Why We Have A Legends Program

As I moved into my 50s (almost 4 years ago now!), my goals have changed, like they do for many of us as we get older. The effects of aging become all too real and begin to add up faster and faster. So of course, we start thinking about how we want to live the rest of our lives. And I, for one, want to live as independently as I can for as long as possible.

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I think a lot about my parents. My dad had heart disease and type 2 diabetes. He didn’t exercise and consumed a lot of sugar. He was younger than I am now when he had first heart attack, and that began a slow decline. He died 7 years ago at 69, and I think he should still be here. My mom now talks about how she struggles getting certain things done. Just today, she talked about a delivery that she’s worried about because she won’t be able to lift the items. She’s talked about not being able to climb up the attic stairs and has to wait for when someone is coming over to see her. Unfortunately, neither my siblings nor I live near her, so her ability to live independently is critical.

What I’ve learned about good nutrition and functional fitness is that these are wonderful solutions to help delay the effects of aging and associated illnesses. When we safely build strength and endurance around activities that are critical human functions, we are bracing our bodies and minds to live better for longer. Consider these exercises and how they help us:

  • Squatting helps us stand up and sit down easier and with less pain.

  • Lunges help us stand up when we’re down on one knee and improve our balance.

  • Ring rows and pull-ups help us pull ourselves up.

  • Burpees (yes those!) and push-ups help us get up from the ground.

  • Deadlifts help us pick up heavy objects off the floor.

  • Shoulder presses help us lift objects up to put them on a shelf.

  • Box step-ups help us climb stairs and other objects with better strength and balance.

  • And doing any of these things repeatedly and quickly helps us improve our cardiovascular endurance.

The list goes on! I don’t know about you, but I can’t name one of those items that I don’t want to be able to do for the rest of my life!

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And now, I’ve seen these things work for myself in our Legends program. Every quarter, I sit down with all members to talk about their successes and future goals. My favorite are the Legends members. I get to hear Claire talk about how she has the mobility, strength, and conditioning to work in her garden again, because gardening is one of her passions. And how Becky can pick up large bags of dog food now, and how that’s important to her because she works with a local non-profit dog rescue. We’ve been able to help people regain things in their lives that are important to them! As much as I love to hear about a 30 year old person being proud of a remarkable physical feat, what I love most is hearing how someone has regained the ability to pursue their passions. Especially when they thought that might be lost forever!

None of us are guaranteed anything. Likewise, working out and eating well won’t guarantee us anything, because there will always be some things that we can’t control. But we CAN put ourselves in the best situation to age well. And we can set ourselves up to live a functional, independent life for as long as possible.

Click here if you’re interested in learning more about our Legends program.

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