Fit…. or pfffft?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I miss my old blue jeans.  You know, the ones with the waist measurement that is a smaller number than the length?  And sometimes I don’t care at all.  Frankly, it’s a tough balance.  Every day we are inundated with television, magazine, and newspaper stories whose marketing messages tell us to be “cool” and “in” we have to be slim, supple, strong, and of course and especially, young.  Just what is ‘fit’ after fifty?  Or sixty?  Or beyond?

Since we can’t just wind back the clock what can we do to be fit?  Is it really important?  And are those flat tummies, six-pack abs and well-muscled arms and legs truly a sign of fitness or are they an attempt to look younger than we really are?  In short, what is fitness and how does an older person set out to be in shape?

If you are as curious about these questions as I am, then you might enjoy reading Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge, MD.  Subtitled, ‘A Guide to Living Like 50 Until You’re 80 and Beyond’ the book goes into great detail about the importance of exercise as we age. 

 An entertaining read, it also presents convincing data that correlates with that of Harvard researcher George Valliant, M.D.  Valliant (author of ‘Aging Well’) has conducted more than forty years’ research and established that one of the eight important components of successful aging is physical fitness.

 Translation:  staying active is good for you.

  It’s not too late to return to a form of exercise that you once loved…. or to find a ‘new love’!  (Exercise is good for your love life, too.)  Senior Centers everywhere offer programs to help you get started or stay motivated – and some are even designed for people who have trouble standing and walking.  Check with your doctor…. Start slowly…. But get moving – it’ll keep you going.

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