Age is NO Excuse! October 26, 2014
This Gymnast is now in the Guiness Book of Records!
Stay Active – Age Well October 9, 2014
Stay Active – Age Well
Older people are challenging the stereotypical image of pensioners, says Dr Cassandra Phoenix.
1 in 6 Over 60
We live in a society that is undergoing a dramatic demographic change. As 11 million post-war baby boomers march towards retirement, more than one in six people in the UK are aged over 65. In less than 30 years it will be one in four.
Combined with changes in social convention, such as smaller families and couples having children later in life, we’re experiencing a significant shift in the makeup of our communities.
Inactive Lifestyles Detrimental
Like much of the population, older adults often live inactive lifestyles and this can have a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing. Add to this a swathe of negative stereotypes about what can and can’t be done in older age – and the use of words like ‘burden’ and ‘care crisis’ – and older people could be forgiven for thinking they’ve already been condemned to the scrap heap.
As we increasingly see growing older as something to fear rather than embrace, we’re confronted with a period in our lives that’s stigmatised as a time to shut down. Commonly perceived as relics of a bygone age, older people are often viewed as being immobilised by frailty – out of touch and all too often, out of sight.
Yet the stories and experiences of many older people do not conform to these antiquated and outmoded stereotypes. They view retirement as an opportunity to explore new hobbies, activities and relationships, and could offer the key to helping us all age in a positive and active way.
Over the last two years our research team, based at the University of Exeter Medical School, has followed a group of active older adults as part of the Moving Stories project. We’ve talked to them about their pastimes, sports and hobbies, taken photos of them in action, and asked others what they think about their lifestyles and stories.
We’re hoping that by listening to their accounts of ‘moving’, we can understand how and why they’ve been able to deal with the challenges of growing older and being active that everyone faces. We also want to know what role all types of physical activity, rather than just exercise, can play in ageing well.
An incredibly broad range of people from across Cornwall signed up to take part and share their stories with us – from sea swimmers, dancers and golfers, to cyclists, walkers, bowls and badminton players. Our participants ranged in age from a positively youthful 60 to a spritely 92 and continuously conveyed their enthusiasm and desire to remain fit and active.
We’re still analysing the huge amounts of data we’ve captured, but one theme has already emerged across the majority of people we spoke to and that’s the experience of pleasure.
The importance of pleasure is under-researched in health-related areas, particularly in relation to physical activity in older age. Pleasure can take many forms but in this context we’re talking about feelings that make a person feel good, including happiness, joy, fun, and tranquillity.
Many of our participants described so-called ‘sensual’ pleasures – such as the feeling of the wind in their hair when walking outdoors, and the gliding and floating sensations of swimming through the ocean or a pool. These types of experiences show signs of the human senses connecting people with their environment and providing feelings that help contribute to happiness and wellbeing.
We found that people also drew pleasure from documenting their experiences. Whether it was through keeping a diary or writing articles for community magazines, our participants felt a sense of pleasure long after the activity had taken place. So it looks as though it’s not just the activity that can give pleasure, but what happens before and after. We think this might be an important mechanism for expanding the appeal of taking part in some form of activity.
Get Into An Active Routine
Perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, the active older people in our study also described the pleasure they derived from simply having a routine.
The habitual nature of some of their activities gave them a structure that, in the absence of work, was very welcome.
The experience of pleasure seems like an important factor in how and why people stay active. It’s gives us an important insight into how we measure the impact of physical activity, showing being active is about much more than meeting recommended guidelines and preventing illness.
Through the help of our participants, we’re starting to uncover the other ways in which physical activity might enable us to ‘move’ through life ( later life in particular) in a positive, pleasurable way. We’re hoping our findings will influence the way that people are empowered to stay active. We’re working with AgeUK and Cornwall Sports Partnership to help this happen.
We’ve teamed up with TheatreScience to bring this project to life on stage. The play Moving Stories – Moving On has been inspired by interviews with our participants.
The opening performance is free and takes place in Truro on October 2. More information visit http://www.ecehh.org/events/moving-stories-theatre.
Dr Cassandra Phoenix is a researcher at the University of Exeter Medical School.
