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I’m 88 – can you recommend any not-too-violent exercises

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I am 88, in fairly good health (apart from fading eyesight and hearing!).   Had a hip replacement last year and did the exercises they recommended every day for six weeks.

Just wanted to know if you can recommend any not-too-violent exercises as I am not attending a keep fit class at present (although the new hip has not given me any problems) I walk every day to the shops -about 10-15 minutes. Many thanks.

Mary Hyslop.

It’s important to stress that we need to be individually responsible for ensuring how suitable an exercise is for us, since everybody’s health issues, especially those in the over 80’s age group are variable. Some people will be fitter than others, some stronger, others less flexible or less stable.  But it’s a fact too much sitting can result in slack abdominal muscles and slumped posture which encourages cramp and indigestion.  Inactivity is bad for our hearts and circulation, and often results in swollen legs and feet.

Good circulation is important in preventing problems and walking as you do Mary is excellent whole body exercise.  Blood that flows into the lower leg is helped back to the heart by the calf muscle acting as a pump, and the one way valves. Walking helps revitalize your body, re-oxygenate your system and improves your circulation and digestion

Simple exercises can add quality to your life. To improve the mobility of your shoulders and upper back stand with feet apart.   With your right hand reach up and over your head as if climbing a rope (relax left knee if standing).    Bring arm down and reach up and over with left hand (relaxing right knee). Repeat 10 times.

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My 85-year-old mother suffers from osteoporosis

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My 85-year-old mother suffers from osteoporosis.   She recently fell and broke her hip and is in danger of losing her physical independence.   I’ve heard that osteoporosis can run in families.   Is this true?   If so what can I do to avoid it?  Anne D – Berkshire

Dear Anne, I’m sorry to learn of your mother’s accident.   Osteoporosis – fragile bone disease affects 3 million people in the UK.  1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men will break a bone mainly as a result of poor bone health.

However, in many cases it is a preventable disease, and not just a consequence of growing older.  Look at your lifestyle. Does it include a well-balanced diet containing plenty of calcium plus vitamin D to build strong bones, and regular weight bearing exercise? This changes have been found to help prevent the disease.   Some women are more at risk genetically and you need to be aware of this.   So, Anne, please consult your doctor.

He may recommend a change in lifestyle, HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or specialized drugs to slow down bone loss and maintain bone density.   Talk to your Doctor about your bone density.  It can be monitored with a bone scan (Dexa) screening although it’s not always available on the NHS.  Alternatively, you could contact a private clinic that would perform a bone scan for a fee. Good luck Anne and for more information www.ros.org.uk

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Tech Neck Exercises

With everyday use of techie gadgets we all end the day with a serious ‘crick’ in the neck!! Here’s my solution

Ex 1   Shoulder Shrugs

To mobilise your shoulders and release tension, sit or stand and simply shrug up both shoulders towards your ears. Now relax and simply drop your shoulders pushing down with your arms. Repeat 10 times.

Ex 2   Forward Neck stretch

To release neck tensions sit or stand upright.   Carefully bend your head forward, lengthen your neck and tuck in your chin until you feel a stretch at the back of your neck. Hold for 5 seconds and relax. Repeat 5 times.

Ex 3   Side Neck turns

To release neck tension sit or stand as before, looking straight ahead. Turn your head and look around to the right side as far as possible. Feel the stretch and hold for 5 seconds. Bring head back to look centre, and then turn head on and around to look left, and hold for 5 seconds.  Repeat turning and stretching both sides, 5 times.

Ex 4   Shoulder and Chest stretch

To stretch out tight chest muscles sit or stand, place hands behind your back on your bottom.  Carefully pull your neck in and back, pull shoulder blades together and back and stretch out your chest.  Hold for 5 secs and relax. Repeat 5 times.

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Welcome to GetReady4AnyAge.com

Hello, I’m Diana Moran and welcome to GetReady4AnyAge.com.

As the CoronaVirus hits the most vulnerable in our community, I’ve created a resource to help those of us over 70, who the Government has now asked to self isolate.

