Thursday, January 01, 2015

Can you still do it?

Of course you can. At your age? Sure. All it takes is a little training, attention to your own health, some enthusiasm and lots of passion and excitement! Doesn't matter what it is!

There was recently an article on the web about a 92 year old man, Jim Henry,  who just then learned to read and write. And at 98 he has authored a beautiful children's book! It was in his mind and he just went ahead and learned how to do it.

And 83 year old Jocelyn Taylor, a former Champion Brit roller skater, is still on the wheels, teaching and appearing in commercials! Why not?
Roller skating is making a return to fun, for some it never left! Arthur and Joyce George, 90 and 89 are still enjoying their lifelong passion. They may not be playing Bing Crosby in the roller rink, but you can still skate to Michael Buble!  One might have to caution about Roller Derby though, not that it's too tough for you, just that those new outfits are a little drafty!

Dancing is still big with senior people and we all know how good it is for you. And men too, better to be holding a lady near to you who smells good, even if it is the scent of the roast of beef she cooked earlier, than the sweaty body of an gristly old wrestler! And dancing is so social. You are expanding your life style! Beware of the tango though, it is treacherous and subtly sexy!
Speaking of wrestling, amateur wrestling of course. It is another ageless sport. My trainer when I was 17 was former professional George Bunka, then in his 60s, who could be standing in front of you one minute until you were on the mat the next moment with him holding you down in a tangle! No age limits for George.

George in his 'mean' MGB
I have a friend from car racing days, George Hollinger, who quit competitive motorsport in 1975 and took up hockey. Now at 83 he is still playing on a team! Why not? His days of getting there fast may be over, but getting there at all is as much fun now. And who can beat the camaraderie?

There is now the National Senior Games, for people 50 plus. Events are in five year increments! Grown from 1987 with about 2500 people, it now attracts 20,000 spectators and over 10,000 athletes! The oldest being over 100!
And Masters Athletics are for veteran track and field athletes and includes road running and yes, cross country running! You might not toss the caber, but javelins can be fun. And you may not dash that fast, but you'll look pretty dashing in your 100 meter attire.
But don't be angry!
Almost everyday you're hearing about some little old lady jumping out of a plane, or off a bridge with a rubber band tied to her leg. And those riders on flashy racing bikes with colorful outfits are not all 25 year-olds emulating Alberto Contador, you can bike ride forever. Get yourself a cool helmet. There are many elderly martial artists still training in dojos too, karate, judo are bigger than ever. Focus and balance being more important than bulldozing strength.

Today there is nothing holding you back other than your own mind. Yes, you can get out and start moving, even clutching your walker at first if you have to, doing your best, you might even find yourself doing a fast walk 5 K soon, or rambling along a forest trail, or wandering for 30 or 60 or 90 days walking the Camino in sunny Spain! Hola! That's gotta be good for old bones!

And the improvements in your health are exponential! Balance control. If you're going to bump into a wall better to say, 'excuse me' and walk on than fall down! Heart health, stroke prevention! Skin tone, and muscle strength. Weight loss. Proper nutrition becomes a normal routine of paying attention to food.
All benefits to just doing it! There's strong scientific evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia.
In addition to reducing sedentary time, you are advised to do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate intensity, aerobic activity every week.  Do you realize that's less than 30 minutes a day? And there is nothing like a sport for measuring your progress at any age. What you struggled at yesterday seems a little easier today.  Two laps around the block becomes four laps around two blocks! You're not competing with the 25 year old, you're competing with yourself.

Anyone know of a frozen pond?

So c'mon Grandma, skate away, lose the long dress and show a little ankle, you can't get arrested these days for that.
And Gramps, you don't need to lie there on the sofa and wait for the game, go for a walk, it'll just be starting when you get back, and you might find you like participating as a player instead of a spectator.
It's all in the mind! YOUR mind.

But it's about independence too, isn't it, and maybe that is the most important thing of all. Freedom within.

Can you still do it? Sure, of course you can.

aging and exercise

getting active and older

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