Most people think that balance exercises are for preventing falls. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The older I get, the more I realize that age is no reason to stop playing sports. In fact, as the “golden years” sneak up on us (really, what are they anyway?) and the demands of family and employment lessen, we may have more time to participate.
The effects of living on this earth for more than half a century have begun to take their toll. But I refuse to believe that accepting “aging” and becoming less active is my only option. However, no matter how hard I have tried to convince myself I like to exercise, I just don’t enjoy it.
Three years from now, do you expect to be as strong and agile as you are today? How about six years from now?
In my experience, most older adults don’t think about the importance of balance exercises until they have a scare. Perhaps, like me, they experience a fall. Or, maybe they see an older relative struggling to stay independent because of his or her lack of balance.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it – achieving a high level of physical fitness after 50 is tough. As the founder of Sixty and Me, a community of over 500,000 baby boomer women, I have seen firsthand how people our age struggle to lose weight, strengthen our bodies, get flexible and improve our physical appearance.
We often hear about the need for strength training at any age, but did you know that power training is even more important to functional independence?
You might associate power with elite sports or the massive athletes who “power lift” 800 pounds, and then drop it to the ground with a huge clang. You can just hear the argghhh!
In my mind and heart I still feel like I can do what I did when I was 30. But it’s just not true. I hung up my tennis shoes a decade ago because the discs in my back are degenerating and they won’t take the pounding anymore. My body has betrayed me.
We all have those days when mustering the motivation to exercise seems like more of a challenge than usual. We just can’t seem to get going and we end up giving ourselves permission to skip the gym or yoga class, or postpone the run or walk.