Get Out of That Chair

OK. So I am a noodge. I harp. But you know it is for your own good!

And you also know there is no bigger zealot than a convert. I have sort of lived my life ‘in reverse’. Bookish intellectual before 25, fitness fanatic after. I preach (and preach and preach) exercise because it works.

Right now I am having no problems getting enough exercise in. That was ‘enough’. Not too little like many people I know and not too much like a few others. However, what happens when my vision gets worse?

People NEED activity! AARP did an article on how deadly sitting too much can be. That was the word I used: deadly. We already knew sitting too much can lead to cancer, diabetes, heart problems, yada, yada, yada. Now we know it can hurt your chromosomes, for crying out loud!
Telomeres are the ‘caps’ or aglets at the ends of your chromosomes. Nice, ‘big’ telomeres are sort of protective and are found in younger people. As we age we wear them down. Smaller telomeres mean we are closer to death. Think of what your shoestrings start to look like when you lose the aglets. Those laces are not long for this world.

AARP reported people who sit more than ten hours daily and get little exercise have cells that look to be 8 biological years older than those of their active contemporaries.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to have those 8 years!

And to add insult to injury, a sedentary lifestyle style makes you dumb. OK. They did not say ‘dumb’. They are what I am not: politically correct. That is what they meant though when they said you lose brain agility.

What are the alternatives? You have lost a lot of your sight and you are scared to death to move from your chair. People put everything within reach and leave you there. Fantastic, NOT!

Orientation and mobility (O&M) services are a great thing. Problem is they appear to be as scarce as hen’s teeth. If you cannot get O&M services request a free, white cane and start to practice. Back and forth to the bathroom a dozen times. Rest. Repeat. Have them set your lunch up on the kitchen table and walk there to eat. [Lin/Linda: In the US, you can get a free white cane from the National Federation of the Blind: click here.  In the UK, I’m told you can get a free white stick/cane from the NHS but I can’t find anything about it online.]

Even if you are afraid to leave your chair you can still do all sorts of things to exercise. Side bends, seated jumping jacks, leg raises, etc. Get a doctor’s clearance and go to it. Remember this is both quality and quantity of life we are talking about.

That is pretty much it for his post. Staying mobile and agile (not to mention strong and flexible as well having good endurance AND good balance) is the key to health and contentment, good vision or not.

Next: Keep On Learning

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