Eagle-eyed regulars will have spotted I have been absent from social media and my blog. Pay attention folks because I have a cautionary tale for you all – over fifties, bloggers, writers and readers alike.
I like to think I have been ageing well. I am active (hyper-active in fact.) I laugh myself senseless daily. I eat very healthily and I have a really positive attitude to ageing as you all know. I life for each day and part of that is because I suffered serious spinal problems in my youth. I have always been aware of the fact my back is not the strongest so I exercise sensibly, walk regularly and have even been a personal trainer so I know all about looking after myself. Or so I thought…
Without droning on about how ill I have been, let me just say, please, please, please take a good look at yourself. Do you have any niggly aches and pians in your back, hips or shoulders? Do you get headaches? Do you slouch, spend ages on the internet or reading texts on phones or sitting down? If you say yes to any of the above go and see a physotherapist immediately to make sure your hips, back, shoulders etc are aligned and ask for relevant stretches or exercises to ensure you strengthen these parts of your body.
Why? I hear you say. You could end up like me – for the last eight weeks a ninety-year-old woman has invaded my body. I have been hobbling about in agony and have scared poor old Mr Grumpy witless. Neither of us knew why I would suddenly go from Mrs Active – let’s go and take a 4X4 over a glacier, let’s go zip lining, let’s go quad biking – to Mrs I Can’t Move At All (without screaming in pain). Poor old Grumpy has stood by open-mouthed at my sudden deterioration and it has been a shock to both of us.
An MRI scan revealed my spine has degenerated badly. I have spurs and bulging dsics and all manner of problems. I believed I was looking after myself but walking and incorrect exercise has exacerbated the problem. My muscles have been compensating for a fused, decaying spine and as a consequence my hips have seized and my whole back has gone into spasm. It has taken weeks of physio to even get well enough to sit and type for a while. I have a way to go yet but I’ll get there. I am after all determined to age disgracefully.
I’m writing not to moan. I’m writing this as a warning to you who are reading this blog. Make sure you look after your body now and then you will age better.
My top tips to prevent bad, shoulder and hip pain
- Take up a class like yoga, pilates or Tai Chi or belly dancing.
- Find a good physio and get checked over for posture etc. You will have lost muscle strength wthout realising it.
- Go swimming but also, do exercises in the water to strengthen hips and back.
- Do not sit for too long. I know you writers want to get your deadline scone…invest in a stablility ball and sit on it to write. It’ll help strengthen your back and hips.
- Make sure you activate your core muscles when you stand, walk or sit.
So, I shall have to change my lifestyle a little. No more daft experiences and hobbies…well, maybe one or two when I am better. I’ve invested in a dictation programme to help me write my books and a stability ball to sit on instead of my comfy leather chair. I shall have to head off to the local swimming pool a couple of times a week and do a stretching programme daily.
I appear to have evicted the ninety-year-old woman for now and I am almost back to perky old facing 50. I really don’t fancy her reappearing so, if you don’t mind, I’ll sign off now and go and practise my Warrior Pose.