Yesterday I was talking to my mother in law about my husband’s older brother. His birthday is about a week away and he LOVES birthday celebrations. My husband’s older brother has Down Syndrome and he is just one of those people who loves other people, especially women if you know what I mean! He will go hug a woman he’s just met and smile the whole time.
As he has gotten older (he’s in his mid-fifties now), however, he’s gotten a little more set in his ways. He doesn’t like going places as much as he used to and he would generally just rather stay at home and watch television or play with the little people toys he has had for years.
He’s also gotten where he doesn’t want to work as much. He refused to go to work a couple of days this week and we don’t know why. But my mother in law said something that stuck with me about my brother in law and why she and his father want him to keep working. They’re afraid that if he stops working, he might just stop altogether. As with many older people, he has arthritis and if he stops moving, it gets harder to do it at all.
They’re right. According to a publication of World Arthritis Day, “Staying physically active can help alleviate pain, stiffness and fatigue as well as helping to keep you mobile. When you are physically active you are also helping to ‘feed’ your joints as cartilage depends on joint movement to absorb nutrients and remove waste. Being physically active can also be stimulating, give you a sense of achievement and lift your mood.”
The publication also says, “If you are avoiding moving around when it hurts there is a risk you will lose the mobility and the strength you need to perform daily tasks. Your body will adapt quickly to being physically activity – or to being inactive. The less active you are in daily life the less energy you will have to perform tasks and the less exertion it will take for you to feel pain…Often pain decreases when you are exercising, partly because the body’s own pain relief system is activated by muscle work and an increase in endorphin levels.”
Why am I talking about this? Because tomorrow is World Arthritis Day (WAD) and this is Arthritis Awareness Week. And maybe, because it has a larger meaning for us all.
One of the most fun ways to celebrate WAD while also helping those with arthritis is to attend a Bone Bash in October. From Seattle, Washington to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania people will come together to dress up and raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. If you’d rather be more active, there are runs and walks for the Arthritis Foundation as well as other galas and events if costumes are not your style.
But one thing we need to remember as we age, is it is not time to stop exercising. If you’ve never been a big exerciser and you have arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation will help you train to walk or run a marathon or half marathon. It’s called Joints in Motion and ends in an actual athletic event with others who have been training around the country.
Another thing we need to remember is to always keep ourselves from getting stuck. When we stop doing things for the Lord, we stop doing His will. So, let’s never stop moving, folks! God Bless and have a great weekend!