Category Archives: Uncategorized

Exercise in Retirement

Hello all,

Today I attended my first exercise class in many years! I have been going to the gym now for over six months, but did not decide to take a class until today. I have been using the bicycle, treadmill, and other machines but just did not want to take a class. I must confess that I hesitated to take one before this time, because I thought the instructor would be going at such a fast pace that I would not be able to keep up!

When I learned that this class was designed for seniors I breathed a sigh of relief!I was more hopeful that it would be just right for me. When I arrived at the gym, there was a long line of seniors waiting to enter the room.Everyone had a bag with them, while I had my towel, water and my cell phone in my hand! I wondered why they had such large bags.I asked the person next to me for the reason that each person had a bag. She explained that I needed a jump rope, ball, dumbbells and a chair. She said these items are all provided but ” they never have enough for everyone”, so she brought her own except the chair, of course.

When we entered the room, I noticed that most people made a bee line for the back of the room! I decided to speak to the instructor and to introduce myself as a new student.I wanted her to know that with a new student she needed to slow things down so that I could keep up with her.Of course I did not tell her, but I was hoping just the same. She gave me a warm welcome and told me to follow everyone else. ” Get the same equipment that they have” she said, and pointed to several boxes to the left side of the room.I dutifully did as she said and picked up dumbbells, a chair, a ball and a jump rope.

The music began to play and the instructor began to move as did everyone in the room. I joined in, and soon realized that the pace was moderate but still taxing. “You can do this I told myself” as the tempo of the music increased. About 30 minutes into the routine, she asked us to pick up our dumbbells.I picked up mine, and noted how heavy they were! When I looked around the room, most people had little dumbbells that probably weighed half a pound.I looked at mine and realized that I had picked up the largest size! How was I to know that we could pick a smaller size. I decided that no matter what, I was not going to change to what some people had ie half pound size that resembled a dog bone!I was confident that I could manage 10 pounds on my first day! I actually did just fine, but I was also glad when we moved to the next routine- follow the leader.

The instructor began moving around the room, and we followed behind clapping, marching,swaying, and contorting to the music.It was quite a workout! At the one hour mark,we did cool down exercises, and the class ended. I really enjoyed this exercise session. It was quite exhilarating! I knew that I was feeling the effects of Endorphins- those feel good, God given hormones, that were responsible for the great way that I felt.I am certainly looking forward to the next class! I highly recommend these classes to any retiree.

Finally ….My own Schedule!

I have been thinking just how different my life is in retirement as opposed to when I was in the work world.The difference is, that I now make my own schedule! How great is that! In my previous life (that is in the work world),my schedule was very hectic. Meetings just about every day, preparing for meetings, or making sure others were prepared for upcoming meetings. While I loved my job as an administrator in the health care field, it was usually fast paced. Sometimes there was hardly room on my calendar to squeeze in one more meeting!

While I do miss the hustle and bustle on occasion, I do not miss the long meetings that I sometimes had to attend.When I chaired meetings, my goal was to keep them no more than an hour to an hour and a half in length. Most times I was able to arrange the agenda to stick to this rule, however, sometimes I could not.I was always aware that after an hour or so it was difficult for individuals to stay focused, especially when they were hungry!

Today, as I look at my life I can see the contrast from then to now. For example, I decided to have a leisurely breakfast this morning, and to drive to the local Public Library to write this Blog. Of course I had many other options- writing it at home,or doing other things.It is surprising that there is so much to do as a retiree!

Yesterday morning I went to the gym for about an hour. I felt quite pleased that I had made the effort to go. Sometimes I just don’t have the desire! It was a good experience working out and trying new equipment.You may not be like me, but I am somewhat hesitant to try machines that I have not used before.I guess I don’t want to make a fool of myself if I do it the wrong way! I was bold yesterday after I told myself that the fifty or so people there were only focused on themselves, and did not care whether I made a mess or not!

I really felt like an expert when another woman who was trying to figure out how to work the machine next to mine, asked for my help! I was very quick to give her some advice about adjusting the bicycle that she wanted to use. She took my advice which worked!

Last evening I went to the main library to attend an Excel class. This was something I had wanted to do before but just did not seem to have the time or the energy. This was the fourth class in the series. It is quite an experience to be taking computer classes with people half my age. Some of them are the same age as my own children! I am sure you know that the younger generation have computer skills built into their DNA! How else could they understand everything about computers so well. I was able to follow along fine for the previous classes. I did pretty well yesterday until the last 15 minutes of the class. All those charts and numbers! Some of the students asked the teacher to repeat some of the steps that we were missing. She advised us quite sternly, that she was not repeating because some of us were talking, and not paying attention. Reminded me of my elementary school days.I will have to review the work book to catch up. So glad there was no test!

I know that it is so important for retirees to be active in order to remain healthy in body and mind.I made a conscious decision that my previous job did not define who I am as a person. I know that my life consists of more than going to a job day to day.That is the reason that I have decided that it is important for me to be in control of my own schedule each day. I have the wonderful opportunity to do all the things that I longed to do when I was working and had limited time. What an opportunity!

