My Story: Staying Active to Age Successfully

By Saniya Ghanoui —

SD talks about the moments she experienced which made her more conscious of her aging.


OBOS Today: In addition to the challenges of gyms closing and that sort of thing during COVID what else do you think impacted your ability to stay healthy every day this past year? 

SD: Um well, again I am one of the lucky ones that I didn’t have to worry about not working. My job was easily transferred to home, I don’t have small children at home. You know, I was just working at home, it was hard not to not to get out and see people that was probably the biggest challenge.  

But you know, on the whole I have welcomed seeing friends and family and doing more things, but I think I did pretty good, probably because I had somebody at home with me.  

And my job is talking to people all day, so I did feel like I was talking to people, you know it is—I care for an elderly mother so those are challenges in terms of seeing what aging can do. So that has also informed my determination to do what I can, you know genetics aside, to do what I can to be well. Mentally and physically. 

OBOS Today: Right, so I guess that’s a good transition I—a question I have for you is when did you start to really think about aging? 

SD: Um, hmm, probably when I developed more aches and pains doing the things that I usually do. You know a little more stiff when I get out of bed, you know again nothing severe but just you know, a higher level of aches and pains and longer recovery time you know things take a little more effort.  

You know just, then I realized—I just realized like, huh yeah, I mean again nothing revelatory. Just like, “Oh, this is happening.”

So, probably about. I don’t know, maybe 10 years ago so I’m 63 so probably in my early 50s that, “Oh, not quite as you know.”

OBOS Today: Do you feel like the relationship to your body has changed over these past 10 years when you first started to really feel aging begin? 

SD: Well, you know, it has evolved actually beyond the past 10 years. You know I’ve always been active, I’ve always been thin. Didn’t have to work at it a whole bunch you know, in terms of dieting or anything like that, I think just that’s how I was made you know of course later in life that changes a little bit. 

So now, what I do to stay healthy is much less about looking well, although, yes, I would like to look well, and you know maintain my frame, but you know when I’m doing aerobic exercise, I’m thinking about not getting dementia when I’m doing it.  

And good to stay in shape and burn calories and all these kinds of things and it’s good for my lungs, but I’m really thinking about not getting dementia so.