With longer days and better weather, we have been talking about our various fitness pursuits around the meQuilibrium team. From hiking and running to tennis and swimming we all have something we LIKE to do. And that, according to our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Adam Perlman, is a big part of enjoying Fitness for Life.
I asked Dr. Perlman what was most important when it comes to fitness and he shared that it doesn’t matter what you do for exercise, as long as you do it regularly. Regularly means on most days, but at a minimum three days per week. On those days that you don’t do formal exercise, make sure you find time to be active. That might be walking the dog or simply walking around your office or home while on a call. The goal is to develop a “lifestyle” where regular exercise is a part of the way you live your life.
And this got me thinking about my parents… They are both turning 70 this year (which my mother continues to remind me is “the new 50”) and they have always had a commitment to Fitness for Life. That means two things to them -– a lifelong desire to include movement in their routines and using the health benefits of that movement to live a better life.
I have always known them to be doing some type of activity – for my mom it was group aerobics in the late 70s and 80s (and boy did I beg for my own pair of leg warmers!), walking in the 90s and swimming and strength training in the past decade. My dad has skied since there were wooden skis and enjoyed cycling, sailing and walking as he has gotten older. They both know that regular “exercise” is important – but that exercise can come in many forms and it needs to be something you enjoy doing or else you will quickly find reasons NOT to do it!
They also have told me how keeping their bodies fit has allowed them to do the things they love in retirement. This type of “fitness” is about being functional and having the strength to do what you want in your daily life. They both garden regularly, go up and down many stairs for their roles as volunteer ushers at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and sort and move boxes of books for a local charity that supports school libraries in Africa. My mom recently also told me that she has increased her upper-body strength training routine in anticipation of holding and carrying her expected new grandchild.
It is having this lifelong commitment to fitness that as made their golden years full of fun rather than a long list of aches and pains. And, besides the physical benefits, there are numerous studies that link exercise to prolonged memory and enhanced brain functioning –- which is why they can still remember the name of my high school boyfriend and complete the Sunday crossword puzzle.
Fitness is about consistency in movement and keeping your body (and brain) healthy so you can function throughout your life — like carrying your groceries or climbing the stairs at home. Here are a few tips from Dr. Perlman for getting started with Fitness for Life:
Incorporating exercise into your routine:
- Get a headset for your home or work phone and walk around during calls.
- Need to meet with a colleague or neighbor? Have a walking appointment outside.
- Schedule exercise into your daily routine like you do other activities and meetings. Don’t just fit it in when you can. Soon it will become as much a part of your routine as eating lunch!
As with any physical activity, there are specific guidelines for various medical conditions and it is always best to have a discussion with your physician when you are starting any type of exercise.
So here is to Fitness for Life! I am headed out to take my dog for a nice long walk….
Elizabeth, meQuilibrium Marketing Team
A lifelong commitment to fitness can make your golden years full of fun rather than a long list of aches and pains.