The holiday season is here. As you’re filling those Christmas stockings, don’t forget about yourself. This year, decide to give yourself the gift of exercise: the true anti-dote to aging. Research has consistently shown that exercise is the best weapon against age-related diseases and disabilities. As I encounter elderly people (and the challenges they face), I am again and again reminded that regular exercise and a healthy diet can make a huge difference in how much you enjoy life at age 75, 85 and well into your 90s. A friend who works with the elderly is sometimes overwhelmed by the health challenges of many of her clients. Once she remarked that many of those challenges resulted from the poor health and lifestyle choices made – consciously and unconsciously – twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. For many, that meant eating whatever… and never engaging in any sort of physical exercise. For a reminder of some of the benefits of exercise, see my September 27 post: 4 Reasons to do Strength Training. Begin the New Year with YOU in mind. Resolve to take better care of yourself. Your body and mind as well as your loved ones will thank you for it.
This week I am not introducing a new super woman. I am posting a photo of last week’s super woman, Janice Beaumont, the 75 year young diva from my stretch class.
Meet Janice, a work of art.
"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Do you know other works of art you would like to tell me about? I would love to hear from you.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! See you in 2012.
Recently, Jane Fonda was on The View. Needless to say, she looks phenomenal. She has had a little face work (as she readily admits), but, most importantly, her body, her energy, and her spirit is amazing. Looking like a trillion bucks, she stressed the importance of “moving” and staying active. Exercise has been her anti-aging routine for years. At 74, she is still making exercise DVDs and writing books. She is one celebrity who is an example for all women – no matter the age – on what aging gracefully and beautifully looks like.
While I am giving kudos to Jane, my non-celebrity superwoman of the week is Janice, an attractive, petite Asian woman from my Wednesday noon stretch class.
My encounter with Janice... Last week, at the end of my stretch class, I was approached by Janice who commented on a fabulous photo she had seen of me in a local weekly (paper). During our brief conversation, she inquired about my work as a personal trainer. I told her that I only worked with women, aged 55 or over. She remarked, “Well, I am 75.” I was speechless because she looked and moved as if she were many years younger. She told me that exercise is the secret to aging beautifully. She explained that she has been exercising all of her life. And, the only thing about her that had aged was her arthritic hands. While this condition did halt her career as a hair stylist, it didn’t stop her from exercising. She walks, does Pilates, and stretches regularly. Her advice: Make exercise a part of your daily life. Find something you can do and enjoy doing. Then, DO IT! She also mentioned the importance of attitude.
Now, some people would have allowed arthritis to take over their lives or slow them down. BTW: Jane Fonda has had a hip and knee replacement, and she is still going strong. Neither Janice nor Jane allows discomforts like bad or weak knees, hip or back pain, and/or arthritis stop them from moving; from exercising. It motivates them to keep moving. They know that there is truth in the saying “use it or lose it”.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard people say, “I don’t exercise because I have problems with my lower back, my arthritis, my knees, my ankles... For many, these aches and pains give them a justifiable reason to be inactive when, in fact, this is the absolute worst thing you can do for those aches and pains.
Exercise is truly an antidote to aging. And, everyone can do some form of exercise. So, when your lower back hurts (as does mine on most days of the week), keep in mind this simple fact: use it or lose it!
“It’s not that very old people…can exercise because they are healthy…rather, they achieve a healthy old age because they exercise.” - Jane Brody, New York Times health writer
I am still looking for non-celebrity (everyday) women who have aged or are aging beautifully and gracefully. Are you one? Do you know someone? I want to know your secrets. Let me hear from you.
There are a few things every woman of a certain age (in my case over 60) should have in order to age with dignity, style, and confidence. In this post, I list 18, based on my own experiences. A few I have; others I am still working on.
- An attitude of gratitude.
- A healthy self-image.
- A positive attitude.
- A little black dress that makes you feel and look gorgeous.
- A good bra to give “the girls” a boost.
- A good body shaper to wear under that fabulous black dress, thus hiding a few flaws.
- Good teeth and a dazzling smile.
- At least one pair of shoes that are sexy and comfortable.
- Two good (leather) purses.
- A strong, healthy mind and body.
- A “drop-dead” gorgeous (recent) photo of yourself.
- A strong savings account.
- At least one good girl friend who knows all of your secrets.
- A healthy, vibrant companion who shares some of your interests – i.e., walking, traveling, dancing.
- Something (or someone) you are passionate about.
- A big screen TV.
- Several pairs of reading glasses.
- An Ipad or e-reader.
If you’re wondering why I have listed 4 – 9, the best answer I can give is this: These things make you look better. And, when you look good, you feel good.
What do you think? Did I miss something? If you would like to add to this list, please do.
Super Woman of the Week
My super woman of the week is Matilda Lowe (79). Til, as we call her, is an avid golfer. At 73, she took up running; at 77, she completed the Disney Goofy (a race where she ran a half marathon (13.1 miles) on day 1 and a full marathon (26.2 miles) on the following day (day 2). At age 79, Til recently had a PR in the Savannah Inaugural Rock N Roll Half Marathon. She is now training for the St. Pete Inaugural Half Marathon, coming up in February. It wouldn’t surprise me if she had another PR. Oh! Til runs with a brace on her foot. The woman just keeps on ticking.
“Everyone is the age of their heart.” ~Guatemalan Proverb