'Thank you' said a lady, 'because of you I can now make a fist with my hands and my fingers are more flexible'
So what you might wonder, well when you are 80+ and want to remain independent it is really important that you can hold a bread knife, peg put the washing, grasp a frying pan or draw the curtains in the evening and first thing in the morning.
Exercises for the small joints of the hands are often over-looked but they are so very important, as are exercises for the small joints of the feet. How would you manage day-to-day with stiff feet and hands that did not want to do up buttons, grasp zips or hold a cup of tea?
Exercise isn't just about increasing your steps or cardio vascular output, it isn't always about lifting heavier weights or doing more reps - it is working on the small things like turning the shoulder to get the arm in the coat, reaching down to scratch the itch, being able to find your shoe with your foot or having enough mobility in your shoulders to brush your hair.
That lady made me feel very proud, as proud as an Olympic coach whose athlete had won gold. Every week the ladies at Southgate and Highlands as well as the happy group at Kenton Jewish Care, make me smile and realise just how lucky we all are that in 1976 a group of idealistic teachers created EXTEND Exercise.
A Christmas playlist is as unique as the people in the class and this year my last 3 classes of term have been very special.
The ladies on Monday and Tuesday were in fine form and today at Medau the gymnastic ribbons lifted our spirits and by the smiles on everyone’s faces you might have thought it was Christmas morning!
Christmas is a time for families and friends. Each year, at the EXTEND class we share mince pies and we make a toast to a festive Christmas and a good new year and then we toast our absent friends. We pause, remember them, their smiles and favourite songs but knowing they would not want us to be sad, so we raise our eyes, smile and get on with living! That is what the class is all about - being with friends who become family, sharing special times, laughs and stories as well as being there at the not so easy times.
So, as we move towards Christmas, wishing everyone a very festive break, I shall be sharing some prosecco with my daughter, the cooking with my mum and sister and singing along to all the Christmas songs in the shops.
Exercise With Tracy
EXTEND Exercise and Medau Movement teacher. Keeping the muscles working, the joints mobile and having fun!