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How to Stay Fit as You Age

How to Stay Fit as You Age

Kimberlee Bethany Bonura Ph.D.
Fitness and Wellness Consultant
Course No.  1997
Course No.  1997
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Course Overview

About This Course

18 lectures  |  31 minutes per lecture

Age brings with it many rewarding benefits: wisdom, patience, experience, understanding. But as we get older, we also discover changes in how our bodies move and behave—changes hat contradict how young we feel on the inside.

But while your body may no longer look or move as it did when you were in your 30s or 40s, that doesn’t mean you have to just accept the effects of aging. Instead, you can choose to make deliberate decisions that can transform your experience of aging into a positive and, above all, healthy one. And it all starts with staying fit.

Scientific studies have shown that not only does fitness promote happiness and satisfaction in our lives at any age, but it can also help alleviate or even stave off age-related issues such as illness, chronic pain, fatigue, and short-term memory loss. With the knowledge, tools, resources, and support systems recommended by the experts, you can build and maintain fitness in your 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond. And by doing so, you’ll open the door to a fulfilling life in which you can

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Age brings with it many rewarding benefits: wisdom, patience, experience, understanding. But as we get older, we also discover changes in how our bodies move and behave—changes hat contradict how young we feel on the inside.

But while your body may no longer look or move as it did when you were in your 30s or 40s, that doesn’t mean you have to just accept the effects of aging. Instead, you can choose to make deliberate decisions that can transform your experience of aging into a positive and, above all, healthy one. And it all starts with staying fit.

Scientific studies have shown that not only does fitness promote happiness and satisfaction in our lives at any age, but it can also help alleviate or even stave off age-related issues such as illness, chronic pain, fatigue, and short-term memory loss. With the knowledge, tools, resources, and support systems recommended by the experts, you can build and maintain fitness in your 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond. And by doing so, you’ll open the door to a fulfilling life in which you can

  • maintain your physical independence,
  • keep your body and your mind active,
  • increase your happiness and well-being,
  • avoid or ameliorate some of the common ailments of aging, and
  • stay engaged with the wonderful experiences of everyday life.

The path to staying fit as you age starts right here with the 12 engaging lectures and 6 active training sessions of How to Stay Fit as You Age. Delivered by certified fitness expert and wellness consultant Dr. Kimberlee Bethany Bonura, this series is the gateway to creating and practicing a balanced, adaptable fitness program that will help you stay fit throughout your life. Whether you’re already over 65, dealing with chronic health conditions, or proactively planning ahead, you can get the insights, strategies, exercises, and confidence you need to make the most out of every day of your life. Accept Dr. Bonura’s inspirational challenge to start taking charge of the aging process, and discover a rewarding way to age with grace and good health.

Explore Ways to Stay Physically Fit

How to Stay Fit as You Age starts with a series of lectures devoted to physical activity, which has been shown to improve energy, stamina, and immune system functioning, as well as reduce the risk of minor illnesses such as the flu and chronic conditions like diabetes.

Specifically, you’ll follow the FITT method used by fitness experts, which focuses your physical activity on frequency (F), intensity (I), time (T), and type of exercise (T) to better develop a plan that meets your own unique abilities and long-term goals. You’ll follow Dr. Bonura as she explains and demonstrates a wide variety of physical exercises almost anyone can perform, including

  • cardiovascular exercises to get your heart rate going,
  • strength and resistance training to build muscle and support joints,
  • flexibility training to keep you moving with ease, and
  • balance training that increases your body’s stability.

The specific exercises you learn about can be performed almost anywhere, and the few exercises that depend on equipment require little more than a resistance band or a hand weight. Dr. Bonura even explores non-gym-related activities that can support your physical fitness, such as

  • daily chores, including gardening and housekeeping,
  • workplace exercises that cultivate good posture and healthy joints, and
  • social activities such as competitive sports and ballroom dancing.

