What if geriatric exercise included skydiving?
What if an internet search for geriatric exercise turned up everything from skydiving, and adventure courses to chair aerobics rather than making an assumption of diminshed capabilities based on age. What if we didn’t believe that aging equaled decline? I ask that question frequently and often get blank stares. This belief is so ingrained in our culture that most people don’t know how to respond, yet there is evidence all around us that we can live with vitality through the full lifespan. I have photos of 100+ year olds water skiing, hiking in the mountains, lifting weights and sky diving yet the very phrase geriatric exercise imposes powerful negative images of frail individuals struggling to perform the most basic exercises. Age is not the deciding factor, function is. Consider young adults recovering from injury who struggle to regain their strength and mobility for the basic activities of daily living.
I also have examples of 90+ year olds working in professions requiring high levels of intellectual performance, doing challenging volunteer work, providing important emotional and spiritual direction to others, yet the word geriatric continues to imply a diminshed presence in the world. Do you have examples of people you know living vital full lives in their 80’s, 90’s, and 100’s? Share your stories with us by posting a comment below.
On a personal note, are you experiencing a lack of energy, diminished strength, diminished focus etc? Do you attribute any of these things to advancing age? I want to hear from you. What about the opposite? Are you feeling stronger, more energetic, more focused as the years pass? I’d like to hear from you!