I was 81 this year and decided to self isolate myself at my home in Surrey.  Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing exercises with you which can keep you healthy at home – and a video blog of how I managed under lock down. I’d love to hear from you too so please go to our contact page and tell us what you’re up to and share any tips with our followers here.

Keep checking back here and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

I hope you saw me on BBC Breakfast with some exercises which you can do at home. If you didn’t, then you can see the video at our home page http://www.GetReady4AnyAge.com

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How to make tarnished cutlery shine again!

Hello, I’m Aggie MacKenzie – and I run a sister site to Diana Moran’s called www.aggiestips.com 

Each day I share my tips with subscribers – free.  And if you have a household tip you want to share with my community – I want to hear from you.  So go to www.aggiestips.com and join me there. In the meantime,

See you soon

Aggie MacKenzie 

How to make tarnished cutlery shine again!

If you’ve been storing away stainless steel cutlery for a while, it may have tarnished.

And guess what – vinegar won’t shift the tarnish!

What you need is special metal cleaner such as Maas Metal Polish from Lakeland. It’s not cheap (£12.99) but a tube will last for ages and, most importantly, will work!

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the whites of my eyes have developed a slightly yellowish tinge

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During a recent holiday to Crete my husband noticed that the whites of my eyes had developed a slightly yellowish tinge. That was a month ago now and my eyes still haven’t returned to normal. My sight hasn’t been affected and the colour change is minimal but noticeable to me. I am 51; could this be a side effect of the menopause?

Rona Gower, Cheltenham

Well Rona, by co-incidence I have just read the result of a small study claiming a link between yellow eyes and Menopausal 50-59-year-old women who had been taking Hormone replacement therapy, or Prempro.  I will look out for further studies.

But normally the whites of eyes or sclera are white in colour, but one can get yellow sclera (also called scleral icterus) caused by a high level of bilirubin in the bloodstream.  Bilirubin is made in the liver and is yellow in colour.  If a person suffers from liver disease, the liver can no longer process the breakdown of red blood cells and bilirubin, its natural metabolic product, and no longer enters the bile. Instead it builds up in the blood and tissues, including the sclera of the eyes.

One of the first signs is yellowing, probably caused by blocked bile ducts, leading to a backup of bilirubin.  More seriously it could be a sign of Cirrhosis of the liver due to an excess of alcohol damaging the liver. Or Hepatitis, caused by toxins – but most commonly by a virus that infects the liver, resulting in its dysfunction. Bilirubin backs up and the individual will suffer from jaundice.  Rona, since your eyes have been affected for over a month I would advise you to drink plenty of water and to talk to your GP mentioning any medications you may be taking.

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Diana Moran returns to BBC Breakfast after 40 years and is broadcasting  in Self Isolation

Diana Says: – “I am 80…in the high risk group. And I am self isolating. I am writing regular updates for people over 70 on my website… www. Getready4anyage.com
There is already a lot of general info and advice for older folk up there but will now be adding videos and updates.  It’s important to be informed and to get advice if we are to endure the Governments advice to self-isolate for 4 months! And….its most important to keep well….both mentally and physically.
•    And, it gives us time to tackle those chores you’ve been putting off for months.
•    Clear out cupboards, wardrobes and drawers.
•    This is an excellent opportunity to get tech savvy…
•    Things on your phone like WhatsApp and Skype… helping you keep in daily touch with friends and family.
•    Try to get out and keep active at times when there are less people about…first thing in the morning or later evening.
•    Simple walking is an excellent form of exercise.
•    Some shops are planning to open early for we older ones when there are less shoppers.
Our age group have faced difficulties before and come through smiling.   So a bit of flu isnt going to stop us!
Look on the website….Ready4Anyage.com….for more information and advice
Finally… .KEEP FIT AND CARRY ON!

Do you know someone who would benefit from Diana Moran’s free advice – tell them to log on to http://www.getready4anyage.com and subscribe now.

