Happy Daylight Savings Time All You Early Risers!
Many of you know that this is the beginning of my favorite TIME of year. Yes, Spring Training has started and Opening Day is less than a month away. But that’s not why I am so excited. I am excited because, unlike most of the population, I don’t feel as though I am losing an hour of sleep. Instead, from now up until June 15, as we get more hours of daylight (2.5 over the next three months), I feel like I am gaining hours of life.
Sure, we all only have 23 hours to “spend” today, but it’s what we do with the “time” that counts. The sun will be out, or at least it’s supposed to be – it’s cloudy and grey, later today and for the months ahead. For most, especially me, that means an increase in daily energy, a better mood (you’re welcome clients) and more opportunities to be “active”. But, as with many things, just because we are given a chance to do something, it doesn’t always result in us doing it.
And that brings me to the “audience” I am targeting for today…seniors. Now wait! Just because you are not a senior, it doesn’t mean this installment isn’t worth reading. It is! I promise!!
Many people look at exercise too narrowly. They believe that it needs to be done in a specific environment with specific equipment and for specific results. And while it’s true that most people “train” in a gym or on a field, in order to attain such goals as; weight loss, strength and muscle gains and improvements in cardiovascular endurance, too many people, especially seniors, neglect the benefits of exercise for Activities of Daily Living (ADL).
What does that mean? It means that there are “functional” benefits to following a “training” program that is designed to provide obvious day-to-day benefits for people that have trouble, or want to avoid future trouble, in doing activities that most of us take for granted on a daily basis. For example, a “sit-to-stand” exercise (in other words, a reverse squat – where sitting on a bench is the starting point and being able to rise up without the use of momentum or leverage to a stable stance is the finish) is good for those who have difficulty, or need help, getting up from the toilet seat or a chair with no arm rests.
Another good example of a functional exercise is doing a dumbbell biceps curl while stepping up and down on platform that is about stair high. This will help the trainee keep or develop the balance, strength and coordination necessary to walk up a flight of stairs while carrying laundry, groceries and etc.
There are many other “exercises” that provide such benefits. And the best part of this type of “training program” is that it can be done at home and all that is needed is a lot of determination, a little motivation and some supervision. Most seniors have friends or relatives that wouldn’t mind spending 15 to 30 minutes, two or three times a week, to help them practice such activities as mentioned above, especially if there is a bowl of fruit or nice lunch waiting for them afterwards. Conversely readers, are there any seniors that wouldn’t mind helping become stronger and more independent? I am sure you can think of a few.
So, the next time you take it for granted that you can bend down and pick up something without the fear of falling over, think of someone dear to your heart that can’t. And for God’s sake, don’t complain that you lost an hour of sleep. Get up, go out and enjoy the DAYlight. You can sleep…later.