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Empowering an Aging Body 

What does getting older look and feel like for you? Do you warmly embrace it? Or do you dread the thought of bending down to tie your shoes – and wonder what else you can do while you’re down there?  

While there isn’t a fountain of youth, there exists a river of hope, allowing you to flow through your mature years empowered with the skills to navigate the journey and enjoy an invigoratingly full life. 


Did you know … 

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight. As these numbers continue to rise, we are seeing a corresponding prevalence of illness within our society.  
  • The economic impact on poor health has reached an alarming state. The Campaign to End Obesity estimates annual health care costs related to obesity have reached nearly $200 billion. This means almost 20 percent of our nation’s total health care bill can be attributed to the excess fat Americans carry.  
  • Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in America, with more than 600,000 deaths each year (CDC). That’s more than the entire population of Tucson! 
  • In 2016, the National Cancer Institute reported more than 1.7 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. That same year, the American Institute for Cancer noted the cost of treating cancer exceeds that of any other disease: $895 billion each year.  
  • Diabetes is on the rise. The American Diabetes Association shares the unfortunate news that 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with this chronic disease every year, with costs last year reaching $327 billion.  


Most of these Diseases are Very Preventable 

There are manageable steps all of us can take to improve our overall health. Here are some tips to get you started on this wonderful journey: 

  1. Take a long hard look at your “why.” Consistency in practicing a healthy lifestyle depends on knowing at your core what you value. Write down your values and post them in a highly visible place. This will serve as a daily reminder of your “why.” And when the going gets tough, and you are tempted to throw in the towel (or toss the walking shoes), reflecting on your values will keep you grounded and help you stay motivated.  
  1. Gather support. Adherence rates increase substantially when people form a community of support. We are wired to be interdependent, and having others around us who are aiming at the same target is inspiring and a lot more fun!  
  1. Arrange your schedule around your wellness, not the other way around. Put your workout on the calendar and vow to leave it there and commit to it.  
  1. Increase hydration. Dehydration can potentially affect your energy, stamina and the body’s ability to burn fat. Find a water bottle you enjoy and create a habit of carrying water everywhere you go. A good rule of thumb is to cut your body weight in half and drink that amount in ounces each day.  
  1. Plan your food (fuel) intake. A healthy eating plan does not happen by accident. You must be proactive. That translates into taking the time to create a menu, shop and prepare food. It is possible to do this at any stage in life. It all comes down to choices.  


Work on one tip at a time, and remember to be gentle with yourself. Focus on fitness in progression, not perfection! QCBN 

 By Lisa Fry 

Lisa Fry is the Health & Fitness Director for Touchmark at The Ranch. Her responsibilities include overseeing the Touchmark Health & Fitness Club, which includes an indoor pool, state-of-the-art equipment, certified personal trainers and group classes. The Club is open to anyone 50 years and older. To reach Lisa or for more information, call 928-708-3133. 


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