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I get asked …. Comfortable house shoes

Dear Diana, I work from home and spend a good part of my weekdays around the house. I’m also a fidget so leave my desk 100 times a day to do little jobs around the house, up and down stairs, etc.   I tend to wear slippers for comfort but I’m realising this is not good for my feet. My home is cool, even in summer, so I’m looking for a recommendation for a ‘house shoe’.  Here is my wish list. Kind regards, Anna Everitt …. Bristol

Answer

Phew!  Anne this is a bit of a tall order but I have a few suggestions.  Like you I work from home spending my time at the PC and taking regular breaks to do a few chores around the house and garden.  Consequently, my requirements are somewhat similar to yours so I look for shoes made of natural, supple, durable leather with a fabric lining.  Leather allows the foot to breathe and can provide long term comfort and gentle support.  Shoes need to have a generous space in which to be able to spread your toes naturally, with soles that are shock absorbing, non-slip and provide underfoot cushioning.  Probably like you I don high heels and dress up for special occasions or conversely fall into the habit of slopping around the house in non-supporting “ballet type” light, flat shoes.

Essential;

  • Comfortable – for all day wear
  • Supportive – for all day wear
  • Suitable to wear socks with

Nice to have;

  • Modern style (neutral and inconspicuous)
  • Light outdoor use for taking bins out
  • Washable

Neither shoe is good for feet if worn over long periods and both can cause back pain, so look instead for comfortable shoes with posture correct heel height to encourage a good walking position.  Feet vary in both length and width, but happily many of the great shoes around this season have adjustable Velcro fastenings or laces to ensure a great fit.  These comfort shoes are no longer just practical and fuddy duddy, but come in exciting colours and designs to suit most tastes and can look great with both trousers and skirts. The best selection of shoes and sandals I have discovered recently are by Padders, Hotters and Clarks.  Happy ambling!

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MENOPAUSE – Self Help Tips

One advantage of being older is not having to cope with menopausal problems such hot flashes, disturbed sleep and mood swings anymore!  But what can be done to manage symptoms if they’re bothering you?  Simple lifestyle changes can help, although some symptoms will go away on their own. Distressing hot flashes may be triggered by spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, stress, or hot environment.  So avoid when possible, dress in layers you can remove and take slow, deep breaths when you feel a flash starting.

Help sleeping problems by cutting out caffeine after lunchtime. Don’t smoke, avoid large meals  and stop working on your computer several hours before your bedtime.  Be more physically active in the daytime but not just before bedtime, because exercise isn’t conducive to sleep. Keep your bedtimes regular and avoid napping during the day.  Sleep in a dark, quiet, cool bedroom and use it for sleep and sex only. If you can’t get to sleep read until you’re tired. 

Getting a good night’s sleep and being physically active helps avoid mood swings, but if they really trouble you consider seeing a therapist or joining a support group. Talk to your doctor if you are depressed or are experiencing memory problems, like forgetfulness.  HRT can be effective in helping regulate hot flashes, mood swings and other menopausal symptoms.  HRT is not suitable for everyone, but your doctor may prescribe medications used for other conditions like epilepsy, depression, and high blood pressure, that may help with symptoms.  If you still have periods, low-dose oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may help.  If vaginal dryness is your problem a water-based, over-the-counter vaginal lubricant like K-Y Jelly can help make sex more comfortable.

Be aware that lower oestrogen levels brought about by the menopause lead to bone loss, and weak bones break easily. To keep your bones strong and to avoid osteoporosis (fragile bone disease) do weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, climbing stairs, or using weights. For bone health eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, or consider taking calcium and vitamin D supplements. After the menopause with changes in oestrogen levels plus ageing and possibly gaining weight or developing other health problems, there can be an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).  If possible have your cholesterol and blood pressure levels checked. Not smoking, getting regular exercise and following a healthy diet are paramount to keeping you healthy and active in your postmenopausal years.

