Remember when you were 50 and got that first letter from AARP? How insulted were you? I was stunned to think that somebody thought I was old! I had lots of hard physical labor and years of dancing on the stage in my younger years, so I was still flexible of spine and legs. I didn’t feel old at all.
After that first shock diminishes, we just settle in, feeling a bit superior because we’re still fit. But sixty is just around the corner, and another watershed as far as age is concerned. One thing which is more difficult to maintain after 60 is our spinal mobility. Flexibility is essential to our ongoing vibrance and vitality.
I’ve been doing stretching exercises since I was in my 20s, and for years my practice was Yoga. I don’t mean the religion, I mean the exercise regime.
Flexibility is needed to perform everyday activities with relative ease. To get out of bed, lift children, or sweep the floor, we need flexibility. Flexibility tends to deteriorate with age, often due to a sedentary lifestyle. Without adequate flexibility, daily activities become more difficult to perform. Over time, we create body movements and posture habits that can lead to reduced mobility of joints and compromised body positions. Staying active and stretching regularly help prevent this loss of mobility, which ensures independence as we age. Being flexible significantly reduces the chance of experiencing occasional and chronic back pain. – Human Kinetics
I found that finding a Yoga class within my age group was important. You see, I’m competitive. Also, I refuse to believe that my body simply won’t do all the things I tell it to do and things it used to be able to handle easily. That all means that sometimes if I’m in a Yoga class with younger people, I over extend myself. I try to push my body too far. That isn’t good Yoga practice. The older I get, the more gentle I need to be with my body.
However, I can’t overstate how important it is for us to keep ourselves mobile and our spines flexible. I don’t want to be one of those people riding a damned scooter, do you?