Thursday, August 16, 2012

You’re Only As Old As You Let Yourself Be!

I recently went on a family vacation and spent time with two elderly women; both are in their mid-80’s – Anne turned 85 in April and Betty turned 86 in February.   While they’re very similar in age and both have had their share of health concerns, there were some physical differences between the two. 

Betty traveled from Canada to come to the beach with us.  While she isn’t going to exercise classes, she does keep up well with her two active, 20-something granddaughters.    She is extremely health conscious with her diet and enjoys her daily walks.  

I had not met her prior to this trip, but found that we shared some similarities – we both spoke the same language about food selections and where we preferred to grocery shop.   Her personality is sweet, quiet, and calm and she won my heart with her giggles!  In the three weeks that I was with her, she never showed any signs of being tired.   Betty told me that she did have some health concerns for which she is currently being treated, but it only showed a little in her unsteadiness early in the mornings.   She handled the hikes to the beach and daily step climbing like a champ!  And, not to mention, she never turned down a shopping trip with her granddaughters.

Then, there was Anne.  Anne had triple bypass surgery when she was in her 60’s.  Until that time, she never really bothered much to exercise or eat a healthy diet.   She had no symptoms of heart problems, but did have a family history.   In fact, her younger sister who was fairly active and had nearly zero body fat died unexpectedly from a massive heart attack over 25 years ago.   That tragedy is what led her to visit a cardiologist; little did she know that it would save her life. 

After surgery recovery, she started participating in a 3-day weekly exercise program.  Now, at 85, she is amazing everyone!   At her last doctor visit, her doctor told her she is in better shape than his 70 year old patients.   She attributes this to her commitment to her exercise program – helping her to remain active and keep her mind sharp (did I mention that she got her college degree after all four of her children were raised and through with their education?). 

Last week, while at the beach in the Outer Banks, Anne decided to go in the water.  Not just for a casual dip, but to bodysurf!  Yes, at age 85, Anne went bodysurfing – not once, but twice!   We helped her keep her balance as the surf was a little rough, but she was determined to do it and managed to impress all of us on the beach!  

As Anne puts it, “You’re never too old to start taking care of your body.”   Ahhh, now that is a woman who speaks my language and one who inspires me! 

Anne’s secret is it is never too late to enjoy your life by living each moment to the fullest.   Betty is doing her part by eating healthy and staying active to the best of her ability.   Both are amazingly strong women and are inspirations to all ages!

-Posted by Spa Director & Certified Personal Trainer Pam Adams