Tap Dancing to Fitness

Tap Dancing to Fitness Episode #47 of the Fit Strong Women Over 50 Podcast

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Jill and Chris discuss life changes after 50 with Lois Krebs and how she keeps fit with tap dancing. Lois moved from working in a corporate office, went back to school and launched a new career as a nurse.

Although Lois felt she was “horrid” when she tried tap dancing in her twenties, she found many advantages when she took up tap dancing again in her 50’s.

“I noticed the other day, when I go down steps at work I go as fast as I can, down the middle of the stairs, not holding the handrails. My balance has definitely improved.”

Benefits of Tap Dancing:

  • Your brain memorizing the dance routines
  • Organized evening out
  • “Got me off the couch”
  • Movement and rhythmic
  • Love the sound
  • Fun to do – active
  • Strengthen legs/ankles
  • Coordination improvement
  • Making new friends
  • Emotional – Social – Physical – Mental

Other exercises that Lois does during the week:

  • Yoga – one night a week – relaxation/ breathing and stretching, improving circulation and balance
  • Exercise at home with hand weights/ dumb bells
  • Core, upper body, legs – strength training
  • Cycling – I ride on trails. I used to do 100-mile rides, fairly often.

We also talked about her success in working with a fasting elimination diet for 6 weeks and what she learned. It has changed how she prepares food and what she eats. She has worked with a chiropractor. She also did an endurance test and worked through a functional sports medicine program.

Some Examples of Importance of Functional Fitness:

  • Gardening – working the beds requires strong muscles to get out and work the soil
  • Carrying groceries for yourself – from the store to the car to the house/apartment without help
  • Putting luggage into the overhead bin on an airplane – you can’t travel if you can’t move your luggage!
  • “Something I read a while ago, one of the number one reason people go into assisted-living facilities is that they can’t get off the toilet by themselves.”

Food – how she organizes her eating:

  • Smoothies in the morning (vegetables, greens & some fruit)
  • Eggs on her day off for breakfast
  • Hot lunch at work (brings from home) her big meal of the day
  • She likes to stir fry when she needs a go to recipe.

She avoids all the high calorie snacks that many families bring into the residential facility where she works (such as cakes, donuts, cookies) by making sure she’s not hungry.

As someone who works at a residential living facility caring for people as a nurse, Lois offers this advice for aging well:

  • Keep the weight under control (most important)
  • Stay as active as your body will let you as long as possible
  • Find new interests and hobbies
  • Do things with friends so it is fun
  • Accomplishing a goal and meeting challenges

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