Tag Archive | Exercise

My body needs my exercise classes…

I miss a lot of things these days. I miss my children who live in the U.S. — the border is closed. We love to laugh and behave nutty.

I miss friends I can’t see. I miss my book club. I miss using public transportation. (Protective loved ones don’t want me to.) My body, however, misses my Arthritis ‘Joint-works’ class I attended before the pandemic.


Dr. Google says there are about 360 joints in our bodies, and mine are loudly complaining about neglect, especially when I try to sleep.

I INTENDED to do them. I know how important they are, but somehow, it hasn’t happened as often as it should.

My bike’s easy

It ought to be easy, I’ve been good about using my Exercycle for years, but that takes little effort. Climb on, click on the DVD I’m currently watching, and viola.

Rebecca, Brian & me

Rebecca and Brian, my wonderful L.A. ‘kids’, exercise on their own at home every day. They never miss. But, too often, I do and my old bones aren’t happy. The ‘Joint-works’ routine IS complicated and requires many different movements, and I allow life to get in my way — much too often.

It was social

The class was also social and I miss that aspect of it. We all had Arthritis, had bonded, and often met for coffee afterwards. If I had been reluctant to go in the first place, I allowed myself to feel noble afterwards. It was all good.

So tell me why three weeks can now pass without ‘finding the time’ to do those exercises at home? I know they matter — I’m not totally stupid. Suggestions anyone???


How to open a jar…..

Mom, look I'm telling you 2

photo by Susan Kauffmann

After our Arthritis exercise class the other day, friends gathered to chat over coffee. Isabel had given me a gift of a battery-operated jar opener. Goodness knows, I’d done battle with some stubborn tops lately and probably told her so. I said I couldn’t wait to get home to play with my new ‘toy’. This led to a discussion of our children and their toys.

My son, Rafi, was a ‘lets-see-whats-inside’ kid. When he was five, I thought he’d enjoy a walkie-talkie — okay, I would anyway. (This was before computers.) We both loved it and communicated with each other from room to room. The next day, after work, I returned home and found Rafi had taken it all apart. He thought he could put it back together. No more walkie-talkie. He was so sincere, you couldn’t get upset with him.

raf kid dancing

Rafi was a funny wonderful kid


70s toy Simon

70s toy Simon

The next thing Rafi took apart was the then-brand-new and very popular Simon game. I got the biggest kick out of it. It lit up! We loved it. If memory serves, it cost over $60, a hefty sum at the time — but well worth it. What happened?? The next evening I learned Rafi couldn’t resist taking Simon apart. He wanted to see how it worked. No more Simon.

I’m a slow learner and since I never grew up, I was soon entranced by a real working watch for children. An educational toy… The inner workings were clearly visible and coloured in bright red, green and yellow. It, too, didn’t last more than a day. Mr. ‘Take it Apart’ was at it again, and the loving woman who cared for him found it impossible to say no to him. That was the last toy I bought for Rafi  which could be taken apart.

I had several employers through Rafi’s growing up years. I asked if I might have any ready-to-be-discarded, no longer functional adding machines, telephones or radios. I’d tell little Rafi my boss wanted him to try to fix them. He happily took them apart with screwdrivers and spent hours working on them. He was perfectly happy — and so was I.

Balsa Wood Model Airplane

Balsa Wood Model Airplane

Rafi then became interested in building planes out of those kits kids used to play with. He put them together while I was at work. He never bothered reading the directions and there were always a piece or two left over. Yet, they seemed perfectly okay.

When we bought our first computer, my CPA husband and I thought we’d use it for accounting. It was a classic double disk drive — Microsoft?? Rafi had attended a summer computer class and he and his friends were playing/trading Apple computer games. These didn’t work on our computer, so we bought something perhaps called a ‘card’ (program?) to install. I planned to hire someone to do it since we wanted Rafi to be able to use it.

disk for our first computer

Remember these disks?

I’m still intimidated by computers, so imagine my concern when I got home from work to find the computer taken apart, and Rafi, about eight at the time, sitting there, cool as a cucumber, screwdriver in hand, putting the card in. I gulped. He did it. And, it worked. Not surprisingly, Rafi’s grown up to be a handy kind of guy.


automatic jar opener

So, what about my new automatic-battery-operated jar opener? Amy came over and the two of us experimented with my brand new toy. Press the button and it makes this fabulous noise, parts move, it does a little dance and removes the top —  just like that! It was so much fun, we opened every new jar I could find in my kitchen cabinets.

I’d love to do more. Have a few I can open? Just bring them over…..

The Pedometer Project

June 11, 2012

The Pedometer Project

At a free talk I attended sponsored by a local arthritis clinic, they said we should walk 10,000 steps per day. They even gave us free little pedometers. I had a smashed arthritic knee, was awaiting surgery, and hadn’t walked much during all the years since I fell and injured it. 10,000 steps would have to wait.

A few weeks ago, I decided the time had come. I bought such a fancy pedometer, it took an employee of the shop to read the complicated instructions, set the date and time, and then ready it to record those important steps. I was ready!

Soon enough, I learned my oh-so fancy instrument doesn’t record how many rotations I do on my Exercycle, which I use daily. Nor does it record the gliding steps I take when I do Tai Chi (for balance). Okay, I noted that…. My aim? 10,000 steps a day. Not easy. What could I do to make my usual 4,000 to 7,000 steps increase to 10,000?

I’m not much of a TV watcher, but decided that whenever I do, each commercial break is a fabulous stepping opportunity. When one comes on, I haul my body out of the LazyBoy, up onto my feet, and march around my small apartment like a mad woman. Around and around I go, back and forth, ten steps this way and ten steps back in the living room, through the hallway into the office and then my bedroom around the bed, and back at a clip to the dining area, circle the table and chairs, and past the stove and fridge in the small kitchen. Then, I do it all over again until the commercials are over. Just picture it. Anyone seeing me would think me insane. However, I manage hundreds of steps if I move quickly.

I’ve discovered two things with this project. 1) Be careful what you wish for. You may get it. The first time I managed to achieve my goal of over 10,000 steps in a day, my knees ached so badly all night, I couldn’t sleep. I’m lowering my expectations for now. 2) Getting up and moving around during each commercial is a wonderful thing to do if you have arthritis. The stiffness I experience after sitting for awhile doesn’t happen if I get up and move around at commercial time. Yeah! That, in itself, is worth knowing.

This morning I …

Exercise classes for Rubenesque Women

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

This morning I read about exercise classes especially designed for larger women. They are apparently really successful. The article talked about how uncomfortable larger women feel at regular gyms where they are judged and looked down upon by thinner gals. That’s true. Most of us don’t understand or accept obesity, including doctors.

Many years ago when I lived in Los Angeles, I joined a local gym. I knew I needed to exercise, and certainly could have been classified as a “larger” woman. There were movie starlets there (including Tina Louise) and I not only felt awkward, out of place and judged, but also invisible. The staff and other clients swarmed around the beautiful people like bees. No one ever said hello to me or acknowledged my presence. I must have been the only overweight person there, or at least that’s what I thought. No one on staff felt I qualified for any assistance or direction — and I needed both, plus encouragement.

Needless to say, I didn’t last long. And, with that unpleasant, demoralizing experience behind me, it took many years to feel comfortable enough with my own body to be able to join an exercise class. I’m glad I did. If you have hesitated to do so for any reason, go for it. These classes have kept me going.

Still, kudos to the enterprising women who recognize the need for such special classes for larger women and start them. May their businesses thrive.