My m.i.l. is 68 and bed-ridden in a nursing home with morbid obesity and diabetes and a host of other ailments, all life-style related according to doctors. My mother is 91 and lives at home and still gets around to do some cooking and cleaning and other daily-life type activities. She has always practiced moderation. I can relate to both of them, and I take inspiration from both of them. We are all role-models for someone. I am 52 and walk, hike, run, lift weights, and other activities. I have modeled an active life-style for my children. I have fallen down in that department in terms of my eating habits, but those have improved greatly, thanks in large part to SP. I figure I can get old while sitting around, or I can get older while moving around - I choose to keep moving and am very grateful I can.
I'm 62 and I recently heard that 60 is the "new 40". Sounds great to me and I'm stickin' to it!! As I was zooming down the ski slopes in Breckenridge a couple of weeks ago, I was feeling more like 35. But then I looked in the mirror and wondered who stole my face???!! And then there are those mornings when you wake up so stiff.
Seriously...I do want to remind people that we don't have total control over our health. There are some folks who, b/c of genetics or just plan crumby luck, get sick...some seriously sick....through no fault of their own. Some were exposed to toxins in the workplace or through the military that they were totally unaware of or unable to prevent. Some were born with physical issues that make it almost impossible to maintain a "normal" weight. We must be VERY careful about being judgmental. BUT...to the extent that WE can do anything to give our own bodies a chance at a healthier existence...then WHY WOULDN'T WE??? That is the question I keep asking myself when I'm tempted by juicy hamburgers and delicious french fried onion rings or delectable double chocolate chip ice cream waffle cones!!
I have several older friends, in their mid to late 70s and into their 80s who are very active, still climbing mountains (literally!) and waterskiing and kayaking and carrying firewood (some still cut it!)They are a total inspiration to me. But the people who are even more of an inspiration are some of those spoken about earlier, who have been saddled with a difficult diagnosis and still are grateful to God for all of their blessings and manage to use their trials in life to shape themselves into having a more Christ-like character and continue to live life in the best way they can, loving and caring about others. Jo
I live in one of the "oldest" counties in the US. So I see a lot of seniors. And I see way too many unhealthy seniors that are living the consequences of lifestyle choices that go back to their younger days. You don't want to be the guy in the wheelchair with the portable oxygen tank from the age of 65 onward. I have to admit, a lot of what motivates my workouts is the differences I see around me of those seniors that have maintained their activity level and demonstrate a real zest for living and sheer enjoyment of their senior years and all they can bring, and those that are fighting a losing battle with dozens of ailments that take over their lives as they age so there is hardly time to spare that isn't in managing your condition.
Love these comments. My Dad was 87 when he died and Mom was 99. One day when she was in her late 80s she told me that some days she feels 16 and then she looks in the mirror. I told her to just break the mirror and be 16. She was never "old" - stayed active until one morning she just did not wake up. Even had a sweet little smile on her lips. She was a real "doll" - loved by all who knew her.
My parents are in their mid 70's and still go to the gym three times a week. It is mentally and physically good for them. They meet alot of people and really love staying active. My sister and I call them Maller's as they go window shopping alot, but that is where they get their exercise as well. Age is just a number to me. It's how you feel inside that counts and to know your limits.
I've known many 70 something year olds that are in better shape physically and mentally then the 30 year olds I know. I wish my dad was one of them. He turns 65 this year and is basically homebound. He had a heart attack at 59 which ended in quadruple bypass and severe anxiety. He took early retirement because he couldn't work (he was a train engineer) because he constantly felt like he was having another heart attack. Then he hurt his back and has been told he has 2 ruptured disks but he refuses to have surgery because he's afraid it won't help and his insurance is so sucky he'd be paying for most of it out of pocket. He's suffered for THREE years in constant agonizing pain. And went from an overweight but fairly active guy (I mean you gave to be in some kind of physically fit condition to be climbing up and down on the engines while their moving) to being almost bedridden. It's sad.
At just shy of 80, I would add one more word to the deffinition of "old". MOTIVATED" I am always trying to do more than my body is capable of. Out of neccesity I put up & climbed the tall extension ladder & went up & patched the shingles on our roof after the Monsoon winds. I hope not to have to do it again, but I know I can if I have to. I still do Aquaroebics 2 days a week after my Dr. cut me back from 4 days a week. I drive vision impaired to whatever they need & deliver meals on Wheels one day a week so you see, I don't think of myself as "old" but unfortunately, my spine does LOL.
I am 60 years old and I feel great. I do need to lose weight. I agree your age is just a number. I think if you think postive thoughts and try to be around postive people that helps a person feel good about themselves and life in general. I think the boomers are the new old. Life is what you make it. I love my life.
10/12/2010 5:54:36 PM
I don't like the definition that Julie found for 'OLD' at all! Although at 64, somedays, I feel 'old'! Most days, I feel 'not so old'! I wish that I had taken better care of my self when I was younger. I'm glad that I found this website, by following Sparkpeople's advice, I hope to feel alot younger soon! I still work at a busy retail store, I think that helps too. I have to keep up with all those younger associates. Maybe we all can help change the definition of 'OLD' in her dictionary. Keep up the good work!
So glad to read this article! I'll be 66 in a couple of months, and I am feeling really good! I ride horses, garden, work out at the gym, am starting a small business with my daughter, generally race around like a house afire. Sure, I get tired, but it's a deep, delicious sort of fatigue, one that's easily cured by a good night's sleep. Age is what we make of it, and, for me, life is truly fine!
Age is only a number and you are only as old as you feel. That said, some days I feel 20 years younger and other days 20 years older! Getting into shape is the best way to stay feeling young.
4/11/2010 2:42:55 PM
It was inspiring to me to read your Senior Olympics article written by a former Olympics winner. I'm 75. I think you are right on in inspiring others with their stories. You'll see a set of letters by my name, as last year I too made an achievement. I became a Diplomate through American Psychotherapy Association. Throughout the Depression I have been working. My service is Professional Counseling through LivePerson.com. So, while my home office I am able to counsel and re-empower people all over the world, all ages 18 and over. Keep going, Spark! Donna Gray-Davis, Therapist
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