86-Year-Old Gymnasts Are Rare, But You Can Still Stay Active

March 15, 2016

If you haven’t seen the video of the amazing 86-year-old gymnast, Johanna Quass, take a few minutes to watch it. You’ll be floored. And you’ll probably think to yourself, “Well there’s no way I could do that.” Maybe not today, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to do the things that inspire you.

As you age, your body slows down. That’s true for all of us, even Ms. Quass. That doesn’t mean you have to stop trying new things or that you need to relegate yourself to a rocker on the front porch. Aging today isn’t what it was 100 or even 50 years ago. We have more options to keep us healthy longer and to help us maintain a more active and better quality of life.

You’re Never Too Old…

People look at exercise as if it’s just for young people. The truth is, exercise is even more advantageous as you age. It helps condition your body so that you’re stronger and can maintain physical independence longer. Another great benefit is that exercise actually gives you energy. You’ll feel better overall when you’re active on a regular basis. Plus, if you find something your really like to do, you’ll enjoy the activity as well as the benefits.

In a previous blog, Staying Active as We Age, we noted that the way to feel younger is to do more. Staying active gives you more energy and there are things to look forward to in your days, which is great for you both physically and emotionally. On the flip side, not having activities to look forward to can lead to depression and declining health. You want to balance these things so you’re resting as much as you need but still able to enjoy your daily life.

Physical Activities for Seniors

Exercising is for everyone. There are exercise programs specifically made for seniors who enjoy taking group classes, which also creates socialization. Here are 3 great exercises for seniors:

  • iStands Falls Prevention Exercise Program. This program is great for beginners and is geared specifically for those who are more at risk for falls.
  • Swimming/Water Aerobics. Your local park district or YMCA with a pool should have a program specifically for seniors. Lexington Square has heated indoor pools and offers classes for its residents. Classes in water offer a less strenuous work out on the joints while getting you active.
  • Walking/Hiking. Whether you’d prefer a short walk through the neighborhood or have worked up to longer hikes through nature, walking offers a go-at-your-own pace, low impact activity that’s great to share with friends or family.

 

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