Let’s Talk Body Maintenance

Last Monday, I went for my weekly swim. My husband went to the optician for an annual eye check. On Tuesday, he had a meeting to discuss a dodgy mole, and I had an appointment with the dental hygienist. On Thursday, I did yoga.

The coming week starts again with the swim, then we both have appointments for a Covid jab. Oh, and then I get my hair cut.

Why do I write about all these disparate activities? What do they have in common? Put simply, they are all examples of what a friend calls ‘body maintenance’.

We all know and expect to incur the costs and time for maintenance of our houses. The roof needs to be checked from time to time, the boiler maintained regularly, and all sorts of unexpected repairs are needed each year. The same is true for our cars.

Well, the same is also true for our bodies.

And the older we get, the more time it takes.

Regular Checks

Some body maintenance is so much a part of our day-to-day lives since childhood that we don’t even put them into a special mental category.

We can start with teeth. Going to the dentist is just one of those things we do on a regular basis. Dentists tend to say it should be every six months (they would, wouldn’t they?), yet many say that it doesn’t need to be that often if you don’t have problems. But you probably go at least once a year and very possibly much more often.

Dentists aren’t the end of the story when it comes to teeth. We are also urged to see a dental hygienist, perhaps every four months. Not to mention all the time spent cleaning our teeth at home and flossing them as well.

Then, there is getting your hair cut. When I was a child, this was done by my mother (not especially well), but as an adult, I have gone to a hairdresser every two months or so. During the pandemic, I discovered that a neighbour was not only trained but also very good, and I have used her services ever since.

For those who want to remain younger-looking, there is also the colourist to take away the grey. I decided to go naturally grey when my hair began to turn when I was under 40, so have never had the pleasure.

Increasing numbers of women also get their fingernails done in a nail parlour on a regular basis. I have never been inside such a place. Perhaps I am missing some fun.

Less Frequent Checks, But We Still Need Them

Yes, we get our eyes checked from time to time and eventually, an awful lot of us need glasses. This means an annual eye check at the very least. Not to mention, the visits to the optician because we sat on the frame.

And at our age, a lot of us are also needing cataract surgery – this isn’t difficult, but starts a whole new round of pre- and post-appointments.

And then there are also hearing checks. I haven’t reached this stage, but it is getting nearer. A whole new round of appointments to look forward to.

At the other end of our bodies, many of us increasingly need our toenails checked out. Some make regular trips to a chiropodist.

Exercise and the Equivalent

But all that is just the beginning. Think of all your efforts to exercise to keep your body trim – or, should I say, trimmer than it otherwise would be.

My two forms of exercise of choice are yoga and swimming, but you might have others. You play tennis, you lift weights, you dance. All good. Not to mention regular daily walking. All part of body maintenance.

In addition, you may have particular parts of your body to which you give special exercise. I have recently started doing pelvic floor exercises on a regular basis (four times a day, day in, day out, using an app). Perhaps you have others.

Doctors and Hospitals

And, as we are getting on, there are the inevitable doctors appointments for one problem of another. These might be for minor checks, such blood pressure, or more major investigations, leading, indeed, to surgery.

Body Maintenance

Sometimes, it feels like our lives are one big maintenance activity.

I hope you manage to do some interesting things in-between.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

I suspect I have left out a lot of body maintenance – can you set me straight? Do you think there is any of this body maintenance you could do without? Do you enjoy any of your body maintenance activities?

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