Movement at Any Age
Of course we all know the importance of getting active – but do you REALLY know why it is so crucial to your health? Daily exercise is one of the simplest things you can do to improve the overall quality of your life. It will improve your health, self-confidence, and mood! It can even help you turn back the clock, aging more beautifully.
For young children, moving every day is of the utmost importance. Movement helps brain development and aids in the development of motor skills. It’s so important to make sure the young children in your life get off their iPad’s and get moving! In my family, whenever we get together, we grab our sneakers and go for a long walk together. Everyone participates, whether it’s the dead of winter or a beautiful summer day.
As adults, exercise has many benefits, including: lowering body fat percentage and blood pressure, promoting good sleep, reducing constipation, and strengthening the heart and lungs.
As we age, injuries become increasingly common and recovery happens at a slower rate. Researchers are still not entirely sure of the reason for this, except that our cells respond differently with age. Lucky for us, there are steps we can take to strengthen our bodies as our years acumulate.
Our muscle mass steadily declines roughly 5% per decade after the age of 30. With a decline in muscle mass comes an increased risk of injury and reduced mobility. This is where strength training comes in! If you continue to lift weights as you age, you will be able to maintain your muscle mass, while strengthening those critical muscles that provide balance, flexibility and posture.
I often talk of my mother, my inspiration in health and fitness, who is 83 years old. Each day she walks 5 kilometres, climbs the stairs (on purpose), in her apartment building, and has never used a cane. I know that her love of movement is crucial to her incredibly graceful aging. She even goes out when winter roads are more tricky, because, in her words, “I may not like it but I love how I feel when I move.”
In the town where Tina, my mom, lives, people know her for her long walks. She will be seen at the market gathering fresh fruits and vegetables for her clean meals. Or she can be seen walking to the bank to pay her bills, and let me tell you, that is a long walk!
Exercise does not have to be a punishment; it does not have to be a chore. While my mother is walking, I put my headphones on, play my favourite songs and let loose on my rebounder. It is an amazing workout for the whole body, and so much FUN! Once you find an exercise you love, you won’t be able to pull yourself away. Whether it’s tennis, showshoeing, running, or resistance training, you will reap the benefits of movement as a critical self-care habit to improved wellness.
For those suffering from anxiety and depression, exercise can improve the mood after just a single session of exercise. Exercise releases endorphins (feel-good chemicals) in the brain, which help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Daily exercise is one of the best ways to cope with all of the hardships life throws at you! All you need is 15-30 minutes of moderate exercise each day to ward off those negative feelings. Science shows that doing so, is far more effective than a dose of Prozac.
This is an experience I can relate to. Many of you know that the last few years have been challenging for my family and I. Braden, my stepson, passed away suddenly in 2011 and a year later, Robert, the true love of my life, passed away. Many more losses ensued after that, and I found myself reeling from the shock. I embraced movement even more during this time.
Setting myself a goal of competing in a physique show after Bob died, helped me focus on my own self care. The time spent in the gym eased the grief and I felt close to Bob while training because the gym is where we spent a great deal of time together. I remembered and put into action, the many lessons I learned from Bob there. The days felt better as a result, and so did I.
In the same way that I found support from Robert during my years with him and after, particularly in the gym, I want you to feel that love. When you join one of my Membership programs, you will be part of a community of like minded people seeking a greater degree of wellness. They use the tools provided including menu plans, exercise plans and accountability. I look forward to working with you. I know for sure it will help to keep you on track.
With great love and wishes for wellness,