True. I think it's a question of culture too, in some countries where it's normal and natural to sit on the floor, people are automatically more flexible. Actually my kids use the sofa like gym equipment to jump on and over so if we ever move I'm making them sit on the floor :-)
My kids always sat on the floor too and I'm glad because I am shocked at how many of their peers cannot get up and down from the floor (people in their 20s!). It seems at some point (probably school age?), we just start regarding the floor as foreign terrain. SPD, I think you're right, it's a cultural thing.
In my library work, I used to do storytimes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their parents. We would do action rhymes and songs after every story. I was always amazed by all the groaning and complaining about sitting down and getting up, and as you said, these were people in their 20s!
This has been quite a concern of mine because I am only in my forties and last year started to have real difficulty getting up from a chair let alone the floor. I do have an office job and though I try to get up periodically, I am just not active enough. I started an easy yoga routine last fall and have improved my strength and flexibility a lot. And I enjoy it! I saw this test last week and was relieved that I scored a 7.
Exacting Life, that's just it. People in their 20s - that's so young! Okay, by middle age I can understand some loss of mobility, but this younger generation sits on chairs and sofas playing video games/computer/phone and they have loss of hip mobility much too early. Sounding curmudgeonly again...
Shannon, it is absolutely the norm in modern culture to spend a lot of time sitting and maintaining a 90 degree (or thereabouts) angle between hip and leg. Driving, working, eating, watching telly...It is no wonder we start to lose glute/quad strength and hip mobility which are the contributors to making it hard to get up from a chair, never mind the floor. There isn't a lot of movement naturally programmed into modern life so it takes an extra amount of effort to figure out ways to add it back in. Yoga is fantastic for regaining strength and mobility. l Have you heard of Yogaglo? It's an online yoga class site with really high quality teaching for all levels. I use it and am really very happy with it.
Thanks, I'll check it out!
I'm a big fail here. Yogaglo you say...
I grew up sitting on the floor, and I know that keeps my 89 years old grandma healthy to this day! ox
Pao, even if you don't take up yoga, just attempting to get down and back up from the floor a couple of times of day will rebuild flexibility and strength. Us citizens of industrialised nations aren't required to do much, if any, floor sitting so we lose our ability, but it can be regained. But yes, Yogaglo. It's fantastic. Great for beginners and advanced students both.
I bought 10 sessions from a personal trainer back in late November. My aim was to get some strength back - or to attain some in the case of my upper body. It was money well spent, but of course I've also needed to do the exercises on my own in between her sessions. Exercising my will power is the hardest of all! This business of being able to get up off the floor, I'm sure you're right about longevity. My mom's cousin was in her late 80s and would fold her legs up in the chair like a teenager. When she got down on the floor to play with a great-grandchild, she just stood up again. It was amazing to watch. Sadly, she was a cousin by marriage, so I can't lay claim to her genes!
Shelley, personal trainers can be really useful for getting a routine initiated, but eventually personal motivation will have to kick in. And I agree, will power is the hard part! I don't really keep an exercise programme, I just try to incorporate activity as part of my life. Lots of walking and getting up and down from the floor. Your mother's cousin sounds like she maintained her fitness well into old age. We should all be so lucky!
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