The Computer Trap...for the retired too!
Do you, like me, find yourself spending more and more time in front of the computer? I certainly seem to be doing more "stuff"" at my desk and spending less time on other more active pursuits....its a "trap" especially for us oldies, who can least afford not be mobile, regularly exercising and generally staying active. The old adage "use it or lose it" rings loud for all of us.
But it is a conundrum of sorts since much our communication these days is via email, most of our research whether its for our next travel adventure, broadening our music collection (Xbox Music or iTunes), or finding a good (E-) book, or the diverse routines of looking after our retirement nest-egg, fulfilling honorary roles (a president, secretary, treasurer etc) in our community, or just paying the never-ending stream of household bills .... they're all done via a computer. Its become an appendage we simply don't seem to be able to do without for too long at all, and it requires our total attention and mind power, but unfortunately with little or no physicality whatsoever. Now I do know some of my fellow retirees refuse to be drawn in and discipline themselves only to use their computers once or twice a week... allowing themselves to entertain other more uplifting physical pastimes such as regular rounds of golf and the like...and how intolerant are we when they don't answer our email immediately! But perhaps we'd do well to be more like them.
And between the computer and the TV, we are all gaining weight, snacking while we work and losing our physical strength and agility! Last week I volunteered to help at the annual DreamCricket Day (a local Rotary initiative) for school children with disabilities on our local hallowed turf, The Bradman Oval.
With other fellow retirees from our community, I was required to mind a small group of kids whilst they participated in a number of cricket oriented games - nothing too complex or strenuous - but on the occasions I was required to run after or stoop to a stray ball, I immediately felt my leg and thigh muscles tighten, my knee and hip joints strain and my entire body struggle to respond with real agility....OOOOOO!!!
Now I'm by no means incapacitated - I still wash two cars, mow the lawns, paint the deck and so on, but
it frightens me that now close to 70, I need to keep my mobility in tact otherwise I might just lose it - arteries will harden, joints become inflexible and soon you find it difficult even to walk!!! But there are some simple disciplines we can all employ everyday to keep limber.
1.Before getting out of bed - do some leg pulls toward the chest
2.Once out of bed - do a daily regimen of sit-ups (or push-ups if feeling really challenged), toe touches and knee squats, waist twists and deep breathing exercises
3.In the shower - practice standing on one leg at a time, do some hamstring stretches against the wall
4.And a daily (spirited) walk (with the dog), or bike ride, is essential
And if you do not have the self discipline for these simple things, then get a tai chi or pilates dvd and exercise dare I say, in front of the television!!! Better still, join a local group of like-minded retirees in your community for a weekly game of social tennis or golf - don't overdo it at first, so start with just 9 holes until your stamina improves - join the local outdoor bowls club or if swimming is your thing, visit the community pool daily for some quality laps.
I do hope this post alerts you to the need and spurs you into action....
Don't be captive to your computer and/or television
Do exercise regularly and possibly participate in a community sporting activity.
...and remember...have a fabulous retirementLIFE....