Motivational Moment: Age is Just a Number

Getting the most out of your life is what you put into it.  Yes, sometimes easier said than done!  Those who are around me a lot have heard me talk about how it is not too late to get moving and be fitter and healthier. In most cases, it IS a choice.  What we do with our bodies – exercise and being active vs sitting around playing video games –  and what we put into our bodies – healthy nutrition and knowledge vs poison and negative thinking – have an effect on our quality of life.  If you are conscious it is never too late to do SOMETHING positive to have a healthier quality of life.

Like investing in savings for retirement, investing in your health and fitness early is important.  But also like financial investing, starting any time is beneficial!

With the recent passing of 97 year old Charles Eugster (Update: Charles passed away in April 2018 at the age of 98.  He was truly an inspiration!), I could not help but think of how age is just a number.  Dr. Eugster had a huge impact on so many people and his favorite phrases were “You are never too old to try something new” and in retirement don’t stop! “Physical and mental inactivity can lead to a loss of physical and mental ability.”  

He died the current World Master’s Record holder in the M-95+ division. His events were the 200m indoor and 400m outdoor sprints.   He was sedentary for most of his life while he practiced dentistry and raised a family. He started competitive rowing at the age of 63, bodybuilding when he was 83, and sprinting when he was in his early 90’s.  An inspiring man indeed! 

Ernestine Shepherd is another remarkable story.  She was a sedentary school secretary until she was 56.  She and her sister went bathing suit shopping and decided that they needed to do something to be fitter and feel better about themselves.  They joined a gym to start exercising.  Her sister passed away suddenly and through her grief she stopped working out.  Realizing that her sister would have wanted her to continue, she started back slowly with a personal trainer and a new healthy diet with only the healthiest foods.  In 2010, she earned the record as the World’s Oldest Performing Female BodyBuilder (by Guinness World Records). Now 80, living an active, healthier lifestyle has transformed her body and her life.

Singer Darlene Love took up kickboxing at the age of 70 after being encouraged by her daughter.  Her experience is that exercising helps with everything – walking up the stairs, carrying groceries, playing with children and grandchildren.  She does a three minute plank every day!

And finally, I am fortunate to coach a fitness class of 31 senior citizens twice a week.  These folks are inspirational in their dedication and commitment to being active.  They are experiencing the benefits of exercise and each week at least one person tells me how the exercise class has changed their life. Whether being able to do things they have not been able to do in the past, manage joint pain, or faster recovery from a surgery or injury.  Their attitude is contagious.  They enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of exercise.  These folks are a joy to work with!

Fit & Young Class

So what can you do?  Here are some ideas to help you get fitter and feel better if you have not been exercising much:

  • Start slow – walk with a friend in your neighborhood or better yet a safe trail in the woods. 
  • Hire a trainer to get you started safely – one that listens and is willing to understand where you are in your fitness journey.
  • Meditate – download a guided meditation audio (Lori Granger has some great short audios like this one) Just give yourself 15 minutes where you can be quiet.  It helps manage stress and cortisol which is known to cause weight gain.
  • Get a massage – there are so many health benefits whether healing from an injury or reducing stress.  Visit Lisa Poole at Peaceful Strength Massage Therapy if you are local to Bedford/Manchester NH.
  • Learn about a truly healthy diet – read the ingredients on the package – if you don’t know what it is – find out. Make meals at home from scratch.

Just do one thing to make a change.  Then do another and another!  And you will find over time, that your quality of health and life will improve!