Jane Fonda is soon to make a new fitness DVD, aged 72. She plans to target her own age group and the baby boomers. Well done Jane , the DVD will be helpful – but not vital. All we need is a little memory loss and anxiety, some stairs and a front door, and the exercise regime will just happen. So, to Jane’s target market I say: don’t fight it. Just go with the forgetting and dithering. Embrace it.
Here is my routine, free, starting at bedtime. Up the 10 stairs I go. Forget glasses and book. Down and up again. Forget mobile. Then Horlicks. That’s three up and downs = 70 steps before bed. For firmer upper arms, try raising yourself from the bath – hands on edge of bath, lift, lower. Memory loss is a help – at beginning of bath forget flannel, then shampoo, then soap. Three lifts. At end forget to wash parts of body. Lower and lift repeatedly. In bed, lift heavy book (Wolf Hall is recommended) hold in position for one whole minute. Lower. Repeat until exhausted.
Morning. Up-and-down routine in reverse, then after breakfast, leaving-the-house routine. Combination of anxiety and memory loss is powerful incentive to go in and out. Check gas, lights, locks. Walk briskly in and out of home. In, out, in out. Return for dog snacks, muzzle, other equipment. In, out, in out. Then there’s the dog-lifting. Get yourself a fairly large arthritic dog, then lift dog (or two dogs) into car. Lift out. For shoulder strengthening, and reduction of upper-arm flab, park car without power-steering in restricted space. Wrench wheel to right, then left. Repeat until parked.
Return home. More dog-lifting, this time in and out of foot bath to remove excessive mud. Elevenses. Take a well-earned break, before mopping and polishing mud-caked floor. Swing mop to right, then left. Makes waist supple, reduces hips. About 50 times, depending on what size floor you have. To intensify these moves, get a white dog (hairs show up more). To really feel the burn, and reduce gas bill, try log-splitting. Raise sledge-hammer high above head, smash down on to log-grenade (heavy cone-shaped thing that sticks into log). Repeat.
In the afternoon sit on a low sofa or chair to watch daytime telly. Lose remote control. Up and down to adjust telly (taking care to bend from the hip), or to turn off when Andy Murray comes on. (Adapt to your personal likes and dislikes.) Then upstairs to bed. Repeat last night’s routine. Soon you’ll all look just like Jane Fonda.
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