The benefits of routine exercise have been well documented to prevent a myriad of diseases and improve the quality of life. The irony of life is that when we are younger, our minds and bodies are healthy enough to take on all types of physical activities, but we are challenged by the stress and time it takes to build a career and family. As we grow older, we have conquered the career challenges and sent our children out into the world. We find ourselves with the time and money to do all of those bucket list items. Is our health up to the challenge? Conventual wisdom says the older we get the less we can expect out of ourselves.
TO HELL WITH THAT!
Let me introduce you to three amazing seniors who are defying age and expectations and are getting bolder as they grow older!
9,131 days and counting! 80-year old, Joan Monson of Golden Valley, Minnesota decided to start an exercise routine of walking 3 miles a day. That was July 1, 1994, and she hasn’t missed a day since. She has persevered both day and night through blizzards and polar vortexes, downpours, heat waves and hurricane-like winds.
3:27:50 Marathon time! That is a blazing fast time to finish a 26.2-mile marathon for 99.9% of the population. That was the World Record time of Jeannie Rice, a 71-year-old grandmother. She keeps up a grueling seven day a week training regimen averaging 10 miles a day.
Reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro! Phoenix senior Anne Lorimor at the age of 89 set a new record as the oldest person to hike the tallest peak in Africa. The round-trip record setting adventure took nine days.
The reality is that few of us will set world records and summit mountains at any age, but we can stay fit by running, walking, cycling and hiking. These amazing seniors have several things in common that we can learn from to be the best we can be at any age.
Below you’ll find some tips accumulated from AARP, Healthy Living experts:
Develop a healthy routine – If reaping the amazing health benefits that come with regular exercise is your goal, here are two key steps to make that happen: Get out the door today and get out the door every day for the next 65 days. That is what one study on the psychology of habit found really makes this kind of regular practice part of your routine.
Set realistic goals - Once you lace up and head out, give yourself a little slack at first. You don't have to do more and go faster in the beginning. You can add more time and increase your pace in weekly increments and continue to add time and distance as your strength and confidence grows.
Be prepared – Start with proper nutrition and hydration before during and after your activity. Make sure you dress the part with the right type of shoes and dress in layers to regulate body temperatures. If you are blazing the roads or trails before dawn or after the sun has set, make sure you have portable lights to see where you are going and let others see you.
Take a friend along – The accountability of walking or hiking with a friend or joining a running or cycling group increases the likelihood that you will keep up a routine.
Have fun – This is your time to follow your passion, smash those goals or immerse yourself in nature. Studies show that nature walks offer health benefits that suburban or urban ones can't. But, more importantly, if you choose an activity that you genuinely like you're much more inclined to stick with it over time, according to the research, notes Art Markman, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Smart Change.
About the author: Doug Storer had a life-long dream of running a marathon. He had to wait until his 50’s to achieve that goal and has since run four marathons. He also was also a late blooming entrepreneur that followed his passion for running. In their mid-50s he and his wife founded Night Tech Gear, that develops innovative, patented personal safety lighting for work and play. They have sold safety products in over 50 countries and appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank.
Check out https://www.nighttechgear.com/ to find the perfect holiday gifts for your physically aging, but forever young explorative loved ones this year.