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Last month I introduced you to MESH, what renowned geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas refers to as the key to healthy aging. As you might recall, it’s an acronym that stands for Move, Eat, Sleep, Heal. According to Dr. Thomas, neglecting to do any one of these things can have dire consequences as we age. This month we will focus on what it means to move.

I bet most of you have heard the phrase “use it or lose it”. It happens to be particularly true for the human body. Though our bodies are designed for movement, if we don’t move them our muscles, bones, heart, lungs, and even our brains will weaken and begin to function poorly. Fortunately, the opposite is also true. If we become and remain physically active our muscles, bones, heart, lungs and brains will strengthen and begin to function better. And the good news is that we don’t have train like Olympic athletes to reap the benefits.

All we need to do is get up off the couch and take a little stroll. If we did this four times a day for just 5 minutes at a time we would do ourselves a world of good. If walking isn’t your thing, dance instead. Put on some music and move to the groove! The cool thing about dancing is that it can be done sitting or standing and can actually be done with or without music. And for the kind of dancing I’m talking about, there are no rules other than you need to move your entire body: arms, legs, head, and torso.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve cut the rug (or engaged in any other type of regular physical activity), before you start inviting your neighbors over for regular dance parties it would wise to first check with your health care provider to make sure everything is o.k. Once you get the green light, whether you dance, walk, attend exercise classes, use the Village fitness center, or do some other form of physical activity the important thing to remember is to move. Choose to move! Your future-self will be glad your current-self made that choice.