On the Move: It’s never too late to make positive changes in our lives

Last modified: 4/19/2015 12:12:43 AM
More vegetables, more exercise, more social life. These are the prescriptions our physicians, physical therapists, children and friends nag us with to insure ourselves healthy and independent later years.

Vegetables are easy. There are plenty available in the supermarkets, at the co-op and at winter and summer farmers markets. You can also grow your own in big or small gardens. Gardening is good exercise. There are tons of exercise clubs and classes in our area. Yoga is popular, as is Tai Chi. There’s Zumba and Jazzercise and Always an Adventure for hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing and kayaking. And don’t forget the Concord Recreation Department’s Pickleball. Beaver Meadow Golf Club offers golf, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and RSVP offers Bone Builders to help strengthen our bones and muscles and improve our balance.

When physical limitations of the later years caused me to give up hiking, biking and skiing, I soon felt the need to move my body to rejuvenate unused muscles, and started attending the Bone Builders classes. The exercises are led by trained volunteers and targeted to seniors.

There are several Bone Builders classes in Concord and many across the state. Although our class sometimes has as many as 20, participants, we average about 14. Not all show up every time and although many are Horseshoe Pond residents, many, like me, are not.

We meet twice weekly for an hour’s exercise. Some exercises are done seated, some standing, some marching around the gym. We use weights and can choose the size of weight we find comfortable. The leaders emphasize that you are not obligated to push yourself and should only do what feels good to you. Our leaders all began as participants and then graduated to leadership. There is no charge for the classes, but donations are welcome. Three caring leaders see to it that we have a good hour of “work” and fun.

Program leaders at Horseshoe Pond Place are all retirees, all grandmothers, all volunteers. Kathy Connors was a respiratory therapy nurse and taught nursing at NHTI. Helen O’Brien was a nurse, afflicted with a stroke and arthritis, which affected her balance.

“This program vastly improved my balance,” O’Brien said.

Ellen Norton taught kindergarten as well as other grades at Shaker Road School in East Concord.

It’s never too late to institute beneficial changes in our lives, to strengthen our minds and muscles and even to make new friends.

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