HEALTHY LIVING — Don’t look for the ‘I can’t’; find the ‘I can’
Published 12:05 am Friday, January 24, 2020
I get inspiration for my columns everywhere, mainly standing in line waiting to pay for something like clothing, food or flowers. Keep your head down and your ears open and you can hear some mighty interesting things.
You get two or more senior folks together and the talk will invariably get to medical issues pretty quick, and after a comparison of surgical procedures, then comes the laundry list of the “I cant’s.” Granted, as we achieve senior status, there will be some things we aren’t able to do as swiftly or with as much agility as we might have a couple of years ago, but, as the Marines say, we can adapt, improvise and overcome.
I live in an antique home with impossibly tall cabinets. When we first moved in almost 16 years ago, I would drag up my trusty step stool and climb up on the countertop to reach the top. Now, I am not quite as steady climbing so no more step stool, I now have a step ladder with a built-in handle. It’s much more stable and safer. Adapt.
Has anyone else noticed that their arms may have gotten a little shorter? Are you having a bit of trouble reaching something under the sofa or at the back of the cabinet? I am not normally a gadget type of person, but on a whim bought one of those long grab-it things with a clamp at one end and a squeeze handle. WOW! It’s amazing all the things you can grasp with ease using that thing. Improvise.
As we age — yes, there it is, I said it — many folks become more sensitive to the cold. Dreary days with temperatures below 60 make us just want to curl up on the sofa under a blanket with a book and a cup of something warm, but let’s consider the possibilities! After breakfast, instead of nesting, how about turning on some music, pulling out the dust mop and do double duty of getting those floors clean and getting in a little exercise. Moving around gets the blood flowing and helps warm you up, and the bonus is a clean floor. Grab a dust cloth and get after those knick knacks. Swing your arms, bend and stretch. Thick socks keep our feet warm, be sure to get house socks that have the little grabber dots on the bottom to keep you from slipping. Overcome.
Even during the cold weather, we do have some bright sunny days. Grab a jacket and head out to the yard. Even spending a few minutes outside moving around and getting some of that vital vitamin D will do you the world of good.
So you can’t run anymore. Can you walk, or stroll leisurely? You can’t walk three miles anymore? How about one mile? Can you walk for 20 minutes? Do you feel that you can’t do aerobic exercise anymore? How about some stretches, or maybe a little gentle yoga? You can find videos online or at the big box store to show you what to do.
For every Can’t, there is a Can. Many years ago, a very wise therapist gave me the best advice I ever got in three little words: “Consider the possibilities.” Instead of focusing on the “I cant’s,” look for the “I cans.”
Stay active and healthy, my friends.
Jody Holton writes about healthy living for The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.