Enjoying What You Love the Most

Vince wanted to fulfill a lifelong dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Sheba wanted to participate with her son, a Special Olympian, and inspire other women to exercise. Ari wanted to lose weight and get healthy enough to play with his grandkids. What do these 60-somethings have in common? They all relied on exercise to help them enjoy their lives as fully as possible. From reaching “bucket list” goals to living their best lives every day, mature adults are finding more and more that exercise isn’t really about fitness. Exercise is really about living well, enjoying yourself, and staying healthy, even as you get older. If your body isn’t functioning at its best, you won’t be able to do much at all. Make the Most of Your Time By retirement age, most Americans have spent 90,000 hours working, 2,400 hours in traffic, and up to six months waiting in various lines. Does that sound like you? And have you also been so busy working and raising kids that you might’ve put off vacations and other forms of fun? Did you pick up some bad habits over the decades that are slowing you down now? You might be looking at making some changes to enjoy activities that require you to be in better shape. Things like traveling, playing with the grandkids, enjoying hobbies and sports, and managing stress and blood pressure. Fitness helps with all of that – and lots more. It improves the quality of your life, and it lets you remain independent to live the way you want to live. It’s All About Functioning Simply put, you need your body to function well – hence the phrase “functional fitness.” It means working out to enjoy your life. It means you have strength, flexibility and endurance to enjoy your life. It means not carrying around too much extra weight. It means your sense of balance is good enough to keep you from falling, and your muscles are able to move you around safely. Functional fitness doesn’t mean you have to live at the gym and become a body builder or aerobics fanatic. It just means you respect your body enough to take care of it, so you can function the way you want to. That’s definitely the case for many of our active agers here. As for the friends we mentioned earlier, Ari lost the weight, retired, and moved closer to his grandchildren. Sheba continues to coach women and accompany her son to events. “The main thing is movement,” Sheba says. “It’s so important to just do some kind of movement.” And Vince made it all the way to the top of Africa’s tallest mountain. “That really pushed my limits,” says Vince, who worked for 35 years in the oil fields of Alaska. “I’ve always been really active and competitive, but after I turned 55 or so, things got harder. But you know, I’m not going to let that stop me from living, man! I’m too young for that.”

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