I’ve been thinking about a comment made by Laura M. Quainoo, who asked “how old is too old?” She mentions how the seniors she knows have become more isolated and less active due to Covid, and of the resulting effect on their quality of life. We had a nice conversation in the comments. [The comments section of Medium.com is where you meet some really caring, thoughtful people!]
In my years as a fitness instructor, working with the senior population (in most places in the US, that’s 55 and older), I have seen spry 95-year-olds and sedentary 55-year-olds. I have always been curious about how aging changes our physical health, and if some of those changes are somewhat preventable.
I do not judge. Honestly! I have dealt with my own mental illness throughout my life, and I know how depression and anxiety can sap the energy from the body. Someone who appears to be fit and young for their age, may actually feel like they are 100 due to a lifetime of stress. That is one of the reasons that my main goal as a fitness instructor is to lead a class that is full of fun and laughter.
I understand that there are many things that are out of our control affecting how we age — racism, mental health, disease, addiction, injuries, poverty. So, again, I do not judge. But, I am curious as to why some of us lead active lives until we die, while others may have long lifespans, but many of those years are spent with constant aches and pains.
Adhering to my non-judgment perspective, I am not going to make guesses about other people. I am not lecturing others on the choices they make.There are lots of studies about aging. This is not one of them. My perspective is from my own life, and the lives of my family members, and my musings come from a place of curiosity about the aging process.
My Mom will be 93 this year. She has an achy knee due to arthritis, but otherwise is in great health. She tooks meds for high cholesterol for years, but is now off them, as she eats a plant-based diet since moving in with my…