The Absent Uncle: Exercise, senior style

D.C. Schultz, Guest columnist

When I fully retired in 2020, I found myself with quite a bit of time on my hands and the looming Corona Virus crisis building. I thought of a part-time job or possibly doing some volunteer work, but the unknown surrounding the virus dampened my enthusiasm for working outside the home. 

Exercise was also problem. We had recently moved to the Houston area and I didn’t have contacts or friends to do some of the activities I had enjoyed earlier in my life. I had a bicycle and the neighborhood streets had low traffic so riding was something I could do – but riding didn’t really work for me. I got bored after a half hour or so and bicycling seemed like I should be going somewhere – not just riding around. 

I had never been a runner, but I stumbled upon my enjoyment of walking by starting to walk to a viewpoint to see the sunrise (I’ve always been an early riser). 

I started to walk a bit farther, added listening to books, and very shortly I was walking fie miles every morning and truly enjoying my time. I shed a few pounds, got to know a few people within the neighborhood who were up and about during my daily journey, and listened to some very interesting books. 

In early 2022, I started to experience some knee pain – some days very severe – limiting my walking time and distance. I turned back to biking, but didn’t feel safe listening to books and riding, so I was back to square one.

Luckily for me, the Covid threat had subsided, and a new exercise facility opened up a mile from our house that had a swimming pool and offered an Aqua Fit class at various times during the week.  

The Aqua Fit class was perfect for me. Good cardio activity, full body movement, and my knees didn’t hurt while in the pool.   have been going to class four days a week and bicycling a half-hour everyday along with volunteering at the Food Bank two days a week.

Anyone looking for exercise with joint or muscle pain should consider swimming or water aerobics as an alternative to more traditional activities. 

Even so, time and mileage catches up with all of us, and as you read this, I will have had my right knee replaced on July 9. If all goes well, the left knee will be replaced sometime in October. 

I will keep you posted on my progress through the rehab period.


The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
1404 E. Cedar St.
Brandon, SD 57005
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