Learning about healthy aging

Many of you know that I am passionate about keeping current with my training in health and fitness. Last Monday I attended a course that focused on working with older people to improve their strength and mobility. We learned that while we age, our bodies become more limited than they were before, but we can work within these limits to retain a greater degree of vitality, health, and happiness than we thought possible before. If you are of an age where you can feel your body’s new limits, you should take some comfort in the knowledge that fitness and healthcare professionals know more than ever about how to retain as much vitality as possible for as long as possible.
I attended this workshop with 30 to 40 other health and fitness pros, and we learned a lot about the normal process of aging, but we also took some deep dives into conditions and diseases common to older adults, like Parkinson’s, Osteoporosis, and COPD. One thing all of these disorders have in common? Exercise is one of the best treatments. We adapt what exercise looks like based on the abilities and conditions of the individual–using resistance bands instead of weights, taking precautions to prevent falls, etc.
Everyone knows that the life of the mind is important to happiness and meaning in life, but many people forget–until they face physical limitations–that the life of the body is just as important. That’s why it’s critical to move our bodies and keep them strong and healthy–it expands our limits and keeps us living our “life of the body” as long as we can.

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