Saturday, November 13, 2010

"A Beautiful Way to Grow Old"

A good friend of mine sent me a link to the photo at left. It appears in "Racing Age," which is a compilation of images on the Newsweek website that highlights senior athletes. Yes, senior athletes. The individuals in this particular photo, all of whom are at least 85 years old, are running the 55-meter sprint at the 2008 USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships. Amazing, right? It gets better:

Apparently there are over 250,000 senior athletes in the States and all of them compete in national and international track and field events. The oldest age group clocks in at 95+, which I think is incredible.

These people are "proving that in a society obsessed with staying young, there is a beautiful way to grow old." And I couldn't agree more. In fact, I teach a Fit After 50 class twice a week and I just might get more out of it than my ladies do. I find great inspiration in their strength, their smiles and of course their resilience. And I feel just as inspired when I look through the rest of the photos in the collection I mentioned above. Because, really—if I can be this active when I'm that old, then I'll be a blessed woman and just try to stop me!

So to any seniors that might be reading this—I say keep on keepin' on. I am proud of you for living the fit life. And if you aren't, know that it's never too late to start. That goes for you, too. You young'uns. The fit life does wonders for you now, and it truly promotes a "beautiful way to grow old."

That's actually a fact we can prove scientifically. Sure, you've read all the studies that stress the importance of exercise as it relates to your heart and muscles. And you might already know that exercise keeps your bones healthy—think osteoporosis and arthritis, both of which get worse as we age. But did you know that exercise helps ward off age-related memory loss? It's true. This month's issue of SELF reports on research that proves "about an hour of activity a day, four times a week" can help us "maintain cognitive function" as we age. Scientifically speaking, it improves the flow of blood to the part of our brains that controls our memory.

Perhaps I need a little more exercise in my life—I suffered a spazzy moment on Thursday. Long story short, I left work an hour early on Thursday. I mean, how do you forget that you're supposed to stay at work until 11:00AM? Really? I got halfway to South Bend before I noticed that my watch said 10:23AM instead of 11:23AM. Perhaps it was the intense cupcake conversation I was having with the front-desk girls, or maybe I was overly excited about having lunch with Angie. We shall never know why I cut out early. Luckily, I wasn't scheduled to meet with any clients or teach any classes—and when I called my boss, she just laughed at me.

Let's hope she really did think it was funny.

Question: Is there a senior in your life that really inspires you? Tell me why.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Well my mom has an AARP card, so I'll call her a "senior." At 56, she still teaches 13-16 group fitness classes a week and then can follow it up with a 75 mile bike ride on Sunday. One day I want to be like her. :)

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