I have clients of all ages (25-75) and I learn something from all of them. There are so many wise statements made during a workout. Sometimes during the middle of a move a nugget of wisdom will be blurted out. I think that the stress of a workout sometimes brings clarity to situations. Another aspect of this is that the mature clients that I have in class that stay the most vibrant and appear the happiest seem to have a certain “recipe” so to speak for maturing. I would like to share with you what I have learned from them this year on how to navigate through life and stay ageless and happy.
- Mix it up! – Yes, I know – state the obvious. But the people that I see staying the healthiest are the ones that put variety in their exercise routines. Someone who walks, hikes, swims, does tai chi, Pilates, yoga, dances, are the healthiest and have the least joint stress and pain issues. They are also best able to manage their weight.
- Have Pain, Deal with it! – Yep, most of the clients I deal with over 50 (and some even before) have some sort of pain issue. They don’t let it stop them from having fun, working out or moving forward. Dwelling on the pain or lying on the couch is not in their frame of reference. They modify their routines to suite themselves- they don’t change their life due to pain. I love that. This is exactly what we do in therapy- if it doesn’t work with your pain issue, there is always a way to get around it and still do what you enjoy.
- Not Obsessing over Food– The clients that have it figured out are the ones that know that moderation is important in everything especially eating. They have learned to tweak their diets to suit their maturing bodies and don’t count calories or follow extreme diets.
- Know “Pop Culture” and Technology – I know this sounds funny. But the clients that I have that are fun, savvy, can fit into any conversation with people of any age- are the ones who know pop culture. They know the current music, the top celebs, trending styles, what “twerking” is, what the coolest apps are etc. They know how to use technology. They keep their brains fresh by being challenged by a new IPad or I Phone. They aren’t afraid of Facebook. They stay connected to what’s going on around them, keeping them in touch with all age ranges.
- Letting things go— Some of the best advice I have gotten is from my clients who have been through more of life situations than I have. They have been through deaths, divorces, losses and disappointments and have gotten through to the other side happy. One of my clients gave me this quote, and I do not know who said it, but it is a very true statement.
“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame them, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.”
6. No Fear— I love when I see someone 70 + who joins my class who has never done Pilates before. Or I hear of someone going to try Salsa dancing or scuba diving. Someone who will join a travel group or go to a party where they don’t know anyone. This really says that you know who you are and are confidant. To me this says you no longer care about the opinion of others and that you are strong in yourself. It supports the saying from Dr Wayne Dyer- “What other people think of me is none of my business”. I love it. No fear!
7. Lastly- Give of Yourself – The people that take the focus off of themselves to care for, think of, and give to others are the most happy. Whether it’s volunteering to read poetry to hospital patients, organizing museum exhibits, walking in charity events, packing food, working in philanthropic groups, supporting other women, or whatever it is, these women are joyous, happy and driven. They have a purpose. So if ever you are feeling that things are not going well for you, feeling lonely, feeling forgotten- how about giving of yourself to others. You are always rewarded this way.
So thank you to all of you, for your words of wisdom, your peek into happiness and your constant reminder on how to live a happy life. I learn so much from all of you. Love when the students teach the teacher. We can all take a page from your book and give some of these things a try in the New Year. I wish you ALL the happiest and healthiest 2014!