Both my parents came from farming backgrounds. The women worked as hard as the men, if not harder. Several of my great-grandparents lived to be well-up into their 90s; one of my grandmothers was nearly 100 when she died, living in the house she and my grandfather bought in 1934. And right up until almost the end she was still mowing her own yard in summer and clearing the snow in winter. (No mean feat, that: she lived in upstate NY, near the Canadian border, where they get lake-effect snow that will pull a house down.)
I missed a great-great-grandmother by just a few years, who also lived in her own house up until she died. None of these ancestors became incapacitated: while a few died younger than others, none of them had strokes or dementia or any illnesses that rendered them incapable of independent living.
Yes, I hear you: I am indeed blessed with good genes.
If any one of the 'oldsters' had said to me 'You know, no matter how much weight you gain or what kind of job you do, be sure to spend some time each day moving. If you don't, you'll find it gets harder and harder to do things and move around when you want to.'
Maybe they did tell me and I just didn't listen. Or maybe I had such good examples in front of me (I mean, seriously, except for some arthritis - which they always called 'rheumatism' and laughed ruefully at themselves for getting old - they were healthy, active people) that I didn't realize what kept them going was - to keep going.
On New Year's Day I outlined the basic resolutions I plan to achieve this year. Last year my fitness / exercise regimen was, shall we say, somewhat sporadic at best. I had a couple of bad problems (most notably the plantar fasciitis, of which I'd never heard and which I've come to detest) that deterred much exercise, even walking. I'm not saying that as an excuse, just as a statement of fact.
After doing some research and checking some things, I decided there are a few things I CAN do, though, so I decided to do yoga for 15 minutes each day. I practiced yoga pretty much daily in my early twenties, then kind of drifted away from it when the kids came along. Don't get the idea I was really good at it - I wasn't - but I could stand on my head, so... not too shabby, lol. Anyhow, since I could choose yoga postures that don't require standing, I thought, yes, there's one fitness tool I can use.
A fellow Sparkler put me onto Anne Burnell's 'chair exercises' here on Spark, so yes, that works - certainly avoids aggravating the foot problem. Amazing how you can be sitting and still get the ol' heartrate up!
Another exercise machine is our WiiFit. That's a little trickier, as you have to stand on the board for most of the activities, or else move around for things like tennis. Again, I went thru and picked out exercises like the balancing 'games' and the chicken flight* so I could do 20 minutes each day of WiiFit but not have to do the step or kick kind of things.
*Chicken flight: if you have a Wii, you already know. If you don't, well, let's just say it's not the most dignified of activities.
And two of our kids gave us 'Beatleband' last year for Christmas, with more music for it this year. I took on the role of 'drummer' because I really flap my arms around. I don't get very good scores, mind you, but I work my arms like a madwoman, lol.
The plan was to work back up to walking, gradually: we hit it lucky on eBay a couple years ago and have a really good secondhand treadmill, which I love. I keep hoping that losing more weight, practicing some foot-therapy, things like that, will see a cessation of the PF. Maybe.
Well, the best-laid plans o'mice and men - and Sparkers. Tuesday I threw my back out. At least, I guess that's what I did. I've never had back trouble, I wasn't doing anything super strenuous, I haven't changed shoes or my desk chair or been someplace where I had to stand for hours on end - in other words, nothing out of the ordinary. I was consciously careful about the yoga, stretching gently and not overstretching - you know, touching knees instead of the floor and so on. Same with the WiiFit, being careful not to overdo.
I vacuum, I do dishes, I carry the laundry basket around - it's not like I was a passenger on Wall-E's cruiseliner. But I certainly wasn't making sure I kept fit, in any sense of the word.
Anyway, here I am, applying a heating pad to my back, moving ever so carefully, being sure to have both feet flat on the floor, etc etc etc.
Funny. I have a rueful laugh just like my grandmother and her sister used to have.