I have a friend who is an early riser. By this I mean she voluntarily hops out of bed at five in the morning. Not only does she get up with, or possibly before, the birds, she also exercises daily and recommends it to me fairly frequently. I don't understand early risers and I particularly dislike exercise.
But as I am aging at a rather alarming pace, I realize that if I don't use some of my muscles some of the time, they may decide to retire to a lovely Caribbean island without me. This poses a dilemma.
Luckily for me, Mother Nature takes lazy saps such as I into account. She has perfected a daily exercise regimen for seniors and we aren't even aware we're doing it.
We've all stood in front of a closet at one time or another and wondered why we were standing there, haven't we? What most of you don't know is that this simple brain fart, as I've heard it called, turns into an exercise form as we age.
For instance, it's morning. I've just gotten to the kitchen and turned the kettle on, but it's quite chilly. I go back upstairs to get my sweater. I walk into the bedroom and get a tissue and return to the kitchen. It's still chilly.
I once again go up the stairs and into the bedroom. This time I quickly use the facilities and return to the kitchen. You guessed it. It's still chilly.
Third time's the charm. I walk up the stairs while repeating to myself, "Sweater, sweater, sweater, sweater" until I reach the closet and grab the sweater. Three trips up and down the stairs and the day has hardly begun.
Since this type of exercise only works to keeps my creaking knees somewhat oiled and a bit of cardio, Mother Nature has supplied a variation on this theme. The carrying of objects up and down the stairs for no apparent reason. This keeps the arms from getting too flabby. It goes like this. I take the fish for dinner out of the freezer in the basement and walk directly to the closet in my bedroom up two flights of stairs. I stand there for a moment trying to figure out why the hell I am holding a fish in the closet. I decide I must retrace my steps. After walking back to the kitchen, then to the basement, all time holding the frozen fish, I realize that I intended to put my sweater back in the closet because I was now quite comfortable heat-wise.
After two additional trips, one to take up the towels and put them away, and one to retrieve the fish from the closet where I put it with the towels, the sweater is hung up and dinner is on the table!
I haven't actually counted, but I think that yesterday I walked up and down my stairs at least 300 times either forgetting to fetch a sweater or the like or forgetting why in the name of all that's holy I was upstairs (or downstairs or on the deck) in the first place. This could be an exaggeration, but I prefer to think not. Mother Nature, I thank you very much.