I have a confession: When I started working on ARORA, Life Time’s approach to supporting healthy living for older adults, I was not healthy. I spent nearly 11 years at Life Time leading much of the marketing team, and I was really good at telling other people what they should do when it came to taking care of their health, I just didn’t consistently do it myself.
Last October, when I initially made this shift, I was not feeling good on many fronts. I was 30-plus pounds overweight, my fasting glucose was 126, I had high cholesterol, and I suffered from recurring lower-back issues. I was stressed, yet a bit stagnant in my role at Life Time after doing the same thing for many years, and had recurring headaches.
At the same time, I was watching both my mom and mother in-law have significant mobility issues and take numerous medications from years of inactivity. Neither could do the things they previously enjoyed. Something had to change.
So, I made a career change to begin ARORA, and it transformed my life in so many ways. Since last fall, I actually started following the healthy principles I already knew:
- Consistent exercise. I now do a Core Pilates class twice a week and my lower-back issues are nearly gone. I also take at least one ARORA class weekly at various clubs — so I may be next to you in that ARORA Dance or Gentle Yoga class. I also bought pickleball paddles, tried it, and loved it. I’m going to get my husband of 30 years to play with me, as well as my very active dad.
- The right nutrition. I was simply eating too much of the wrong food too frequently (hmm, wonder why I gained weight). Now I eat healthy meals, with an occasional treat, and cut out snacking, especially after dinner. Game changer.
- Supplements. I used to make fun of my peers for the piles of pills they take in the morning — now I take a women’s multivitamin, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, curcumin, alpha-lipoic acid, and omega-3 fish oil. All of these have a different purpose for healthy bodies.
- Stress management. This was a big one for me as it was last on my previous priority list. I now invest in a monthly massage in Life Time’s LifeSpa (sometimes the CBD version), immerse myself in nature by taking walks in the woods behind my house nearly daily, and do meditation sessions via the Life Time Digital app.
I’m happy to report that this healthy way of life philosophy works! I’m down 40 pounds, my fasting glucose is 80, my cholesterol is normal, and my lower back doesn’t hurt anymore. I rarely have headaches (thanks to that stress management) and so many people have commented on how happy I seem (because I am).
But I’d say the No. 1 thing that changed for me is you, our members, and having a purpose to make a real, direct impact in people’s lives by building our ARORA offering. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to all of you for building the ARORA community.
I have all the positive side effects of being healthy that we talk about — fewer aches and pains, clearer thinking, and more energy (which is great for chasing my 1.5-year-old grandson). I want everyone to feel this way!
In the coming months, my colleague Annie Kragness and I will be writing more about our personal experiences and how the ARORA community is helping us. We’ll also be creating more content about ARORA and its offerings, sharing healthy-living information and education that’s specific for active older adults, introducing ARORA-certified trainers and workouts, and passing along stories from members who are making the most of this program.
So, check back often — and be sure keep an eye on your inbox for regular messages and reminders about all the ways you can get involved with ARORA at your Life Time location.