Given that the Powerful Word of the Month is “health,” I’ve been getting some emails from parents asking me how they can be a good example to their children who are taking classes at one of our fabulous POWerful Words family schools. Some parents took the plunge and started taking classes along side their children! To that, I say, congratulations!
My way of looking at adult exercise and adult physical potential has been completely turned around over the last 2 years. That’s because of Grace. She’s amazing. You will probably hear me talking about her a lot. She can drop into a full split and rest her head right down on the floor. Over the last 2 years she has helped me to become a lot more flexible. Oh—and did I mention, she’s 86 years old?
I was recently asked to write an article for a magazine on body image and activity as adults age (gracefully, right?). Many people, as they get older, become more inactive. While that’s normal, it doesn’t need to be the end of all physical activity. Grace certainly teaches us that.
Since it’s January and the Powerful Word of the Month is Health, you may have wondered if you could join one of those great classes your kids have been enjoying for so long. But perhaps you’ve talked yourself out of it and said, “I couldn’t do that.”
Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or great grandparent, you can find the right class for you that gets you moving towards health. You might be wondering where to start, how you’ll keep up, and how you’re going to convince yourself to give those classes a try…
Just remember that:
(1) Movements can be modified: While you may not be able to do everything a young person can do right away (especially if you haven’t been active in a while or you have injuries that prevent you from going “full-out”), you can do modified postures, stretches, and skills in each one of our disciplines. Your instructor can help you understand how to modify skills so that they work best for you. Be sure to let your instructor know of any injuries, limitations, or challenges you are having so that they can help you to succeed.
(2) Expectations are set according to an individual’s personal best: You don’t need to look like an Olympian! Your instructor wants you to reach your own personal best at this time in your life. That means; (1) You shouldn’t compare yourselves to anyone else and (2) You shouldn’t compare yourself to what you were once able to do.
(3) It’s about being healthy: As we get older, some of our muscles get tighter as our lifestyle and work support a more sedentary lifestyle. Focus on the ability to move your body and feel good! Physical exercise can help adults of all ages increase balance, flexibility, strength and endurance. Staying physically active and exercising regularly can also help adults to prevent or delay some diseases and disabilities as people grow older and even help improve health for older people who already have diseases and disabilities!
(4) Nobody’s looking at you: You may have already come to the conclusion in life that people are mostly focused on themselves. They don’t care much about what you’re doing or what you look like. But as you get older, it can feel embarrassing when you’re not able to keep up with the Britney Spears crowd. You might feel that people will talk about you if you can’t “do it all” and that you will be in danger of “making a fool out of yourself.” I’m here to tell you, they aren’t looking at you. They’re too busy wondering how they can make themselves the best that they can be to worry about anyone else!
The most important thing is to begin somewhere. After a few months, you’ll likely feel younger and healthier than they have in years!
You can do it!