Read more: http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Stay-active-grow-older-s-recipe-ageing/story-23025927-detail/story.html#ixzz3Fd7VVVBo
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Read more at http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Stay-active-grow-older-s-recipe-ageing/story-23025927-detail/story.html#F9di2dvIcWrpL7Xs.99
Daily Walk Like Magic Pill September 17, 2014
By Telegraph Reporter
12:18AM BST 11 Sep 2014
Walking half an hour a day can prevent obesity and diabetes, lower the risk of some cancers, and relieve depression and anxiety, scientist says
Walking for half an hour a day is equivalent to taking a “magic pill” that combats ageing and prevents early death, a doctor has claimed.
Dr James Brown, from the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University, told the British Science Festival in Birmingham it could help prevent obesity and diabetes, lower the risk of some cancers, relieve depression and anxiety, increase mobility and reduce the chance of hip fractures by 40 per cent among older adults.
It also improved the ability to think and reason, slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, cut arthritic pain by half, raised energy levels, reduced fatigue and led to a 23 per cent lower risk of dying.
Dr Brown said: “All of these changes are not seen in people who run marathons; they are not seen in people who lift weights in the gym, or spend four hours running on the treadmill. These are seen in people who walk and who walk for half an hour a day.
“You can get all of these health benefits, you can get a reduction in all of these diseases that are associated with ageing, by just keeping active, by walking for half an hour a day.”
Dr Carol Holland, from Aston University’s Centre for Healthy Ageing, backed his statement, saying: “Thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day can reduce your risk of age-related diseases. It can also reduce your risk of cognitive decline.”
Canal Trip with The Willow Trust May 14, 2014
We left Saul Junction in Gloucester just after 10:30 and arrived back after a stop for a picnic exactly on cue at 3pm.
A lovely day out , good friends, fabulous weather, green countryside and some very dodgy singing!
The Willow Trust run canal cruises with a Cream Tea for £12 per head on Saturdays once a month… See the pics below for more details.
Great Day organised by Marilyn.
Marilyn and Co on deck, reporting for duty.
Some members steaming the boat – or are they really discussing Gloucester Rugby? AGAIN!
Well, once Norman and Pat get together it’ll be Rugby every time!
Our lovely Captain, John.
Amazing Super Seniors #20 February 12, 2014
Super seniors #20
Hershel McGriff: The NASCAR Veteran
Life is a (very fast) highway for Hershel McGriff. He started racing cars in 1945; in 1989, at age 61, he became the oldest driver to win a NASCAR race.
But he hasn’t turned off the ignition yet: At 81, he recently competed in a national NASCAR race at Portland International Raceway, finishing 13th. NASCAR racing may be dangerous, but that doesn’t faze this Motorsports Hall of Famer.
Perhaps it’s this need for speed that keeps McGriff young at heart. “As long as I’m fast, I’m [having fun],” he said on his Web site.
Amazing Super Seniors #19 February 10, 2014
Super seniors # 19
Jeannie Epper: The Senior Superhero
Many consider her “the greatest stuntwoman who’s ever lived,” according to Entertainment Weekly. Epper may be a great-grandmother, but that doesn’t stop her from jumping through glass windows and escaping from burning buildings at the ripe age of 70. In the 1970s, she served as Lynda Carter’s stunt double in the TV series Wonder Woman. Today she still performs stunts in such movies as The Back-Up Plan, The Fast and the Furious, and Kill Bill.
In fact, she’s cheated death in more than 100 Hollywood films, and she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Taurus World Stunt Awards in 2009. Does Epper ever worry about her safety? Confidence may be the key to her success: ”As far as I’m concerned, whenever I do a stunt, it’s 150 percent going to work out,” she told EW.
Amazing Super Senior #17 February 7, 2014
Frances Woofenden: The Super Skiing Senior
Amazing Super Seniors – 16 February 4, 2014
Ernestine Shepherd: Oldest Female Bodybuilder
Ernestine is the world’s oldest bodybuilder and not missing a step at 74-years-old. Her daily routine entails waking up at 3 am to run and lift weights. Ernestine is inspired by Sylvester Stallone as she is a die-hard Rocky fan. Ernestine runs over 80 miles a week and can bench press 150 pounds! How many miles are you running a week? I bet (hope) this makes you want to run more, whatever your answer may be.
