Posts tagged aging adults
It is never too late to begin a fitness program
By Chrissie Jarrell and Natalie Yerkovich
Find this article online and in print in the June 2012 issue of Austin Woman Magazine.
The human body and mind go through changes as we age. Establishing and maintaining a fit lifestyle, no matter your current age, will help you age gracefully and feel great in to your golden years. There are infinite ways to be fit, and it can mean something different to everyone. So where do you start? Often, the best source of inspiration is family and friends who make fitness a lifestyle. Juli Fiocca, founder of Wise Companion Care, gleaned the following tips from her father, Len, who will be celebrating his 70th birthday in Kona, Hawaii, this year. To her, he exemplifies fitness as a state of mind, and inspires her to do the same.
1. Set Goals: Start with a vision. Len plans to be on the beach, looking “fine” during his trip. Make up your mind and your body chemistry will shift to make it a reality.
2. Keep it Fun: Find an activity that is fun for you. Is it walking with friends, playing golf, attending classes at the gym, dancing? Experiment with different activities and find the one that you truly enjoy. If it stops being fun, mix it up and find another activity.
3. Add Friends: You are more likely to do something that you enjoy with friends. You are also more likely to continue doing something when you have a sense of commitment and accountability to your workout partners. When Len began cycling, he rode with a group, which helped him keep coming back as he learned.
4. Be Open to Change: You may have physical setbacks along the way that require you to change up your fitness routine. For example, as a marathon runner, knee surgery ended Len’s days of running. So he took up cycling. He didn’t belabor the mourning process. He found something else that worked for him at that time in his life.
5. Integrate: Find ways to integrate fitness in to the other activities you enjoy. If you like to travel, take an active vacation. In your daily activities, you can do things as simple as picking parking spots a little farther from the store entrance.
6. Find Peace: The place Len finds peace is outside. He sets himself up for success by knowing himself and spending time outdoors. “I find spirituality in nature,” Len says. Perhaps, for you, it is movies, books, yoga or church. Know your way and you’ll be OK.
7. Start Now: Sure, our good habits may take a vacation, and we may be sidetracked by complications or injuries, but to improve your lifestyle, you must start now. “Waiting until I’m better” or “until Monday” are excuses and not the way to foster dedication and a healthy lifestyle.
8. Do Cardio Plus Strength Training: The most common question is, “What should I do?” You should do an activity or activities that a.) you enjoy, and b.) promote cardiovascular health and strength. This can manifest itself with Pilates, dance, yoga, weights, walking, group classes, swimming, personal training—there is no shortage of opportunities. Just be sure to do both. Cardiovascular exercise works the heart; strength training works the muscles. The ultimate goal is being able to maintain the ability to manage activities of daily living, which take strength, balance and cardiovascular fitness.
9. Ignore Marketing and Fads: Throughout our lives, we have witnessed countless food fads come and go: cheese food, quick foods, processed junk. Len sticks to a diet of what he calls “real food” avocados, beans, protein, veggies and fruits. Whole, real foods are the best fuel for your body.
10. Live with Gratitude and Abundance: There is time to do what is important to you. You have all the wisdom within you.
We can all inspire those around us to be fit and happy, no matter our age! Be the change you want to see in the world (and in your loved ones’ health).
ACTIVITIES YOU MAY ENJOY:
Silver Life Fitness classes: Complimentary classes offered at the WellMed Clinics. (wellmedmedicalgroup.com/corporate/affiliates/silver-life-fitness)
Mauro Pilates: Private in-home or in-studio Pilates instruction improves balance, strength and coordination. (mauropilates.com)
Jewish Community Center of Austin: A vibrant community of fit adults, this center offers specialized classes in the water and in the gym, plus social events. (shalomaustin.com)
The Hills: The Senior Fitness Program is designed to offer minimal impact and a reasonable pace, and includes exercises that prevent osteoporosis and help maintain balance. (thehillsfitness.com)
Koko FitClub: Automated personal training with personalized ìtracksî that combine cardio and strength training. (kokofitclub.com)
Ballet Austin Butler Community School: This school offers a variety of dance, fitness and Pilates classes for adults of all experience levels. (balletaustin.org/community)
About Wise Companion Care (wisecompanioncare.com) is a local organization that supports families by assisting individuals who need a little help with daily activities due to aging, rehabilitation or disability. Juli Fiocca is the founder of Wise Companion Care, and leads a fit lifestyle herself by representing the Timex Multisport Team as an elite age-group triathlete.
Chrissie Jarrell and Natalie Yerkovich, the gals who created myfitlist.com, do the grunt work for you. Well, the organizational grunt work, anyway. They work hard to connect people with the fitness groups, information and resources they need so they can grunt, sweat and tone to achieve their personal goals.
Read the fun and inspirational fitness articles by the creators of MyFitList, every month in Austin Woman Magazine. This article can be found in the May 2012 issue on stands and online now!
MyFitList brings together the latest information on hundreds of local fitness businesses in Austin. We’re your resource for inspiration and information for getting and staying fit. Search hundreds of Austin fitness groups and services like running, triathlon, bootcamps, yoga studios, gyms and more all in one place! Check us out at www.myfitlist.com