Movement Renaissance – Car Wash – 8/23/2018

Renaissance is defined as a revival of or renewed interest in something. Our blog is about renewing interest in movement as we age so we can age dynamically. Our goal is to revive interest in moving more and moving better so we can continue to do the things we love to do like walking, playing with grandchildren, remaining independent. More importantly, doing these things adds quality to our lives. And learning how to do new things like starting new careers, discovering new interests, exploring new experiences because these keep us involved and active. And in some cases, reviving old customs and movements like those found in washing your own car.

Why a Car Wash Renaissance?

I stopped washing my own car as soon as I could afford it because for me it was a pain in the neck! Filling a bucket with warm soapy water and lugging it out to the car. Searching high and low to find sponges and cloths for washing and drying. Hauling out the hose to wet down the car. Scrubbing off the dried bugs. Standing on tip toe trying to reach the top of the car or climbing up on the running board (does anyone remember those?) to reach the roof. Clothes getting wet from leaning against the wet car. Squatting down to reach the fenders and bumpers. On and on!  Really! Why would anyone want to do all that movement if they could take it to the car wash?  Because there are major benefits to movement and lots of movement is available in car washing.

A New Car

My husband, Willis, and I bought a brand-new car in February 2018. It is a hybrid RAV4 and we love it (and its wonderful mileage). We were not happy after running the car through the car wash a few times because we found it not totally clean, small scratches appearing on the paint job, and the cost was outrageous. Willis decided to wash it himself. After researching the best equipment and cleaning agents and getting all the paraphernalia together again after at least 50 years (he is 82, I am 80), he washed the car.

Movement Renaissance

Afterward, he told me what an interesting experience this was for him. Washing the car by hand reminded him how much physical movement was necessary in order to complete the job such as carrying a bucket of water out to the car engaging the muscles in his arms and hands and core and legs; reaching high up and squatting way down to get into the cupboards to find the things needed for washing and drying; pulling and uncoiling the hose. Willis movement on one leg washing carAnd don’t forget lots of elbow grease to scrub off dried bugs and bird droppings; climbing up and balancing on a step ladder; and squatting down to wash the fenders and bumpers. He had more fun.Willis movement on ladder washing top of car
Willis squatting movement to wash car








Some Things Never Change

And, just like Tom Sawyer Whitewashing the Fence, Willis’ description of how much fun it was to wash the car and how much great movement was involved had me out there the next time around helping him because I don’t like to miss anything – such as standing on tip toe to reach the top of the car.Joan on tippy toe to wash top of car



Check out this newest car wash move-what a s-t-r-e-t-c-h!Joan standing on car movement to wash top






  1. I enjoyed reading this post and totally agree with your sentiments – washing the car is fun and you get to see if everything is in good condition at the same time as getting all that free exercise!

  2. Love it! Joan
    Especially those calf stretches to reach the roof from the back seat!! LOL!
    ❤️ Mary Ann

  3. Great simple way to move. I always wash mine, but never have thought about the movement aspect.

  4. I, too have a new car (2017). Up until a couple of years ago I washed my own car. Pretty nice on a clear day. Not so nice when the weather is colder. And, living in Seattle as you can probably guess, we get a lot of rain.

    Now in order to keep my car clean I subscribed to a local car wash – one monthly fee and I can go as often as I want. Does running it through a car wash do a better job than if I did it myself? Probably not. Do I get any exercise in the car wash? Just a tiny bit of drying off some parts. Am I going to go back to washing it once or so a week as I did before? Heck no!

  5. So very inspiring! I am 53, my dad just turned 87. He is slowing down physically but admits it’s the “Big L” (lazy) that’s really the culprit. Up until just a few years ago, he was doing his daily dozen of stretches, movements, and regular walking. Your book and blog are inspiration to the both of us. As I feel stiffness beginning to creep in, I am reminded to move more. Great points in this article. Heck, I don’t even want to wash my own and I’m 30 years younger. Gotta rethink this one! Thanks so much.

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