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Reminding mom that she needs to help herself keep fit for independence

April 1, 2013

What is the first question I ask my 86 year old mom every time I call her?

“Mom, Did you exercise today?” (or yesterday if I call in the morning)

Her concern is keeping her independence making my job to remind her that she is in charge of helping herself do it.

At 86 keeping up her leg strength is huge in helping her keep her balance. She also needs to walk more and use her peddle machine to keep up her lung health. She gets winded way to easily.

I have shown her quite a number of Tai Chi based exercises including some for her hands. Along with telling her why to do certain exercises I remind her that they are also good for her brain and how exercise help keep her mentally sharp.

Her worries about what she will do when she loses hand strength and can no longer open jars or cans, or turn doorknobs.

I always repeat “mom, you need to exercise to keep things working”.

Do you have these conversations with your parents? Are they receptive or dismissive to your comments?

Don’t give up on them! I believe you can change their habits… it just takes a long time with those who never really exercised in their younger years to see the value of doing it now.

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