Tuesday, 5 June 2012

#274: Happy 100th

Did you notice in the news last week that the latest census shows Canadian retirees and soon-to-be-retirees are the new up-and-comers?  My older friends and I may be aging, but we will have lots of company.

The next big group to look out for are the centenarians.  Thanks to improved lifestyles, this group of super-seniors is now proportionately larger than at any time in Canadian history, and is expected to keep increasing.  With any luck at all, we could be celebrating our 100th birthday, too.

With that in mind, I listened with interest when my husband reported on a radio interview that he heard while travelling back from Toronto the day that the census data was released. A geriatrician had been offering advice about exercise for achieving longevity. 

Bruce boiled the physician’s formula for life-long-fitness down to three types of exercise to be undertaken as one ages: aerobic exercise for the first 50 years, weight bearing for the next 25, and exercise for balance and flexibility from age 75 on.

Wow.  Who knew it was so easy? And consider the implications for those of us past 65.

We are well past our aerobics best-before-date.  Whoo Hoo!  Does that mean I can stop trying to run on the treadmill?  (My knees and bladder will be absolutely delighted to heed this advice.) 

As for lifting weights—which I do several times a week—is there a more boring exercise?  Even if I break up the sets into smaller units, I am forever losing concentration and wandering off to check email or put in a load of laundry.  At least I only have six-and-a-half more years to go.

But taking up qigong, tai chi and yoga sounds like a breeze!  Finally, I have something to look forward to as I contemplate my 80th decade.  And I’ve already banked a few hours of qigong postures.  It feels like I’ve started the homework before the assignment has even been given.

So get with the program, folks.  Join a tai chi class! Take up yoga!  Because my fondest hope is that we can blow out 100 candles together.

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