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Joyful Aging with Lori: Yoga, Sex, & Laughter

Welcome to another segment of the Defying Age Spotlight. Lori shares her experience of Joyful Aging through Yoga, Sex, & Laughter!

Picture of Lori -Joyful Aging
Lori – Age 56

Meet Lori

I am 56 years old, and work as an accountant for a non-profit. My two daughters, ages 17 and 20, are extremely important to me!

I enjoy being active, however this has not always been the case. There was a 30 year period when I struggled with significant anxiety and depression. During this time, I was not active in the way I am now.

Lori with her 2 daughters - Joyful Aging
Lori with her Daughters

An Awakening

When I was around 50, I had an awakening! I was recently divorced, and coming out of a pretty traumatic time in my life.

It was a new chapter for me. I had to rediscover what I liked, and what I wanted my life to look like. This meant asking myself some big questions!

Learning to Play Again

Joyful Aging through Partner Acroyoga
Acroyoga

I stumbled upon Acroyoga at the suggestion of a friend. It felt so freeing! I remember I just laughed, and it helped me breathe.

What better thing can you do for Joyful Aging than laugh?

Acroyoga looks pretty overwhelming at first glance, but it does not require a great deal of strength. It’s physics, trust, and communication.

I loved that they called it “playing”. The idea of playing as an adult felt amazing to me! We should all be playing!

Yoga, SUP Yoga, & Body Pump

Yoga became part of my life several months after that first Acroyoga class. I could not touch my toes, and now I can get my elbows to my toes!

My yoga practice helped me increase my flexibility and mobility in my joints.

Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga (SUP Yoga) is a passion of mine! I love water and yoga, so it’s a perfect combination for me!

Body Pump, a weight lifting class at my local gym, is something I do about twice a week. I also love hiking in nature, and waterfalls!

Lori doing a headstand on a paddleboard
Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga

Sex & Joyful Aging

I am experiencing sex on a whole different level! I don’t have to worry about babies anymore.

Sex feels less constrictive, and more about just feeling good. I feel more confident in myself and my body as I age!

I am having sex regularly, and am not experiencing the symptoms of Menopause. Based on conversations with my friends, I can’t help but think the two may be related.

There are so many benefits to sex! It is unfortunate that this gets lost because we are not paying attention.

I am not sure if being physically fit impacts my ability to enjoy sex. For me it feels more emotional!

Finding enjoyment in sex has been healing for me. Being able to feel and communicate with someone in this intimate way is amazing!

Lori standing in front of a waterfall

Research on Sex & Aging

A 2020 study, Age of Natural Menopause: results from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, appears to support Lori’s experience of delayed Menopause.

This study found that “women who reported to have sex weekly during the study period were 28% less likely to experience menopause than women who had sex less than monthly”.

Picture of the word Sex

Sexual activity may also have additional Healthy Aging benefits. A 2019 study, Sexual Activity is Associated with Greater Enjoyment in Older Adults, is among the first studies to show that well-being is higher among older adults when they are sexually active.

This study indicated men and women who reported any sexual activity in the past year had significantly higher mean enjoyment of life scores compared with those who were not sexually active.

Further research is needed to confirm an association between sexual activity and well-being, along with delayed Menopause.

What Motivates You?

I believe you need to find an exercise or an activity that you enjoy to stay motivated. I focus on the activities that make me happy!

My health is also a motivator. People my age are struggling with different health issues, including obesity.

I was overweight for about 20 years, and I don’t want that to be part of my life anymore!

Lori with arms raised in waterfall

Learning to Pivot

COVID and a recent health issue prevented me from doing group activities. This made me think about what I could do on my own.

I started exploring running, biking, and practicing individual yoga. I learned to pivot when presented with obstacles!

Is there anything you’d like to be doing differently?

Sleep has always been difficult for me and I continue to work on it.

I wish I could say I focus on my diet! I know fruits and vegetables are most important, and I avoid junk food and soda. However, when I finish a workout, all I want is pasta!

Another goal I have is to be even more active than I am now!

Lori Wakeboarding
Trying out Wake Boarding

What advice do you have for those struggling to make health a priority?

Choose one step at a time! It might just be taking a shower. Or maybe it’s walking to the mailbox or the park. You don’t have to have these gigantic health goals to improve!

Laugh, find something you enjoy, and be grateful for what you have in life!

Lori in a yoga pose

More Joyful Aging Ahead

I haven’t given being an “Empty Nester” a lot of time to marinate yet. It’ll be a new chapter for sure!

For many of us, our whole lives have been wrapped around our kids. Now all of a sudden they’re grown, and what are we left with?

That’ll be an interesting change, and I am not sure what that will look like yet.

I had a friend my parents introduced me to – “Iron Man Max”. He did his first Ironman at age 70, and went on to do more and more. He was so proud of this change in his life!

“Iron Man Max” inspires me! For me, getting older is about staying active and continuing to be able to do the things I enjoy.

If I can’t do the activities I do now, then I’ll need to find something new. I’ll have to pivot, which I seem to be learning how to do quite well!

Lori doing Yoga on a Paddle Board

Hungry for More Inspiration?

Visit The Age-Defying Dietitian’s Blog for more “Defying Age Spotlight” segments!

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