Life After 50-Couch Exercises

It’s been a long day. Dropping your bags on the chair, you turn on TV. Ah, your favorite show will relax you, so you plop down on the couch, and an infomercial catches your eye. What, couch exercises? Why do you need to be strong and healthy after fifty? You look like everyone who is only 10 lbs, no 30 lbs overweight. Bellies hang over belts, sides bulge, grandchildren use your “love handles” when they stand on your toes to dance with you. What? You look like your friends? Don’t you want to be a trendsetter, and look like you were ten years younger?
They would all be jealous and not invite you out for dessert anymore. Ten years younger would sure make you feel good.

You hear something that you can do easily as you watch TV, and grasp the pen underneath the magazine, and the pad in the drawer. You scribble.

First, Just take a slow deep breath and let it out slowly. Lift up your legs so they are even with the couch. Hold them up until you can feel their weight, then, slowly lower your feet to the floor.
Repeat this exercise until you can work up to 20 repetitions.
OK, that was easy. You can also strengthen your abdominal muscles with that one. Aren’t you glad you jotted that one down?

Now, raise your legs and point your toes toward you, then point them away. Can you feel your calf muscles tighten? Flex your feet and try to work up to 20 repetitions.
Wow, you can do this! Keep your eyes on the show and don’t miss the next exercise by getting up for that snack. Oh, all right. Get it. You feel healthier, so grab some grapes and whole grain crackers. Just turn up the volume.

Don’t sit yet! There is a wall behind you, and you can use the wall for exercise, since it is near the couch and you can still hear the TV.
Face the wall and stand about two feet away. Place your hands on the wall. Bend your elbows and lean. Your arms bend, and your cheeks touch the wall. Hey, you’re doing a push up. Straighten your arms again and feel your calf muscles stretch and your upper arms hold up your weight. See how many repetitions you can do as you get stronger.

Next, sit in the middle of the couch and place your hand over your ears with your elbows facing up. That feels good because it’s stretching the muscles under your arm.

Let your fingers massage behind your ears for added relaxation. Raise your arms as high as you can and then bring your hands back to your ears. Repeat this until you can do 20.

The half-hour infomercial is over and you turn on your computer to do a group email and let your friends know about the show, to see what you have learned about exercises on the couch. You are going to become the leader in your group and begin a program to make you all feel better and increase the quality of life as you get through the next couple of decades.

Do you want to be so weak that you need help to get out of a chair when you reach 70?
Life begins at 50. You have a chance to make up for lost time. Look for the next infomercial next week with more great couch exercises!

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