Move it or Lose it

By Marie Gress, LLMSW – Director of Operations at Milan Seniors for Healthy Living

I hope it’s safe to say that Spring may finally be here! If your family is anything like mine, you are itching to spend some time outdoors again.  As you age, your body gives you a few more aches and pains than the spring and summer before and that might make you second guess if you can be as active as last year.  I’m here to tell you to get outside and do what you love (or try something new), otherwise you might actually lose it.
I was reading an article about how babies kicking in the womb stimulates bone growth, and my occupational therapist friend said that’s exactly how it works outside of the womb for adults, too.  The more you move, the more signals your brain gets to build up muscle on that leg and maintain bone in that hand. I’m not even talking about when you add exercise; just basic, everyday movements can help your body stay mobile!
If you aren’t exercising regularly or if chronic conditions are a part of your life, your mobility may not be where you want it. 
You can still enjoy outdoor activities: go for a walk to your favorite ice cream spot instead of a jog. Go for a two person kayak ride to share the rowing instead of a single person kayak.  Pick some berries with your loved ones (then make a pie, because you’re worth it). Attach some one or two pound weights to your ankles/wrists while you push the lawn mower. Instead of getting down into your garden bed, make a raised bed or put your flower pots on a ledge or table – easier on your back and your knees.
Milan Seniors for Healthy Living has an annual gardening class.  Our very own Beverly Robinson walks participants through creative ideas of how to garden in small spaces, how to up-cycle with what you already have, and what kind of edible flowers and plants you can grow year round.  Starting May 17, sign up today by calling MSHL at 734-508-6229 or check out our website at www.milanseniors.org for other ways to stay active and mobile.

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