DOUBLE CHIN

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Hello Diana my problem is a bit of a double chin. I sit a lot of the day at my desk and don’t do as much exercise as I used to. Plus I am a bit overweight. How can I tighten up my jaw line? Annie Rushton London

Annie here is a few simple exercises that may help. Do not do the following exercises if you have neck problems.
Exercise 1 Swan
Sit upright on your chair, hold your head high with chin parallel to the floor. Now lift chin up and carefully take your head on back, as far as comfortable. Hold for 5 secs to lengthen out your neck like a swan. Relax and repeat 10 times.
Ex 2 Goldfish
To tighten jowl sit up as before, stick chin forward and open your mouth wide. Pull up lower jaw with a glugging and smacking movement bringing lips

Exercise – Upper body, shoulders and back

Poor posture can cause many problems but can be improved. With bad posture breathing becomes more difficult and the amount of air inhaled is less. So for this reason it’s important to maintain strength and mobility of the chest and back as we get older.  For seated exercising always chose a firm upright chair (preferably without arms) shuffle your bottom to the front of seat and sit upright with feet flat on the floor.  Be aware of your posture and try to maintain a good position throughout the exercises.

To release tension in shoulders and upper back       

        Circles

Stand or sit. Bend your elbows and raise your arms to the side and simply place fingertips on your shoulders.   Keep your fingertips in position, now bring your elbows forward and together in front of your chest.   Draw a circle with your elbows lift them both up and take on out to either side and, then on back pulling your shoulder blades together, as far as comfortable.   Continue drawing imaginary circles with your elbows on down to sides and back to start position.   Repeat 5 times clockwise and 5 times anti-clockwise.

 To improve the mobility of your shoulders and upper back

       side reach & stretch

Sit or stand with feet apart.   With your right hand reach up and over your head as if climbing a rope (relax left knee if standing).   Hold position for 10 seconds. Bring arm down and reach up and over with left hand (relaxing right knee)

And hold for 10 secs.

To improve the mobility of your shoulders and upper back

       side twist

Stand or sit upright as before but concentrate on posture by pulling in your tummy.   Bend your elbows out and bring your hands up and touch your fingertips together in front of your chest.   Keeping your elbows up  twist from your waist only and take your upper body, arms and head to look around your right side (as far as comfortable.   Come back to centre and continue to twist arms and upper body to look around left side.   Keep  elbows up, fingertips touching and repeat this twisting movement 5 times to each side, working the back and shoulders.

To stretch out your chest

       chest stretch

Sit or stand.   Take both arms behind you and place your hands on your bottom.   Pull your shoulders and elbows back as far as possible.   Lift up your rib cage and feel the stretch across your chest.

Hold for 10 seconds.

To expand the chest

       lift and stretch

Sit or stand. Clasp both hands behind your back.  Lift and stretch both arms up behind you. Hold and stretch out for 10 secs.

To improve mobility of shoulders and upper back

       arm flings

Stand or sit upright in your chair face the front with elbows up and fingertips together, remember your posture.  Keep elbows up at shoulder level then open your arms taking your hands out to the sides pulling shoulder blades together as far as possible.  Keep your elbows slightly bent – don’t straighten or hyper-extend your arms, and stretch out your chest.   (Don’t poke your head forward)   Bring fingertips back together in front of chest and repeat movement 5 times breathing deeply throughout.

To stretch out your upper back and relieve back ache

       back stretch

Stand or sit back comfortably in your chair with your feet flat on the floor.   Place both hands around your right knee and lift your right foot up off the floor.   Bend forward from your waist, bring forehead down onto your knee or as far as comfortable.   Keep this position and lift your elbows up out to the sides and round out your back.   Feel the stretch and hold for 10 seconds.   Return your right foot to the floor.   Repeat movement lifting your left foot and knee up and holding the stretch for a further 10 seconds.

The following back strengthening exercises are not suitable if you suffer from osteoporosis.

To strengthen your spine

       the flyer

Lie on your tummy.   Take your arms out to your sides.   Bend your elbows and place hands on floor under shoulders palms down.  Keep your chin on floor and  breathe in.   Keep your head, chest and arms in a straight line as you breathe out and lift them up together off the floor…. like a flying bird.   Keep looking down (don’t throw your head back).  Breathe out and relax down.   Repeat 5 times.  It’s a small but strong movement so build up slowly.

To stretch out your spine

 

       The cat

Kneel down and place your hands on the floor under your shoulders with fingers facing forward.   Breathe in, pull up your tummy muscles and arch up your back (like a cat does on waking) at the same time drop your head down to look through your knees.   Hold for 10 seconds.

