous muscle, tendon and joint injuries in the past year or two. I limped my way through most of last year. I also hate that I need to support my knees if getting up from a crouched position. Yoga stretches have helped me a lot, but my body just ain't the way it used to be in my 20's!

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