Gimmicks For Aging Gracefully | News, Sports, Jobs – Wheeling Intelligencer



I’ve reached the age in life where advertisements for health tonics, walking aids and other contraptions are showing up too regularly in my mail and online. The funny thing is that I am paying attention to these things more than I would like to admit.

The newspaper ads, too, have caught my eye, with ads for hearing aids and the latest treatment for fill-in-the-blank ailments.

And while I am not pulling out the credit card for most of these things, I find there is no age limit for wanting to be healthy and safe in our daily lives. When I go to home shows or health events, I help myself to those free back scratchers and those clever rubber jar openers. Now those are handy items for anyone.

Sometimes I stand in a confused state while perusing the rows and rows of vitamins and supplements at my local drug store. They all promise to be the answer to aging gracefully. I liked it better when I went into such stores just for the penny candy or milkshakes at the soda fountain. Now it’s Aspercreme and Tums in the shopping cart.

I didn’t know there were so many varieties of bed pillows that are guaranteed a good night’s rest for their users. So far, I have not found one that prevents nightmares or lessens the snoring of a bed partner. However, I’m sure such products will be on the market sooner than later.

And let’s talk about sleep, or should I say the lack of it. I’m told that as we age, we need less sleep than in our younger years. That must be true because most people of my age range talk about being unable to sleep through the night. However, they do enjoy an afternoon nap. Maybe that counts toward a “good night’s sleep.”

Those experts on aging on TV talk up the latest gimmicks to urge people to exercise.

I particularly like the foot stepping machine that allows you to clock miles while sitting and watching TV or playing cards with friends. I know it doesn’t replace an actual walk around the block, yet for some it’s just enough.

As for walking, there is no better place than in the Ohio Valley to get in those foot miles of exercise. Nearly every community along the Ohio River has developed walking and biking trails.

We are especially blessed also to have many parks and recreational facilities where walking, jogging or bike riding can happen almost during all four seasons of the year.

As a bonus, you can usually spot some wildlife while enjoying the fresh air.

For the more adventurous and younger set, there’s a nice skate park in Elm Grove where kids can show off their moves while getting exercise in the great outdoors.

As for my personal preference, I will stick to putting miles on my Sketchers and having conversations with the wild deer seen along the way. And I will keep my eye out for the next senior expo. I could use a new jar opener!

Heather Ziegler can be reached at

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