Welcome to the Defying Age Spotlight. This segment introduces you to everyday people who are aging well.
Be inspired to get fit by these amazing individuals! About 25% of Aging is genetics. The rest is up to you!
Read on to learn more about Dawn and her commitment to fitness at age 68!
Sitting across from Dawn, it is difficult to believe she is 68. She has kind eyes and a warm personality. Her love for life shines bright as she shares about her family, friends, and retirement!
Dawn has been married for 37 years and has two daughters. She is also blessed with two young granddaughters (ages one and 20 months).
Dawn worked in financial services for 25 years. She has been loving retirement since age 60!
Dawn continues to volunteer her time to different organizations. Volunteering has been an important part of her life since high school.
Dawn’s Journey to Get Fit
Dawn enjoyed racquetball, aerobics with friends, and walking in spurts throughout her life. She describes feeling as if she was doing alright until she met Ioannis Katrantzis at her building’s gym.
Ioannis is Dawn’s personal trainer and owner of I-Koach Fitness.
With a chuckle, Dawn describes her first training session with Ioannis, “I found out I couldn’t do much, not even a lunge”.
Over the past year and a half, Dawn has been consistent with her three times per week workouts at I-Koach Fitness.
Coach Ioannis’ Perspective
Ioannis says “Dawn puts the effort in, and has experienced tremendous progress”. He goes on to say that Dawn isn’t just lifting weights. Ioannis says her workouts build balance, coordination, and awareness of space.
Coach Ioannis states “my baby boomers are similar to my young adults”. He goes on to explain that an older individual can see similar improvements in their fitness level to someone much younger.
Regardless of age, Ioannis says the Central Nervous System adapts with training.
“Exercise used to be everyday life. Now life is much more sedentary. Older adults can get injured performing everyday tasks.” says Ioannis.
His workouts mimic daily movements, and promote balance. Both of which improve mobility and decrease the risk of falls.
“It Takes an Investment to Get Fit” – Coach Ioannis
Ioannis emphasizes the importance of a personal investment in fitness. He says eventually most of us will be investing our time, energy, and money into our health.
However, it will likely be through doctors’ visits, medications, and medical procedures.
Personal training is seen as expensive or as a luxury. However, many of his clients afford personal training through small changes in their spending habits.
One client stopped her take out lunches in order to afford I-Koach’s services. “It really is about shifting your priorities. We change peoples’ lives” says Ioannis.
Dawn’s Motivators to Get Fit
Dawn likes the individualized aspect of Personal Training. She says “I like knowing someone is there waiting for me to show up. If I can get out of bed, I can be here”.
Other motivators for Dawn are the muscle definition she sees in her body, along with improved endurance. She notices she is able to carry her grandchildren easily.
Dawn especially enjoys taking her grandchildren to a Little Gym. Here she says she feels good about being able to do activities alongside the girls.
Improvements in Health
A large motivator for Dawn are the improvements in her health. At her last doctor’s appointment, all of her lab work came back normal.
Previously she had struggled with high Triglycerides. These are down significantly since working with I-Koach Fitness.
Dawn’s doctor says her current state of health puts her 10 years below her actual age. Better yet, Dawn says “I feel better than I did at 50!”.
Get Fit with Nutrition Changes
The biggest diet change Dawn made was decreasing her soda intake. She used to drink regular soda three to four times per week.
Now she drinks soda on occasion. Ioannis says he provided some general nutrition guidelines, and encouraged food logging to increase awareness.
Dawn says she has a pretty moderate approach to her diet, and indulges her sweet tooth from time to time. She very rarely drinks alcohol, and also chooses to avoid artificial sweeteners.
Her days typically start with a smoothie packed with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt. Check out this previous Age-Defying Dietitian blog post for additional meals and snacks that support healthy aging.
Exercising your Brain
During our interview, Dawn mentioned the importance of keeping your brain active as you age. She enjoys playing strategy games.
A few examples include Azul, The Isle of Cats, and The Castles of Burgandy. Geekway to the West is an annual event Dawn has attended. It is described as “Four days of Peace, Love, and Board Games”.
To relax, Dawn meditates. She uses the Calm app. Calm is the #1 app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation. It is a great resource that Dawn and I highly recommend!
Advice from Dawn
Dawn says age really shouldn’t be an issue if your Doctor clears you to exercise.
She describes hearing that little voice that says “you’re too old” from time to time. Dawn encourages you to “shut that voice off and do what you can do!’.
When asked about the future, Dawn says she plans to be chasing after her grandchildren and traveling with family and friends.
Most of all, she hopes to keep doing what she’s doing. Dawn also hopes to learn how to play Pickleball!
Are you Defying Age?
If you, or someone in your life, would like to be featured in the Defying Age Spotlight, send us an email!
We’d love to share your experience! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also Certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management.