Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.
One afternoon while talking to my friend, a geriatric social worker, about how aggressively one should invest for retirement. She said something that validated my commitment to health and fitness: while I should be wise with my finances, I should put even more emphasis on my fitness.
Her job puts her on the front lines with the elderly and she has seen firsthand what happens to those who paid little to no attention to their bodies. Today that neglect is not just affecting the quantity of their lives, but the quality. People always think of aging as something that is off in the distant future when the reality is that it is happening every day.
Every day we move towards that magic number we deem “old,” and once we are there we want to be financially stable. But we should also want to be healthy and fit in order to be pain-free and independent.
My husband and I are avid runners. We run several 5k and 10-mile races a year. At 46, I take no pride, but lots of joy, in reporting that I’ve been beaten many times by runners in their 60s and 70s. And these seniors are not just showing up to run 3.1 miles – they are also representing at ultramarathons and marathons. I recently read of a woman getting ready to run her 12th consecutive marathon at the age of 87.
This is encouraging, because it means that at my “advanced age,” if I continue to eat right and exercise I can theoretically count on going into my golden years on my own two feet and at competitive speeds!
This is not to say that if you want good health in your golden years you need to adopt a drastic diet and join a gym. Just committing to eating better, dropping bad habits and picking up some form of physical exercise should be sufficient.
Eating well and moderate exercise is not expensive or time consuming. A healthy diet can consist of just watching your caloric intake and introducing more fruits and veggies. And exercise can be a daily 30 minute brisk walk that will do wonders for your body, mind, longevity, and quality of life. Just look at it as another wise investment towards retirement.