Aging Well in the Gorge January 10th 2017

“Uncle!” I give up! I’ve had enough snow with all the cancellations and disruptions. I’m beginning to wonder, is it something I did? But maybe this will be the end of the wintry mix because, really, how long can this keep going on? At least we don’t live in Minnesota where they have four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.
But if the weather has kept you inside and you haven’t had a chance to regularly exercise, there are exercises where you don’t even have to leave the house. And all you need are a tennis ball, chair with arms, weights, and a towel.
In a well-rounded exercise program, the exercises should address three areas of your fitness: strength, balance and flexibility. I’ll describe a couple of examples for each area to give you an idea of how simple they are. But if you want to find more exercises, plus tips on how to stay motivated and tools to track your exercise, go to the website Go4Life.
But before you start, a few safety tips: breathe regularly during exercise, use smooth steady movements when lifting weights, keep your arm and leg joints slightly bent, always bend forward from your hips – not your waist; and most importantly: repeat the exercises, but stop if you feel pain.
Okay, here we go.
Strength exercises: Hand grip – slowly squeeze a tennis ball. Wall Push-Ups – pushing yourself off the wall (that’s the wall – not the floor!).
Balance exercises: Stand on One Foot – stand behind a sturdy chair holding on for balance and lift one foot and hold; and then repeat with other foot. Heal-to-Toe Walk – walk heel-to-toe while focusing on a spot ahead with arms raised to your side.
Flexibility exercises: Thighs – stand behind a sturdy chair and hold on for balance. Bend your leg back and grab your foot and gently pull your leg until you feel a stretch in your thigh. Shoulder and upper arm – stand straight and grab a towel in your right hand, raise hand and hang towel behind back. Reach behind lower back with other hand and grab end of towel. Pull the towel down with your left hand.
Now that you know how simple it is to exercise in your own home, you can start anytime. But if you want something more structured, there are many opportunities including CURVES, The Dalles Fitness and Court Club, Water’s Edge or any of the many affordable classes at the Center.
Even with ten inches of snow outside, there are many ways to be physically active can even make up your own exercises. The point is to find something you enjoy and keep doing it.
For the Center’s Tuesday Night Music on January 17h, if the weather cooperates, the Simcoe Boys from Goldendale will be performing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 6:30 and donations are always appreciated.
Continuing the countdown of “40 Great Things about Growing Older”. # 13 – Time to finally write that great novel. Or how about your life story for your children and grandchildren? How I wish I knew more about my father’s life which he seldom shared thinking it wasn’t important.
The 6’9” basketball forward who played for University of Oregon from 1968-1971, led the Pac-8 in scoring for two straight seasons, and whose son now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers is Stan Love. (The winners of a quilt raffle ticket each are Jerry Phillips and Lee Kaseberg, a true Duck fan from Wasco, who pointed out that Stan’s son, Kevin Love, spurned his father’s alma mater and instead played for UCLA.)
All this snow reminds me of the film Doctor Zhivago – the 1965 epic romantic drama set in Russia prior to World War I and during the Russian Revolution of 1917–1922. It won five Oscars, but lost best picture to The Sound of Music. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the woman who Doctor Yuri Zhivago fell in love with while he was married to his wife Tanya? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a recording of Somewhere My Loveperformed by the Ray Coniff Singers. 
Well, it’s been another week, waiting for the snow to melt so the garbage can be picked up. Until we meet again, remember, this too shall pass.

“A snowflake is one of God’s most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!” Author Unknown

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