A Healthy Retirement Lifestyle

Now that I am retired, I know now more than ever that a healthy lifestyle is key to the prevention of complications later on. I believe that we all know this, however, knowing and doing is quite different! I was very motivated to go to the gym this morning to workout. This is actually my third time going this week. I consider this quite an accomplishment. Since retiring I have only managed to go two times or less per week.

Exercise has been part of my routine for many years. I must confess however, that there have been ups and downs along the way! Sometimes more downs than ups! When my children were young ( 9 or 10 years old) my day used to be so full that I could only find time to exercise at night after I put them to bed. Sometimes it would be 11:00 PM and I would be walking around my living room.Years later, I would walk them to the bus stop at 6:00 am, and would then continue walking around the neighborhood.

When my children were in college, I lived right across the street from a park so I would rise early and spend 30 to 45 minutes exercising.In the past, my motivation was strongest very early in the morning.Since I retired I have a more flexible routine of whenever it pleases me!

This week I was getting back to my routine after a one week hiatus. I had some back problems so had to take it easy for a few days. Going back to the gym after an injury requires great care. I had to gradually ease back into my routine. I started out by just doing 10 minutes on the bicycle, and 5 minutes on the treadmill.I have increased the time to 20 minutes on the bicycle, and 10 on the treadmill. I usually spend 10 minutes in the sauna after my workout.

It is very stimulating to go to the gym!There are people from all walks of life, and of all shapes, sizes, and ages! I admire those who are in better shape than I am when I see them pumping iron, and doing all the exercises that I wish that I could do! How do they get so muscular? I really admire their dedication. This is the only time that I wished for brief moments that I was 30 years younger! I am however very thankful that I can do as much as I can do now.

Watching the World Cup on TV while exercising is very satisfying to me. It certainly makes the time go by quickly.I also observe the seniors with a lot of interest.I am so encouraged when I see them working out almost as hard as the younger crowd.I feel very inspired when I see someone older than I am lifting weights with youngsters who are 20 something!

I am encouraging myself and you also, whether young or old, to begin or to continue with an exercise program. Sometimes it is very difficult to get started, and for some it is even harder to get that exercise into your daily schedule. It does not matter where you exercise- at home or in the gym. The important thing is to believe that you can do it, and then get it done!

The rush is over!

One of the blessings of being retired is that I no longer rush out each morning to go to work.I remember the days when I would be up before dawn,getting dressed for work before the sun was up, and getting into my car to head out for work.As I drove the one hour distance on the highway ( sometimes it was an hour and a half due to traffic), I would encounter the other commuters doing the same thing each day- rushing to work!

I often wished that my job was closer to home, especially as the traffic inched along at snail speed! I usually kept occupied ( with eyes on the road) with music, or a CD that was inspirational. At the end of the day it was the same story as I returned home.I loved my job and was thankful for all that God provided for me so I did not allow the frustration of a long commute to cloud my day.I would have just liked to be driving less to and from work.

Now that I am retired however, I find that I am driving in a more relaxed way. As I approach a light that is about to change, I remind myself that there is no hurry. My time is my own.Oh, the joys of retirement! If it is raining outside and I need to go out, I can now wait until the rain ends. No need to be in a rush, I tell myself. I only concern myself with getting to church on time, to a medical appointment, or if I am meeting someone for lunch.

I found out that when one retires, there is an adjustment to be made. First of all in your mind. I need to remind myself frequently that there is no rush. I recall being in the checkout line at the supermarket.I was in a 10 items or less line. There were two women in front of me who had one basket with about 20 items. When they got to the cashier she pointed out that they had more than ten items. They told her that since it was two of them they were allowed to have more than 10 items.The issue was that I had to wait for the 20 items to be processed instead of 10. As I stood there, I reminded myself – there is no rush! The cashier was very apologetic to me when I finally arrived at the register.” No problem,” I said I don’t mind at all. I was really not bothered that I had to wait. I reminded myself that the rush was over!

I rushed around for 40 plus years. I am glad that the rush is over thanks to my retirement!

RETIREMENT AND GOOD HEALTH ARE GIFTS

One of the many wonderful gifts in life are good health, and a sound mind! My name is Hanna, and I am sharing some of my life experiences with you because I believe that the journey of life is enriched by sharing, and lifelong learning.

I retired from my most recent job of 22 years as a Registered Nurse administrator, and I am sharing my thoughts and experiences with you as I move to another season in my life. Retirement for me is not sitting in a rocking chair watching the world go by. I truly believe that retirement is the start of a blessed time in my life. I hope that your retirement will be the same.

When I worked a full time job it was a hectic , but a very rewarding time. I am wondering how I did it all! Family responsibilities, college, travelling to and from the job, solving problems on the job, marriage, children…..the list is long. I know that I had supernatural help!

Retirement means doing the things that I could not, or did not do while on a 9-5 job such as travelling, spending more time with family, and being involved more with my church activities.

I have learned a lot about myself since I retired. Join me as I share more of these experiences with you. I hope they will be a blessing to you.