I am a runner, and I am in what you might consider mid-life. I love every minute of it, but yes, there are times when I wake up in the morning a little more sore than I might have been after the same distance in my 20’s. Perhaps I am a little slower now too.
However, the thought of ever quitting running is inconceivable to me. Many people quit exercising when they get older, since they may believe that their bodies are just not capable of it any more. Often times, I believe, seniors feel they might not have access to exercise, especially if they live in an assisted living environment, or alone, or in some other type of managed care. I believe, to the contrary, that seniors need exercise as much as, if not more than their younger counterparts.
Exercise, in all of it’s proven mental and physical benefits (including ‘slowing down’ the aging process) also simply makes you feel good, and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Exercise can also create a social outlet with running or walking clubs, or group exercise classes. I had a friend that was in her late 60’s who ran a bi-weekly aerobics and yoga class for seniors in the basement of her home in Denver. She distributed fliers, and she had a large and enthusiastic following.
If you need more inspiration – look no further than Ida Keeling, a 95 year old fireball who set the world sprint record at the young age of 95. No kidding! She ran 60 meters in 29.86 seconds! She started running when she was 67, and she shatters any myths that seniors should slow down. Ida runs in the hallways of her apartment complex and has a small exercise bike, and some free weights in her apartment. Her other secret – she tells herself to “count your blessings, Ida…count your blessings.”
Ida, you have earned the respect of Assisted Living Directory!