While loser is not a title that I would have pursued earlier in life, I am honored to be on the winning team in a 9 week competition at our local hospital sponsored Wellness Center. We all receive a free month’s dues for our accomplishment. I lost more weight (36.4 lbs) than the other 30 participants but came in second in the competition which was judged on the basis of percent of body weight. Mine was 13.8% and the winner lost 18%.
My prize was a smiley face my doctor drew on my blood work report that was part of my VA physical this morning: hemoglobin 5.7, Cholesterol 147, Triglyceride 44 HDL 40, LDL 98. A year ago my blood sugar was high, my cholesterol was on the high side of acceptable and I was on blood pressure medication…today it was 99/60; and my doctor reduced use to every other day and to eliminate it is a month or so. The morale: you are never too old to get back in shape.
During this 9 week program, I became increasingly aware of the market potential that exists for wellness programs designed specifically for those ages 55 and older. The program I was involved in was clearly designed and directed for those 25 to 40 or so. I was at least 10 years older than most participants and had 25 or more years on most. My doctor validated my perception when she asked if I knew of any exercise programming designed specifically for adults 50 and older.
I suggested the National Senior Fitness Association (http://www.seniorfitness.net/) as a possible resource, but could not provide any help with local programming. If we are truly a nation interested in lowering health-care costs, there is no better place to begin than educating the public about the value of later life diet, exercise and weight training. Hopefully, our national aging organizations will begin focusing on positive aging as much as they do next year’s funding. It is time we begin replacing pills with purpose and prevention.