The Bookworm Sez 6-28-10 |

The Bookworm Sez 6-28-10

Terri Schlichenmeyer
LaCrosse, Wis.

Some people are poor judges of age.

You considered that as you struggled to forgive the person who guessed you to be 15 years older than you are.

OK, sure, your knees creak and you have more wrinkles than a Shar-pei. You never remember where you put your keys anymore. You can’t do deep-knee bends like you used to and the elevator is your best friend.

But old? You?

The thing is, you’ll never get any younger but you can look and think like someone who is. In the new book “Change Your Age” by Frank Wildman, CFT, PhD, you may find out how.

Don’t you sometimes wish you were 20 years old again? Imagine no creaky bones, foggy brain, or achy joints. Remember when you could carry groceries and a wiggly toddler at the same time? Oh, how you took that for granted …

The good news is that catch-up is possible. Movement affects the brain in positive ways, and vice versa. By engaging your brain in varied physical coordination, you can “re-groove” neuropathways so that healthier physical movement becomes second nature and memory improves.

But not all movement is alike, says Wildman; in fact, he asserts, many popular exercise programs use movement that can actually age your body. Instead, think about the ways you moved as a child, move “lightly and slowly,” and understand that more is oftentimes not better.

Beginning on the ground-floor (literally), Wildman takes you through an assessment in which you learn your body map, feel your physical contact with the floor, and acknowledge discomfort. He addresses posture and habits before he moves forward with movement exercises meant to energize both body and brain.

“Remember,” he says, “that variations of movement … not only are good for the structures of your body but also greatly benefit the functioning of your mind. Just as a lack of variation causes limitations in our joints, so it causes limitations in our feelings – and imagination.”

Tired of schlepping around extra pounds? Want to get fit this summer, mind and body? You’d better be almost there before you tackle what’s in “Change Your Age.”

Based on the very beginning of his program, author Frank Wildman seems to speak only to seniors and boomers who are in good health but want to achieve better. The starting exercise – the assessment – asks that you lie on the floor, presuming that you can safely get there in the first place and then get back up. Almost no allowances are made for the slightly overweight or those with even the smallest physical limitations.

Additionally, Wildman recommends that you do a series of these movements several times a day, even at work. Just looking at the illustrations in this book will show you that that won’t generally be possible in public.

While there’s no doubt that the movements in “Change Your Age” could be beneficial, there are lots of caveats to consider before you try Wildman’s methods. Overall, unless you’re in excellent shape and don’t want to act your age, just move this book aside.