Investing in Personal Fitness Now Pays Dividends for Life

Jeff Shaw coaches client Elizabeth Lamont as she completes bench squats, keeping her spine neutral and head and chest raised. Photo: Trey Speegle / Yucatán Magazine

In our vibrant community, where people cherish their freedom, preventing accidental slips and falls is a top priority — especially on these sidewalks, am I right? 

Statistics reveal that one in three individuals over 65 takes a tumble each year, and a hip fracture due to such incidents can be life-changing. Shockingly, one in four individuals over 65 with a hip fracture doesn’t live past one year after the accident, emphasizing the urgency to take action for a long and happy life.

We often hear that the best time to start investing money was 10 years ago, and the second best time is now.

Alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Press: Start with feet shoulder-width apart, holding two dumbbells at shoulder height. Press one weight up above your head until your arm is fully extended. Return slowly to the start position. Switch arms. Photo: Trey Speegle / Yucatán Magazine

The same wisdom applies to our fitness journey. 

To achieve this, it’s crucial to safeguard our future, both financially and physically. After all, as the saying goes, “he who dies with the most gold still dies.” So, how do we plan for the future? By identifying common risks and crafting a plan to mitigate them.

Accidental falls have claimed the unfortunate title of the most common cause of death in people over 65. Yet, there’s hope. Recent research spotlights a simple yet effective solution – a resistance training program, just two to four days a week, significantly reducing aging-related risks. This type of program can improve muscle strength, power, balance and coordination.

Straight arm plank: Starting on the floor, position hands under the shoulders and knees/feet hip to shoulder width apart. Lift the body off of the floor and form a straight line from head to heel flexing the glutes. Hold :30-:60 or as long as you can. Photo: Trey Speegle / Yucatán Magazine

But the key is not to wait until you’re 65 to start. Like financial investments, the best time was decades ago, but the second best time to start is now. Regardless of age, if your goal is a long, healthy life with independence, safeguarding it lies in maintaining strong muscles.

Many of us have chosen Yucatán to pursue a better life, not just in terms of a longer life but also a healthier one. Our goal is to embrace a fulfilling life, full of adventure and saying yes to new experiences.

Recognize the potential fall risks and wholeheartedly embrace strength training to unlock a path that transforms later years into the most fulfilling ones. It’s an opportunity to navigate the aging journey gracefully, fortify your autonomy, and compose a life filled with happiness and lively adventures.

Jeff Shaw
Jeff Shaw
Fitness trainer Jeff Shaw is a US native who has lived in Mérida for over 10 years with his wife and two children. He runs Longevity 360, helping clients over 40 maintain strength and agility.
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