And I thought I had back problems...

And I thought I had back problems…

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but why stop now?

My back is giving me trouble. Again.

Since I learned about how sitting can kill you, I’ve been moving around more. And lying down more. Maybe I’ve overdone it.

My body has never been very predictable, except when it comes to storing calories for the supposed famine it thinks is imminent.

In an effort to stop imitating someone constantly looking for things under furniture…or Igor, I tried a few strategies to make me think I am helping my back get better.

You'd be amazed at the things you find when you walk around your home like this.

You’d be amazed at the things you find when you walk around your home like this.

1. ignoring the maximum dosage on my over-the-counter pain reliever of choice and popping pills with the confidence of a trained medical professional

2. strapping a heating pad to my back and insisting that all the pro-athletes do this

3. using those timed-released, press-on strips designed to bankrupt me so I don’t focus so much on my back pain

4. slathering creams, lotions and magic elixirs, preferably only on the aching area and only by trained and va-va-va-voom volunteers

I thought something was a little off with him. I think it was his hair. Maybe a scalp-rubbing fetish?

I thought something was a little off with him. I think it was his hair. Maybe a scalp-rubbing fetish?

5. go online researching the symptoms of any fatal disease that has back pain as one of its symptoms to distract me

6. go online  researching the cost of scooters, lift chairs and those beds that adjust (the people in the ads look way happier than I do)

I don't know. I may have to wait until my back feels better and then get me one of these beds.

I don’t know. I may have to wait until my back feels better and then get me one of these beds.

7. exercise

I put exercise down last because, let’s face it, it’s a last resort. Shizzle. It works but it’s the last thing I want to do when deep breathing reminds me that my spine has no spine.

Before I hauled my sorry butt up and disconnected myself from my heating pad, I remembered that I read an article in my new “go to” resource for all I’m-getting-old facts: The AARP Magazine. If you are over 50 and want to stay that way, you better listen to what they have to say.

Just look at all the fantastic info in this magazine! You could live to be 50 or older until you die!

Follow all of the fantastic advice in this magazine and you could live to be 50 or older until you die!

In their June/July 2013 issue is an article: “Six Myths About Fitness After 50.” You better believe I read that while doped up on ibuprofen and lying on my heating pad!

Because back pain is a common complaint among a lot (that is a statistically accurate figure) of people, I’m sharing this information with you.

Myth 1: Stretching becomes more important as you age. Not true! That’s why these are myths, People. I suppose it’s okay to stretch when you reach for the mashed potatoes, but for pity’s sake, don’t stretch muscles that haven’t been warmed up. They might snap like a guitar string with an audible “boing!” That’s if your hearing is up to snuff. (I’m paraphrasing from the article.)

Myth 2: The best way to burn fat is to work out longer. If your back is hurting because you are hauling a few extra pounds around, don’t exercise long, exercise strong to lose weight. And I know why. You die. When you die, you stop eating. When you stop eating, you lose weight. Mystery solved. (Again, paraphrasing.)

what do you think? I ramped up the intensity of my work out and the results are, well, pretty obvious.

What do you think? Sexy, huh? I ramped up the intensity of my work out and the results are, well, pretty revealing.

Myth 3. Cardio matters more than weight training after 50. All you runners, speed walkers, Zumba enthusiasts, and cyclists in your fancy outfits, give it a rest. You’re making my back hurt just thinking about all that pumping you’re doing. Slow down and lift some weights. In my book, that could mean just getting up. I weigh enough to be considered a weight.

Myth 4: Doing crunches will get rid of belly fat. Hallelujah! Screw Pilates class! There’s no such thing as “spot” training (unless your dog is named Spot and you are giving him obedience lessons). The best way to get rid of belly fat (which may be causing your aching back) is to stop crunching potato chips.

We know crunches don't work. But jiggling the fat off seems logical to us. I mean, what else do we have to do all morning until lunch?

We know crunches don’t work. But jiggling the fat off seems logical to us.Especially when we don’t have any belly fat. And don’t you like our feminine workout shoes?

Myth 5: You shouldn’t exercise when you’re sick. What? Is this a misprint? Reading on, it says that “If your symptoms are above the neck–sore throat, nasal congestion, runny eyes–a workout is fine. (Unless you have a fever…) If your symptoms are below the neck–chest congestion, hacking cough, stomach flu–it’s better to rest for a few days.” Oh. So if you’re feeling miserable with a head cold, go ahead and spread it at the health club. If you have possible lung cancer, are likely to hurl, or may have internal organ damage, lay low for a few days. Good idea.

What's your excuse? You look fine to me. A little fresh air and some time on the monkey bars will perk you right up.

What’s your excuse? You look fine to me. A little fresh air and some time on the monkey bars will perk you right up.

Myth 6: You burn the most fat when working out hungry. Nope. They say the body burns the same amount of fat and calories whether your stomach is empty or full. Personally, I wouldn’t head out for a workout after a Thanksgiving meal, though. You really don’t want to have your leftovers on the sidewalk or health club floor. Small snacks, People. Small snacks.

Now that I’m informed, I ‘ll take Scrappy for a walk after I eat a little something. Maybe I’ll heave myself around to get my weight-lifting in. But I won’t over-do it. My back symptoms are below my neck, but my dizzy symptoms are above my neck. Given my predicament, I should stay away from most exercise equipment.

I'm going to stay healthy and young even if it kills me!

I’m going to stay healthy and over 50 even if it kills me!