Nowadays, many women simply don't expect to get old, as they did in the past.
I have friends ranging from their early twenties through to being in their eighties. The truth is, I find everyone interesting, from the exuberance and hope for the future, that is in a younger person, to the wisdom and the fascinating stories of the much older. Plus everyone in between!
As a yoga teacher, I have met many youthful people. My first yoga teacher was seventy-eight. No-one could match his energy and ability. I was in my early twenties, and moved like an old crock, compared to him! (I made sure that changed.....) I began to notice, about ten years ago, that many people aged forty and over, were going to the gym regularly, as well as coming to a yoga class. One woman went before work. Every day. She looked amazing. She said that she didn't want to get old too quickly, and she wanted to be healthy.
And then I started teaching in more gyms, where I met women in their sixties, seventies and eighties (I kid you not) who went to the gym regularly, and, of course, two to three yoga classes a week were included in that. Some just came to yoga and did regular walking. One, in her seventies, is retired and wondered what to do with her spare time. The nearby gym was the answer. One day I saw her at the local mall, where she had been window shopping. She laughed and said that with all the walking she had done there that day, that it had been her daily workout. And then she said: "We have to do something (regarding fitness) everyday." No-one would have believed this woman's age. She is so youthful.
So, is the gym the answer to not looking old, on another level? I don't think that it is the gym, as such. I know a yoga teacher in her eighties who walks like a very youthful person, and talks like one. Yep. She looks amazing too. She only does fifteen minutes of yoga daily, so it's not doing lots of formal exercise that is the answer. This woman also lives on a hill and works outside a lot tending her bees. Plus would you believe that she still works part-time?
It's keeping active and mobile and functional fitness that are the keys. Activity denotes movement. It can be walking, cycling, dancing, yoga, gym, swimming, gardening, martial arts. The list is endless! Mobility is being able to move your body in various ways, like twisting, going from side to side, simple movements really for mobility, but important nevertheless. Mobility implies that one is mobile and can move around easily, get out and about with ease. Functional fitness is being able to do everyday tasks and movements such as bending over to get something, reaching up to get something off a shelf, being able to lift things - so a bit of strength is involved here too.
Aside from gyms, yoga classes, any other fitness classes .... activity, mobility and functional fitness are important. They stop a person seizing up physically. Personally, I would look at these three elements before any stronger ones, as basics for being youthful.
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