Did you know the Bible refers to gray hair as a “crown of splendor”?
Proverbs 16:31 says, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.” (NIV)
I don’t know how much righteousness is involved, but there’s certainly a crown of splendor sprouting on my head these days.
I do okay with cutting my own hair, but I’ve never colored it myself.
Although I briefly contemplated trying that for the first time, I’ve decided to let my youth-in-a-bottle grow out.
So, I’m doing a lot of self-talk in the mirror these days as I run the brush through my emerging crown of splendor.
Just embrace the aging process, Sue.
You may like it more than you think.
Just comb it the other way and that big streak of white won’t be so visible.
Wow, that’s going to be a lot of gray!
Now let me stop right there and say that if you color your hair and have no plans of stopping—good for you.
This post isn’t about the pros and cons of doing so, since I have many friends and family members who do, and also many who don’t—both with beautiful results.
Also, this isn’t a statement about whether or not to return to the salon or barber within our coronavirus era. Each person needs to make their own decisions about such things.
Instead, I’d like to focus on how we Boomers can gracefully adjust to some of the changes aging brings.
Making exercise tweaks to support graceful aging
I don’t care about admitting my age.
I’m 57 and I’ll be 58 next month.
So, I’m well into the years (over 50) in which my parents said everything was “patch, patch, patch” in relation to their physical health.
I’m actually enjoying getting older and the freedom it affords in many ways.
But I do care about feeling good about myself as I age—which means I exercise just about every morning.
Consistent exercise is important for so many things—like maintaining mobility and supporting physical and mental health.
When I was younger, exercising was as simple as lacing up my running shoes and heading out the door.
But as I’ve gotten older, these patch-patch-patch years often involve ongoing tweaks and new approaches to make consistent exercise possible.
Like a Velcro® brace when my knee is sore so I can still get on the spin bike.
Inserts into my tennis shoes to support arches that have become flat as flippers over time.
An adjustment to my swimming stroke when my shoulder starts popping.
Shadow boxing with my reflection in the sliding door on the porch to work my upper body (Yes, Blue wonders what in the world is going on).
A walking stick that steadies me if Dave’s arm isn’t close by.
Now, I’m not listing my aging-related aches and pains for sympathy—because as long as I keep moving, I generally feel great.
Instead, my point is that just because our bodies will continue to change over the years doesn’t mean we should plant ourselves in a rocker until the Lord calls us Home.
On the contrary, it’s more important than ever to continue moving as we’re able, since it’s a big part of maintaining mobility and quality of life as we age.
And tweaking-instead-of-quitting on exercise is a big part of doing so.
Creating a graceful stretching space
It was only a year after Dave, Blue, and I moved into our new home that we found ourselves evacuating as then Category-5 Irma bore down on the sunshine state with a predicted path that included our house.
In an effort to save as much as possible, we packed away a lot of treasures and moved things that might create more damage if left in their original positions.
One such item was a glass coffee table that sat in the middle of our spacious living room floor.
We were blessed that things changed with Irma and we didn’t experience any damage at all.
But when we returned to our home and started creating order once again, Dave and I both looked at that big living room floor sans coffee table and decided it would make a perfect place to stretch.
After all, we both embrace this daily habit to deal with the aches and pains of aging. So, why not dedicate a comfortable space for doing so?
Over time, we’ve added a few things to support our efforts.
Yoga mats to cushion the surface and relax.
Massage balls to untie the knots.
A foam roller to ease out the kinks.
A few light weights to help me maintain some muscle.
Dave’s stretch band and push-up bars to maintain his routine (He has more equipment outside that he integrates into his time working on our property).
Dave says a friend who’s a fitness expert once told him the best exercise is the one you’ll actually do.
For us, that means we’ll continue to listen to our bodies and adjust things as needed—which will help to optimize our health both now and in the future.
As far as my emerging crown of splendor—it’ll become increasingly visible in current recordings of Bibles & Bathrobes™ that I plan to post to my blog more regularly in coming weeks.
And if you’re a Bibles & Bathrobes™ subscriber, they’ll eventually land in your inbox after I work through all the episodes in the archives. ?
If you’d like to learn more about adjusting your exercise routine to support graceful aging, there are many resources online—and here are just a few:
- From HelpGuide.org: How to Exercise with Limited Mobility
- From the Arthritis Foundation: Benefits of Exercise for Osteoarthritis
- From the Mayo Clinic: What it takes to be agile at any age
- From the American Heart Association: It’s never too late to reap health rewards of exercise, strength training
- From the American Lung Association: Exercise and Lung Health
- From the American Cancer Society: Best Types of Exercise for Older Adults
- From AJMC (2016): American Diabetes Association Issues Recommendations for Physical Activity, Exercise
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as medical, nursing, legal, financial, tax or any other type of professional advice. You should always discuss your individual needs with the appropriate expert.
Feature photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash.