• Exercise Poem for Older People

    Written during Nottingham City Council's Get Happy Stay Healthy conference for older people.

    If your lungs creak in your sleep
    and wake up before you in the morning, and you cough up half your soul
    before you’ve finished yawning,
    it might be that exercise isn’t what you do, but there’ll be a way of keeping fit
    that’s tailor-made for you.

    You can exercise in your chair with arms and legs and wrists. You can do it at the hairdresser’s and you can do it at the dentist’s.

    You can exercise your lungs
    by shouting at the telly.
    You can exercise your diaphragm by dancing with your belly.

    You can learn about your posture to improve your mobility
    and reduce the number of times that you exercise with gravity.

    You can exercise your finances
    and apply for pension credit.
    You can cut down on your council tax and fatten up your wallet.

    And when you’re in the supermarket, you can exercise your eyeballs
    by having a good close look
    at what’s written on the labels.

    You can exercise your mind
    by arguing all the time
    with as many people as possible, especially if you’re right.

    You can exercise your muscles
    and swing your grandkids round,
    and you can exercise your assertive skills by refusing to put them down.

    You can improve your circulation by walking from time to time, and you can exercise your smile by sitting in the sunshine.

    You can exercise your endorphins by laughing every week,
    and you can exercise your heartbeat just by dancing cheek to cheek.