Relax back down, stick out your bottom and look up.   Hold that position for 10 seconds, then relax back down.

Such a good feeling, it helps ease out that stiff back!

To relax your spine

       Rest and relax

Lie on your back and support your head with a small cushion.  Place another small cushion behind your knees and thighs. Place your hands comfortably on your tummy.  Breathe in deeply, taking the breath into your abdomen, feel the rise and fall of your tum with your fingers. Close your eyes, continue breathing deeply and relax for a few minutes.  Take care getting up off the floor. Turn onto your side, then push yourself up onto one knee and carefully stand up.

Age is mind over Matter” and if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter!

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Fitness is an attitude of mind; I believe “Age is mind over Matter” and if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter!  Ageing is inevitable, a depressing thought and nothing we can do about it, or is there? No, we can’t add years to life but we can add “life” to the years we have!  Maintaining good health enables us to pursue ambitions, hopes and dreams with many older people continuing to lead interesting lives.  Feeling well helps us enjoy the increase in longevity by giving us a sense of wellbeing, relaxation and confidence.

Being fit is being able to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them.  Maintaining fitness should be a necessity of life, not an option! People who get it right may experience a decrease of some physical ability in their 60’s whilst others not at all! Many individuals enter advanced old age still performing at the level of younger adults.

Pensioners now outnumber children for the first time in British history. “Grey power” is growing and without the social and economic restrictions of the past, have the opportunity to travel, make new relationships or continue with further education, irrespective of age, gender, colour, class or creed. So youth had better start realising that there is life after sixty!

Ageing and inability is not the same thing, trouble is today we use our brain instead of our brawn, to the detriment of our physical wellbeing. We sit around too much in work and home, with heart disease, joint problems, osteoporosis and digestive disorders the end results. We need to get out of the habit of disguising physical and some mental problems as “just old age creeping on”.

Recent research by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that just 10 minutes brisk walking also improves one’s mental state by increasing self-esteem and reducing stress and anxiety. It concluded that people who regularly exercise have a 20 – 30% lower risk of depression and dementia. When we’re active chemicals called endorphins are released giving us the “feel good” factor.

Wellbeing is not just about the Body, it’s about the Mind and Spirit too. Being socially active can help reduce feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress and worry.  So get out there, and get chatting. Talking through personal worries with others can half a problem, or at least put it into perspective!

Diana Moran supports The Purple Angels Spelthorne Dementia Support

Diana Moran is proud to support this small group of local volunteers who make a positive difference to the quality of life of people living with dementia and also their carers and families. They are known as Purple Angel Ambassadors which is a Global organisation.

Their aim is to improve the general understanding of dementia so that local people living with the condition receive sympathetic support from the wider community while still living in their homes.

They offer personal GPS LOCATORS for local residents with dementia. The location service is provided by Runnymede Borough Council. Carrying a GPS locator means an individual can be found should they get lost while out and about.

More information from https://spelthorne-dementia-support.org.uk/

At last – the long awaited chair based fitness video is here for you

At last – the long awaited chair based fitness video is here for you

I am Diana Moran – better known as the Green Goddess. 


I recently returned to the BBC at the worrying time of global pandemic. Since lockdown in the UK has been lifted, however,

I am concerned for those people who may be left behind. Now, I have developed  this DVD for you who find  that exercise is difficult or chair bound or have difficulty in walking. The Keep Fit and Carry On exercise plan consists of simple exercises specially designed for older people who are largely neglected by the fitness industry:

·         those of us later on in life.

·         those who haven’t exercised in a while, and

·         those who can’t do the type of exercise they used to

·         Even if you’ve NEVER exercised – this Programme can work for you

My favourite saying as I get older is “Age is mind over matter…and if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.”

Keep Fit and Carry On involves a range of exercises, specially designed for the less active to perform in the comfort of their living room and even while sitting down! This Programme is to give you the confidence to start moving again. Little and often is all you need to aim for. The exercises are designed to ease you back into fitness – and Diana guarantees you’ll feel better – even with just one!

and if you’re slightly fitter – my Ease Into Fitness DVD is still available from all good online retailers as well as here >Purchase now – £6.99