Start Thinking about your Vitality- Inspiration from a 91-year-old Lady!

Advancing in years does not mean you have to become old.  We do have to accept that physical changes are a fact of aging.  This may include less stamina, increased discomfort or even some illnesses.  That said, becoming unhealthy or inactive should not be a forgone conclusion.  You may not be able to avoid all pain or illness, but this is true no matter what your age.  There are many ways to care for your health and improve your vitality as you get older.


It is never too late to rethink your health.  No matter how old you are or how your health has been in the past, you can always take steps to improve.  If you get started right now and care for your body, you can see benefits like increasing your energy level, sharpening your memory, creating a healthy immune system, or managing current health problems.

Don’t think senior vitality is possible? Well, don’t worry, we are here with the inspirational story of a super woman “Ieda Herman”.  She is a 91 year-old adventurous woman with indelible energy.

Growing old is not a choice but how you do it is up to you.  Don’t let your life get stagnant. Keep moving, keep having fun, and don’t be afraid to try new things.  Life has responsibilities but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. There are things that must be done, others are good to do, and some you do simply because you enjoy them.  The balance of these is the secret to a happy life.

A week before the presidential elections, Ieda suffered a stroke and spent several days in the hospital.  That didn’t stop her from going to the polls to cast her vote on Election Day. Ieda was born in Iceland where she spent the first 20 years of her life.  While she is very proud of her Icelandic heritage, she is also very proud of becoming a citizen of the United States in 1954.    She had not missed voting in an election since.  It never occurred to her not to get out to vote this year.

Ieda’s philosophy is simple. “I believe age truly starts in your mind,” Ieda says. “You must maintain a positive attitude.  The mind has such a powerful effect on the body and we have to pay attention to that.  Laugh every day. Smile and be friendly. Sit in awe of the sunrise or sunset.  Wonder what’s over that hill.  Take a walk or exercise every day. Challenge your mind by reading a biography, or learning a new hobby or even taking a class.  Do what makes you happy but more than anything else, keep moving.”

On her 70th birthday, Ieda went white water rafting for the first time.  On her 88th, she went paragliding.  On her 90th birthday, she scaled 60 feet of an indoor climbing wall.  Later that summer, Ieda explored the cave that inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.  Since then, she has gone paragliding off the southern cliffs of Vik in Iceland, hiked on a glacier and started a snowball fight.

She feels that physical activity helps keep her mind active.  She regularly speaks at local libraries and Scandinavian functions, and recently became certified to officiated her great-grandson’s wedding – in the formal Icelandic national dress.  Ieda wrote her first book at the age of 88, a recounting of growing up in Iceland; the escapades of her and her siblings in the 1930s (Trolls-Monster Worm-Hidden People: Fond Memories of Iceland).  Earlier this year, she published a Young Adult fiction adventure (The Silver Arrow) and co-authored a cookbook (Homestyle Icelandic Cooking for American Kitchens).  She is currently working on two more projects, one fiction and one non-fiction.

If this lady can do so much, why are you sitting in your bed, waiting for life to end? It’s never too late to get started!

Hear from the great lady herself:

“Im living the life now that Ive always wanted to live – to be healthy enough to be active. The first part of my life was spent raising my ten children, then supporting my husband in the ministry and now its all about me.  Ive decided to be selfish about my body, I know this is the only one Ill ever have so I’d better take care of it.

“Ive never had the thought ‘no I cant’, but instead, I think, ‘yes, I can’ or ‘maybe I cant but at least Ill try’.  Ive always been that way – if it was there to do, I wanted to do it”.

It is not just about healthy eat and exercising, from the story of Ieda, we must realize that it is never too late to get out and experience life to the fullest. Your body surely might be aging, but you shouldn’t give up on vitality till your last breath!

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