By Terri Bryce Reeves
Happy New Year!
Are you ready to get in shape?
For the past three years, as editor of this magazine, I’ve written about a variety of studies that boast the benefit of exercise: a trimmer, shapelier physique (oh yeah!), improved strength and functionality, and – perhaps most importantly – staving off age-related disability and thus the dreaded nursing home.
Those all sound like such worthy goals, I said to myself as I sat for seemingly endless hours in my editor’s chair. But everything changed when I began experiencing such fierce pain from shoulder tendonitis that I nearly gnawed off my arm off at the joint.
During a subsequent visit to the orthopedics’ office, my doctor read a crystal ball (a.k.a. an x-ray) and told me that a total shoulder replacement is likely in my future.
Now, I have joined the minority of Americans who take their health seriously—I have joined a gym.
I am currently working with a personal trainer and using light weights with more repetitions to build up my shoulder, neck and back muscles. My shoulder will be in great shape when the doctor saws it all apart.
And that’s the point.
According to my physician, strengthening the socket through physical therapy before surgery can improve healing and shorten the recovery period. Maybe there is a teensy-weensy chance I could have a less-invasive arthroscopic procedure too.
Research studies across the country have shown there are many other benefits to strength training, including improved brain health to stave off dementia, depression and anxiety.
Working out can also help to lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes as well as the risk of developing metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and elevated blood sugar.)
Other benefits of strength-training include better joint mobility and less arthritis pain; greater bone density and reduced risk for osteoporosis and related fractures.
Of course, there is the benefit of weight loss, improved self-confidence, sleep and vitality. Adults who are in good physical shape are less likely to fall too.
So with my need for surgery, comes a goodbye. I need to take a considerable amount of time off, so this will be my last editorial for Lifestyles After 50. I will miss my co-workers, writers and naturally you, our readers.
It has been an honor and privilege (and much fun) to serve as editor of this publication. I wish you all the health, happiness, and prosperity in this new year!