I bet you wouldn’t believe me if I told you there was a 105 year old woman who teaches Yoga.
Here’s the proof:
I’ll be honest, I was pretty shocked too!
When I read about this incredible woman, I knew I had to share it with you, because there’s one thing I want you to take from this article…
You’re NEVER ‘too old’ to exercise. Ever.
Normally when we think of a Yoga instructor, we assume it’s someone who is young, flexible and trendy.
But Lil Hansen, our 105 year old Yoga instructor, is far from that stereotype.
She may be 105, but she still manages to make the Warrior pose look easy (which I don’t think it is!) and even teaches a weekly Yoga class at her local senior centre.
What makes this even more interesting, is that Lil credits her regular Yoga practice as one of the reasons she’s lived so long.
Now that’s inspirational.
This story also got me thinking about one of our patients, Gillian.
She may not be 105, but at 94 she’s not too far off!
Here’s her story…
About 4 years ago, Gillian was stood at the door of her daughter’s bedroom and said her left arm was hurting between her shoulder and elbow.
Worried that Gillian was having heart problems, her daughter called the doctor who did some cardiac testing.
Now, one of these tests required her to walk on a treadmill.
The nurses were worried that she would lose her balance and hurt herself – but she kept up with no troubles at all…
She even had enough breath to tell the doctors and nurses that she saw a personal trainer once a week, and to this day she still does!
Gillian has always valued exercise – and I’m convinced her dedicated, longtime fitness habit has slowed her decline and kept her in great health.
That pain in her arm turned out to be nothing to worry about in the end.
So, where am I going with these two stories from inspirational women?
It’s that exercise is the best medicine that not many of us want to do.
Even doing small amounts of exercise can bring big rewards…
Studies have been done that show even a low level of exercise can bring health benefits – just 15 minutes of walking a day can add three to five years extra to your life!
Even if the thought of exercise makes you cringe – it doesn’t take much exercise to benefit from it.
It helps keep ageing bodies healthy by increasing blood flow to the brain – carrying extra oxygen and other nutrients that can help keep you on the ball and feeling great!
It can also keep blood pressure and blood sugar levels steady, lowering the risk of any vascular problems creeping up on you.
Exercise can also lower the risk of dementia – it keeps the part of the brain where we make and store memories a healthy size and functioning the way it should.
As we get older and our bodies age it’s inevitable that we’ll have our limits, but if you’re thinking you’d like to start exercising now – it’s always best to start slowly.
It’s always better to start slowly and move from zero to something, even if it’s a gentle 10 minute walk.
Don’t let the fact that exercise is typically tied with going to the gym stop you, it doesn’t have to involve you stepping foot in a gym at all.
Now, back to Gillian.
Exercise hasn’t always meant the gym – even though she sees a personal trainer once a week, she also keeps fit by doing daily tasks around the house.
Cutting the lawn and gardening are some of her favourite things to do!
Don’t let the word ‘exercise’ put you off…
It can be anything; a gentle walk, gardening, walking the dog, playing with the grandkids, taking a Yoga class…
Exercise doesn’t always have to be tough.
The key is to find something you ENJOY!
At the end of the day – not everyone enjoys getting heavily out of breath and looking like a tomato after a workout.
What’s stopping you?