Ah, a brand new year, and a brand new list of New Year’s resolutions. For many a recurring resolution is to hit the gym and get in shape! For the past year, I’ve maintained a fairly regular schedule of visits to the gym. I wouldn’t call myself a Gym Monkey, that’s a little too strong for my sessions, and there are 59 other terms for a fitness enthusiast or someone who goes to the gym for a workout, every day! Even enthusiast is a little too strong for my one-hour visits to the gym. I’ll never be another Arnold Schwarzenegger, that’s not my goal, I just want to keep all my parts moving.
I’d like to put a plug in here for Surrey Parks and Recreation. It really makes it simple and affordable for us old folks to get a fitness routine going. Head to the website and check out the pass rates. I fall into a category called 70 years plus and for $135.00 a year I have unlimited usage at all city-operated indoor pools, arenas, and recreation facilities, and that includes the gyms. At $135 a year, why wouldn’t you pick up a pass? Even if you only use it a few times a week, what a great value and investment in your health.
Years ago I was a member of a gym and had a personal trainer. I was working at a TV station and every other day one of the producers and I would go to the gym together, that way if one of us didn’t feel like going that day, the other guy would drag him along. Nothing like having someone to give you a kick in the behind when you need it! That experiment didn’t last long even though we started to see results in our fitness. I think a boredom factor started to play into our routine, and both of us dropped out of the program.
As time went on, life became busy and the last thing on my mind was going to a gym to work out. I think the previous experience was still on my mind. Boring! But then, late in life, I had a wake-up call when I was diagnosed with Angina, which comes under the umbrella of heart disease, a burning sensation across my chest when I was under exertion. So, 3 stents were inserted in my narrowed arteries, and it saved my life.
Following the stent procedure, it was recommended that I join a recovery exercise program sponsored and run by Fraser Health. I gathered with other heart patients a couple of times a week and we were put through some simple exercises designed to strengthen the heart. It turned out to be fun, and something I looked forward to. I graduated from the program and started to go to the gym on a regular basis so I could continue my workouts. All was going well, and then Covid hit. And like so many other things, the gym was closed, and the gym visits were put on hold.
I tried to do as much exercise at home as I could, and the best I could do was long walks on the beach which was good, but not the kind of workout that I was used to. The gym workouts were so much better in helping my heart and blood vessels, but also for strengthening the heart muscle, improving blood flow, and lowering my blood pressure, which was something I needed help with.
But there were also the benefits of improving strength and I really noticed a change for the better in my mobility. It’s been said that any kind of strength training for seniors can improve muscle mass and bone density, which can help to prevent falls. It seems that the falls are something we hear too much about these days.
I’ve also read that gym workouts can help improve not only cardiovascular health and strength but can also help us seniors with our weight management, mental health, and just an overall quality of life. Not a bad combination and a pretty good investment.
I’m now stepping down off my soap box! As they say, “to each his own.” But as time keeps on ticking, anything I can do to help with the rest of this ride on planet Earth, I’m all for it. And even though it’s too late to become a Mr. Universe, or to get “pumped up” like Hans and Franz, from Saturday Night Live, I’m thinking that my $135.00 is a pretty good investment.
Till next week...
Watch: Pumpin' Up with Hans & Franz - SNL 1987
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White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2
White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2