“Seniors In The Garden”

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“Though an old man, I am a young gardener.”-Thomas Jefferson 

I’ve been waiting patiently for winter to let go. I want to go out and play in my gardens. Yes, I said play. Because being in my garden makes me feel young again. I get so lost in what I’m doing that sometimes I don’t even realize how long I’ve been out there. My husband tells me that he loves to stand back and watch me when I’m gardening because I look so peaceful. Yet, at the end of the day, I can suffer for it if I don’t pace myself, use the right tools, and stretch before starting.

img_0394In the book “Gardening for Seniors” it covers all this and more. If there’s a will to garden in our senior years, then this book will help you find a way do it step by step.

Today it looks like we are going straight from winter into summer with a forecast of 80’s degrees. Before I run out the door with my garden hat and gloves my husband reminds to do my warm-up exercises.  He kindly demonstrated the ones from the book so I could share them with you.

Warm-up exercises:

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Head tilts

Tilt your head to the left with your ear pointing toward your shoulder hold for a count of 5.

Repeat on the other side  3 times each.

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Shoulder Shrugs

Stand with relaxed shoulders. Then elevate shoulders toward the neck. Hold for a count of 5, then repeat 5 times

 

 

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Body Twist

With hands on hips slowly turn your upper body and hold for a count of 5, return to center and repeat the turn to the opposite side and hold for a count of 5. Repeat exercise 5 times.

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Wrist Circles

With elbows held close to the body rotate your wrist gentle in a circular motion. Repeat in both directions 5 times each.

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Lower Back Stretches

Bring your knee as high as you can up to your chest and hold with hands for the count of 5.

Repeat on opposite side 5 times each.

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Arm Swings

With knees slightly bent stretch your arms out to the side, slowly reach behind you, gradually bring them around and hug yourself. Eventually swinging the arms easily in motion several times.

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Calf Stretches 

With hands against a wall, place one foot in front of the other with a bent knee. Strech the other leg out straight back for a good stretch. Hold for a count of 5 and repeat each leg 5 times each.

 

 

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Upper Leg Stretch

With a hand on a chair or wall pull your back leg up with hand or rest it on a chair for the count of 5. Repeat 5 times each leg.

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Upper Arm Stretch 

Raise your right elbow up toward ear and hold push back gently with the other arm for a good stretch holding for a count of 5, repeat each arm 5 times.

 

 

 

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If you’d like to check the book Gardening for Seniors click on this link to take a better look.

“The Embrace”

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Turning 65 made me step back and take an undeniable reality check. I’ve reached the age of no return.

I tell my friend, “I want to embrace this time in my life, but I don’t know what that means.”

“Neither do I,” she says.

While I was on vacation recently I had an aha moment that put everything into perspective for me. I stopped to check out this big old tree that was over 237 years old. Standing beside it I looked so small in comparison. I was drawn to step within the fold of its draping branches. At first the clusters of Spanish-moss looked like ghost from the past swaying between the branches. Then it looked like beautiful long silver hair blowing in the wind. I’m in awe of the moment as if I’ve stepped within that place where the meaning of inner beauty lies. This big beautiful old tree with it’s wrinkles, cracks, and age spots still stands strong in a weathered region against all odds. Maybe it’s because she went with the flow of the winds, bending with a flexible heart to whatever God brought her way.

Nature teaching me how to embrace my age meant; to stand tall and proud for what and who I’ve become. That’s where our true beauty lies, and keep on moving so I can bend with the flow of life, with the gracefulness of Spanish-moss blowing in the wind.