Exercising Your Way to 100
Updated: Jan 7, 2020
Have you ever thought about what it would take to live to 100 years old?
My grandmother will be 100 next year and she’s in great health. She walked with her great grandson (my older son) in February during Chinese New Year. In 2018, I attended a talk by a renowned expert on Aging, named Dr Walter Bortz. He is an 89 year old physician and professor at Stanford School of Medicine. During his one hour talk, he asserted that it’s your duty to live to 100. He was completely coherent and didn’t even need aids to remember his speech.
Dr Bortz’s key message was that exercise is the key to having a long and healthy life.
Did you know?
Exercise helps you fight obesity, not because it burns calories, but because it signals to your brain to start creating muscle. Once you exercise enough to need to start needing to build muscle, you convert fat into muscle. Fat doesn’t have to stay fat forever.Exercising and maintaining muscle mass and strength over time can slow the aging process! Aging doesn’t necessarily have to make us more frail.
As some of you may know, I was an elite level gymnast and NCAA Division I Gymnast at Stanford. Fast forward 18 years and I got married, had children and a family. I no longer spend time in the training room, at practice, or running for pleasure. Life got busier juggling my career, family, and just keeping the household running. My own self-care fell far down on the list.
Before we had kids, my husband and I used to work out 5 days a week. Yes, 5. Then after our first child, it was down to 1x/week. Then when we had our second, it took almost three years to figure out some way to exercise regularly. We’re still figuring it out.
Though I am educated and a former elite level athlete, I didn’t realize how little I knew about how my body systems (e.g. digestive system, nervous system, skeletal system) actually worked and how they worked together.
I became a voracious student and read everything I could about sports and exercise nutrition, physical fitness, and the mind body connection. I even became a Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT), Sports and Exercise Nutrition Coach (PN1) and a Power Yoga Instructor (RYT-200) – trained at CorePower Yoga. As a result of completing all this education and certifications, I understand at a much deeper level why exercise plays such a crucial role in our overall health and well-being.
After coming to this realization, I left Amazon because I knew I had to shift my focus to serving people directly in health and wellness. It became clear to me that my mission in life is to empower one of the most underserved groups – working parents, to exercise more to improve their health and well-being so they can not only enjoy a longer life, but a higher quality life. So they can be around for their kids, enjoy their grandchildren, and potentially become great grandparents.
This is why I decided to dedicate my career to empowering parents to improve their health and well-being while their kids are enriched. So as parents you don’t have to choose between whether you go for a workout or take your kids to an enrichment activity. So as a parent you don’t have to wake up at the crack of down to get a workout in before your children even wake up. Parents, you need your sleep!
I started SpringSpot so parents can enjoy a guilt-free workout, invest in themselves and be a role model to show their children that exercising and living an active life is important. We offer enrichment classes for kids (e.g. yoga, gymnastics, mindfulness) while at the same time and same place, the parents enjoy a group fitness class (e.g. yoga, HIIT, dance fitness).
Over the past year, I have now made exercise a priority. As readers may remember from my previous post of Discovering Well-Being, I began prioritizing exercise and the positive benefits are really starting to show. Here are some noteworthy benefits:
My mind is clearer. I can’t tell you how much more clarity I have in thought now. Exercise helps remove that brain fog and makes me more productive at work.
I’m more flexible. It’s only been since I’ve started doing yoga more regularly that I’ve noticed a big change. Yoga has literally changed my life. At first I was doing yoga 1x/week, and now I do it at least 2x/week. Yes, I was a competitive gymnast before, but since I stopped exercising for so long, it all reverted. I couldn’t even sit cross-legged because I was so tight. The concept of Reversibility in fitness basically says “Use it or lose it”. Yoga helped me regain some of my flexibility and strength.
Play time is more enjoyable with the kids. After exercising more regularly, my body just moves more fluidly, especially when I’m playing with my kids. I have two boys so they are constantly wrestling me and before I would dread even going on the floor to play with them, but now I actively play and wrestle with them and they love it.
Less cramping. For those X chromosome ladies out there, if you were like me, that time of the month was pretty awful because the week leading up to the start of the flow I would get the worst cramps. That time of the month is much more bearable and just comes and goes.
Hippocrates was right back in 400 BC when he said that exercise is man’s (and woman’s) best medicine.
I hope you will join me and exercise YOUR way to 100!