Over the past couple of weeks I've had the opportunity to tour retirement homes looking for a place for my 76 year old Mother. Mom has a host of health issues, doesn't move very quickly and uses a walker. What breaks my heart the most is that 90% of her physical ailments are preventable. She is 5'4" and weighs about 200 pounds, has high blood pressure, is pre-diabetic, arthritis, chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia. As you can imagine as a personal trainer and wellness coach this makes me crazy especially when it's combined with the fact it's my Mom. I'm pretty confident that no one can make as crazy as our Moms.
A couple of months ago I started to teach water fitness classes at the local YMCA, the average age of the people in my class is 70. There are people in their 30's as well as people in their 80's. Many have had some type of surgery: back, hip and/or knee replacement or shoulder surgery but not all. The thing that they ALL do have in common is their ability to move.
In fact I recently came across a study on how exercise affects Alzheimer's. It was FASCINATING! The study had two groups. One group engaged in walking the other in gentle stretching. The walking group had to walk a minimum of 10 minutes a day but could walk more and the gentle stretching group only stretched for a minimum of 10 minutes. Each group showed a reduction in the the part of the brain that is directly related to Alzheimer's reducing the impact and slowing the progression of the disease and in some cases arresting the progression. What would YOU be willing to do today to help prevent Alzheimer's tomorrow? Would you be willing to walk at least 10 minutes everyday?
Walking is one of the best medicines today for treatment AND prevention of things like: Type II diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Metabolic Syndrome just to name a few. When it comes to things like Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalia movement is the BEST thing a person can do. It is also the most challenging. It hurts to move however if you don'tmove it hurts even more. Light weights with a lot of repetitions help arrest the progression of Fibromyalgia which allows greater pain free movement which in turn creates an opportunity for a higher quality of life. That's a win-win!
People are living much longer and enjoying better health than 20 years ago in large part due to advances in both science and medicine as well as better nutrition choices. Even with all of these advances the quality of our senior years still boils down to our activity levels when we're younger. Sir Isaac Newton discovered basic Laws the most important to me for a longer, healthier, more active and happier life is: A body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion.
Let's all of us STAY in motion for the rest of our lives shall we? Even if it's only for 10 minutes a day. When you really stop to think about it it 10 minutes is a pretty small investment for a lifetime of enjoyment isn't it?
Here's to you in Health, Wellness and Fitness!
Jennifer Malocha CEO of Fun at Wuhoo Fitness
Listen to my weekly radio show Let's Talk every Thursday from 9-10 AM PST
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