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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Exercise in bed leads to better health, senior says

By Beverly Creamer
Advertiser Staff Writer

Carolyn C. Choy never jumps out of bed. It's not because she's 90, it's because she likes to do 10 minutes of exercise first to wake up her body slowly, "prevent a stroke," she says, and get her equilibrium established for the day.

"I figure I better do something since I don't run around the block," says Choy, a diminutive grandmotherly sort, whose self-printed book "Health Through Chinese Food" is popular with the senior groups to which she gives talks about healthful tonics for long life.

Now she has a second book, called "Do It In Bed."

And while she chuckles at the double entendre, she also means every word of the advice about doing much of the exercise you need to stay healthy into old age just after you wake up in the morning or just before you fall asleep at night.

Her sage advice includes everything from a chart showing the acupressure points on the hands and arms that connect to the rest of the body, to tips on how to get back to sleep and avoid tossing and turning if you should awaken in the middle of the night.

A retired teacher, Choy says she likes to keep the whole routine simple.

She offers a series of exercises that include hand massage, abdominal massage, breathing exercises to reduce stress, arm and leg exercises and much more.

Choy uses tried-and-true exercises from both Chinese and Western culture, putting them together in her unique style and with personal insights. Included in that category are ways to keep your hair and teeth healthy.

Most of all, she uses herself as the anecdotal proof that these things work: At 90 she has few aches and pains, and no serious health problems. She put the book together because so many people asked her how she stayed well and fit into her later years.

The book is available for $9.75 at Meng's Grocery at 124 N. King St. It's the shop she favors for a wide variety of Chinese herbs and other culturally-based concoctions. Don't call, she advises; they won't answer the phone. You have to go in person.

Reach Beverly Creamer at bcreamer@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8013.