Limited Exercise Has Limitless Benefits

Staying active is a core component of supporting your overall health and quality of life as you age. It is the key to maintaining your independence as well as your physical, social and emotional health.

Mobility can be impacted by injury, disability, illness (diabetes or arthritis) or weight problems. Fortunately, much of the decline in mobility is reversible, and there are many ways you can exercise and get moving. Exercise can even ease depression, enhance your self-esteem and relieve stress and anxiety.

If you’ve met me, it’s obvious that I need to exercise more. I used to collect half marathon medals. However, the last 10 years I’ve collected several spinal surgeries.

Based on the first two paragraphs of this column, injury and weight gain aren’t good enough excuses to explain a lack of exercise on my part – especially since we have nine exercise classes to choose from and a fitness center here at the BA Senior Center.

One of our fitness classes is Limited Exercise. Well, that pretty much sums me up. Sean Simpson = Limited Exercise. The activity leader, Gary Siftar, has invited me several times to attend the class and I finally did. It was a wonderful experience.

We started with deep breathing – I actually relaxed – then moved on to basic stretching. You just do what you can to keep things moving, like improving motion slowly. The majority of the class involves seated chair exercises that work different muscle groups in the body.

We took a jar of peanut butter off the shelf and opened it (You’ll have to come to class to understand). We marched (basic training without the 50-pound pack) and worked on balance.

The class had people from 55 to 92 years of age. Everyone was kind, welcoming and inspirational. Three participants had walkers and four had canes. I visited with a classmate who since taking the class has moved from a walker to a cane to requiring no assisting device at all.

I even received some sage advice when leaving the class: “Be proud of yourself when you exercise. You’ll get stronger the more you work at it. And it’ll get easier the more you practice.”

I’m not running a marathon anytime soon (or ever), but I’ll be back to Limited Exercise.

Come join me.

Sean Simpson



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