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  • Writer's pictureCRAIG BRYAN

Make the Right Investment in Your Health


At 62, Jeff Lasater is dedicated to staying in shape.


He lifts weights three times a week and runs three times a week.


“I don’t want to live to be 80 if I’m not healthy,” says Jeff, who was introduced to fitness by his daughter and son-in-law. “They were worried about me having all that idle time at night. And I feel good. I enjoy it.”


Jeff knows that every workout is an investment in his health – the best investment we can make.


Polls show that we value our health more than anything. People over 50 say they want to maintain their independence and enjoy the life they want to live for as long as possible.


But we all know about the obesity epidemic, with too many people not exercising nearly enough.


Studies prove beyond a doubt that exercise slows the aging process. It makes us stronger and more flexible, and it gives us better endurance. It’s good for heart health, brain function, depression and social interaction.


So, while aging is inevitable, becoming frail and immobile is not.


A Broader View

The phrase “functional fitness” provides a great way of approaching exercise and diet for active adults.


“Functional fitness is the term we use to describe fitness as it relates to our body’s ability to function, performing the tasks we ask of it,” says the Functional Aging Institute, which advocates for healthy living for people over 50. “And it’s so much more than what we traditionally think of when it comes to fitness.”


Functional fitness includes balance, mobility and emotional health, along with strength and endurance. And the goal isn’t to lose a certain number of pounds or to fit into a dress.


It’s to help enjoy all the things you like for as long as possible.


The institute offers a handy self-assessment. Rate yourself on these everyday tasks:


• Climb stairs without using a handrail

• Go on a brisk 20-minute walk while talking with a friend

• Pick up and carry a toddler for five minutes

• Play a sport like you did five years ago

• Get a good night’s sleep regularly


That’s a Sound Investment


This approach makes sense for people who want to invest in their health, whether they’ve been active their whole lives or not. Functional fitness is about living better, by your definition.


It requires guidance and diversity of movement and, to a degree, thought. If you keep doing the same few motions over and over, you’re not making a diversified investment in your health.


Come in and talk to us about your goals for fitness. Maybe they’re about hobbies, health, family, travel or appearance.


Regardless, your health really is your most important investment. It’s never too late to start or to refocus your efforts.


Jeff Lasater says he’s aiming to prolong his quality of life as long as possible. “I’ve watched people who aged gracefully,” he says. “And they all did some kind of exercise regularly.”

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