Well, maybe not run! But definitely walk more, play more and live more!!
Book Review – in Praise of Ageing November 21, 2013
Found this article – the books looks good.
“We need to be respected as individuals, have the ability to reinvent ourselves, our work and purpose, and have access to good medical advice.” … Author Patricia Edgar, 76.
IN PRAISE OF AGEING.
Patricia Edgar. Text. 272pp. $40.
A friend of mine retired at 62 and bought a piano on which he intended to learn to play properly. This didn’t happen. Year after year, he looked at the lovely instrument, full of regret but sure it was pointless to start learning. His three siblings and parents had all died early of heart disease, so death was surely keeping a close eye on him as well. When he was 89, he gave the piano away. He died at 93.
Chuck Berry, (guitar, not piano), should be referenced here: ”C’est la vie said the old folks/ It goes to show you never can tell.” Patricia Edgar, in In Praise of Ageing, disagrees with Chuck Berry’s old folk. She believes you CAN tell.
In Praise of Ageing … The truth is that people over 90 are the “fastest growing population group in the country”. Photo: supplied
You can pretty much tell your older age by the way you live your younger years. Or, as Edgar prefers to say, the first half of life. She does not enjoy the term old age, with its implications of burden and helplessness. She has a point; in a youth-worshipping society, getting old is grotesque. Yet the truth is that people over 90 are the ”fastest growing population group in the country”.
Edgar, 76, has turned her vexation at being reshelved as ”old” into an argument about the uses and pleasures of getting old. Her own vigorously lived life has been superbly useful as a sociologist and educator, mother and grandmother. She has joined the lengthening list of people writing a reconsideration of life from the vantage point of the famous long view. Daniel Klein’s excellent, low-key Travels With Epicurus is perhaps the best known. Unlike Edgar, Klein favours acceptance and philosophy, rather than argument. It is puzzling that Edgar doesn’t mention Klein, because she describes academic William Miller’s Losing It as ”blackly funny and erudite”. Is this the same book I found an unreadable mess?
In Praise of Ageing has a short introductory essay, followed by eight brief biographies of those who have reached their late 80s and 90s or more and are able to continue leading admirable lives. Edgar’s essay is full of useful information and will be especially pertinent to those who haven’t read much on the subject and want a neat overview. (Around 60, old age becomes the topic du jour.)
In Praise of Ageing has eight biographies of those who have reached their late ’80s and ’90s or more who lead admirable lives.
Edgar is especially incensed about the economic theories that predict old people will destroy the economy and she makes a case against this presumption. She challenges many other accepted theories as well, some of them surprising and long-held.
The only thing I remember from Year 10 science was the teacher saying ”death is hereditary”. He was wrong: genes account for only 20 to 30 per cent of our possibility of reaching 100; the rest has to do with those identifiable (gorgeous) traits of optimism, resilience, busyness, cheerfulness and (sigh) not smoking, not drinking to excess and keeping a sensible weight throughout the lengthy entertainment. But we know this because we have looked at Christopher Hitchens, drinker dead at 62; Orson Welles, eater dead at 70; and Peter Cook, denier of cheerful, dead at 63, etc. (Musicians age in a parallel universe. Chuck Berry is still here, but he had to be carried off the stage at the last concert.)
The disturbing fact is centenarians all tend to be lovely people, while unlovely neurotics die young(ish). Only the good die young? Pshaw!
These potted biographies illustrate everything that research is discovering about ageing well. They have all led lives actively contributing, rather than passively accepting. Optimism, and – charmless term – positiveness kept them going.
One other thing is remarkable; money never seems to have been a real problem to any of them. This week yet another global study identifies money as the major factor in staying healthy and staying alive.
This book needs more diversity than a study of the author’s friends and relations. Her suggestions to live the later years well are queerly blinkered.
”We need to be respected as individuals, have the ability to reinvent ourselves, our work and purpose, and have access to good medical advice.” Sure. Who’d disagree? Discuss and analyse with your Big Issue seller.