things to make your life easier - what do you think

gibby2015April 25, 2006

Here's something for discussion - wondering what you all think. It kind of has to do with fitness and health - mojo and other such topics.

I used to be somewhat preoccupied with reworking my house to make things easier. My garage is downstairs on the other side of the house from the kitchen so lugging the groceries in is a bit of a chore. Also laundry is in a similar location - as far away as possible from the source of the dirty clothes.

Then one day, I decided it would probably be a long time if ever before I could change these things to make them more convenient - if it would even be feasible. So I thought, you know that isn't such a bad thing. As long as I am physically able to move and carry things, it is probably good exercise to do so. If I get so geriatric I can't do it then that's another story - I'll probably have to move then.

Sometimes I thing about all the things there are to make life easier - so you exert less effort - which is not exactly good for you. Drive up to everything - don't even get out of the car; riding lawnmowers; all kinds of riding recreational activities that don't require any effort or exercise; washers/dryers designed so you don't have to bend over, etc.

The more I think about this the more I'm starting to think it's not a bad idea to avoid some of these things intended to make life easier. Probably better to increase movement and effort in everything you do - rather than trying to eliminate as much as possible.

What do you all think?

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My MIL would agree with you as well. She is 83 yrs young and still goes up and down the stairs to the basement to do her laundry. We have tried to talk her into letting us put a stackable or all in one unit in a small closet on the main floor and she flatly refuses.

I definitely see your point. I gripe sometimes because I have to walk a few steps to put my dishes away after emptying my dw. Lord knows, I could do with a million more "few" steps.

I would venture to guess that very few of us women here (of the middle aged women) had moms growing up, that were fat, even though many of them cooked with lard, bacon grease, and butter.

They were too busy working their butts off to get fat.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 8:31PM
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Gibby - I agree with you. I know how I feel when standing up after a long road trip. My back & hips really stiffen up! I think that's what happens to people that don't move enough when they get older...only they have that stiffness all the time.

Lately, I have really been making a conscious effort to carry things (shoes,etc) to my upstairs when straightening up instead of piling them on the stairs to take up later. It really does add up.

I have to say that it still feels great to get the 1st spot in a crowded parking lot! ;)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 10:11PM
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As you brought up in your line about becoming geriatric, it is a significant aspect of the discussion that a lot of those appliances are made to make people able to age in place now that we're living longer than we used to. We as a country also don't have the tendency to take our elders in the way we used to, so that younger folks did the lawnmowing, hardest laundry chores, etc. while the older folks did things more appropriate to limited movement...but now folks need to be independent as long as possible.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 12:11AM
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The thing that cracks me up is when people (and I'm not talking elderly or disabled here) drive around a parking lot for 5 or 10 minutes looking for a space close to the building entrance, just to save themselves having to walk, oh, about one minute more, tops. Especially when it's the parking lot at the gym :-)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 2:34AM
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bldsgal - good point about our mothers. Mine was slim and trim and up until I was in 7th grade she used a wringer washing machine and had no dryer!! And of course she never has a dishwasher and she worked like crazy in a very large garden.

Flyleft - you are surely right that many labor saving devices help people remain independent as they become older. But do you think that is really a significant reason companies make these products? I think it's because human nature is to find an easier way to do things and they're intended for the masses of "young" able bodied people flocking to purchase these things as our country generally becomes more and more sedentary.

For example BIL has a lake cabin next door to ours. We don't have big yards. He bought a whoppin' big yard tractor to mow "our" lawns. He's not old and he's physically able to walk around and mow a small yard. We declined having the rider mow ours - easy enough to walk it (and easier to get around the trees). Meanwhile he laments being overweight and out of shape......

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 12:57PM
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Susanfnp - Too funny! My DH does that...and he's a marathon runner! LOL

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 2:13PM
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I was giving some thought to installing a dumbwaiter in order to avoid carrying groceries up two flights of stairs, six steps per flight. Perhaps I should rethink it because the numerous trips up and down the stairs to bring in groceries is probably good execise.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 3:58PM
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soupgirl - I can't believe you mention this. I was thinking the same thing - when I was trying to solve the problem of the long route from my garage to my kitchen!! I had even saved links to some to dumbwaiter sources. Then I decided I'll just carry the stuff as long as I'm able and think about a dumbwaiter when I'm geriatric and unable.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 5:03PM
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Gibby, you're so right. I sometimes chuckle as I read how much time and effort is put into the time-saving steps from range, to sink to table etc. So we use less time for these things, and then what? We're still stressed...still don't have enough time for whatever we think we want.

I'm thinking of going back to less...and having more. My sister's cancer is definitely showing me a better way.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 7:05PM
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Me too, Gibby! I bookmarked a couple of dumbwaiter sites but I'll hold off for a few more years.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 10:06PM
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That is so true, Gibby. I for one need to work more movement into my day, not less.

I was grumbling to myself because every time I got into my car which I shared with 16 year old DS, I had to change all the settings: rear view mirrors, radio, seat adjustments. Then I told myself to get over it! That car has power everything! All I had to do was point my index finger a few times. It's not as if I have to hop out, run around to the front to crank the engine!

We have pretty much committed to staying in our house - four stories, laundry in basement, etc. If one of us becomes disabled, we'll just have to deal with it then.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 8:30AM
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Thanks, gibby, for bringing this up again, in a different way. After spending the past three days sitting in either the boat or the car, I feel like such a slug! I really need to start wearing my pedometer again, with the goal of 2 miles each day. I want/need to work up to 4 miles per day or 10,000 paces. This flab has got to go!

OK, I'm off to walk the dog. Here's a funny photo for you all:

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 9:28PM
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