Reap the Rewards of Mental Fitness

Of course, just as important as physical fitness is mental fitness, and How to Stay Fit as You Age devotes equal time to presenting ways of combining physical and mental exercise to strengthen and improve your emotional and psychological fitness as you age.

Always informative and supportive, Dr. Bonura shows you how to reap the rewards of better mental fitness, which include improved self-esteem, reduced risk of depression and anxiety, and reduced perceptions of pain. You’ll learn how to

  • perform helpful (and fun) mindfulness exercises such as yoga, tai chi, and Pilates;
  • cultivate strong social connections with your family and friends;
  • create the right supportive environment for making smart, healthy decisions;
  • dodge the dangers of overtraining, eating disorders, and exercise addiction;

and much more.

Enjoy Six Active Exercise Sessions

In the six active sessions featured with this course, Dr. Bonura taps into her experience as a public educator and a certified fitness trainer to guide you through step-by-step exercise sessions that are sequenced in a progressive structure and are adaptable to a variety of ability levels.

Featuring peaceful landscapes and music to get you focused and motivated, these 5- to 30-minute sessions include

  • a relaxation program to help you manage stress,
  • physical exercises that work out every muscle group,
  • quick exercises you can easily fit into your busy day (including at work), and
  • Eastern practices such as yoga (on a mat or in a chair) and qigong.

Perform several exercises in a day. Or follow one of the shorter exercise programs when you’re strapped for time. Either way, these active sessions are designed to offer you flexible, adaptable ways to put the concepts you’ve learned about earlier in the course to good use.

With numerous instructor certifications—including group fitness, kickboxing, yoga, and tai chi— issued by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, the International Fitness Professionals Association, and yoga schools registered with the Yoga Alliance, as well as a background that combines academic research and fitness instruction, Dr. Bonura offers a unique perspective on healthy aging that makes her the perfect instructor. And her approach to teaching and training, as well as the support and motivation she provides every step of the way, make How to Stay Fit as You Age one of the most inspiring and productive toolkits for personal wellness designed specifically for individuals beyond middle age.

So open your eyes to the many options for building fitness into your life as you age. As Dr. Bonura says, “You can have an impact on your health and well-being. You can make the choice to be active and fit. And you can stay engaged in your life until your very last breath.”

 

Disclaimer: This series of lectures is intended to increase your knowledge of physiology, exercise, and health-related lifestyle choices and their basic effects on the human body as it ages. It is not designed for use as a medical reference to diagnose, treat, or prevent medical illnesses or trauma. Neither The Teaching Company nor Kimberlee Bethany Bonura is responsible for your use of this educational material or its consequences. If you have questions about the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a medical condition or illness, you should consult your personal physician.

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18 Lectures
  • 1
    Aging with Optimism—A Holistic Approach
    When is your age considered “old”? What three health-promoting characteristics make up the foundation of healthy old age? What is your “locus of control”—and why is it so important to have one? These and other questions are answered in this first step on a journey that can change your life. x
  • 2
    Getting and Staying Motivated
    Dr. Bonura discusses the secrets of motivation and illustrates the six stages of behavioral change— precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination. She also offers tips on conquering several common barriers to change, including procrastination, preconditioned beliefs, and a fear of discomfort. x
  • 3
    Self-Care Fundamentals
    Explore the fundamentals of self-care, which involves choosing behaviors that help balance the stress of modern life. As you look at sleep, nutrition, mental exercise, and stress management, you’ll learn ways to promote self-care in your life through incorporating pre-sleep rituals, strengthening your long-term memory with puzzles, and more. x
  • 4
    Fitness Fundamentals—Choose Your Activity
    How can you use physical activity to take better care of yourself? Find out with this helpful lecture on the components of physical fitness, including three that specifically support healthy aging. Then, learn the basics behind any successful fitness plan—and how to develop one that works for you. x
  • 5
    Fitness beyond the Gym—Active Daily Living
    You don’t need the gym to build movement into your daily life. Here, discover how to stay active throughout your day. By making small, simple choices—such as walking with a colleague instead of e-mailing, taking a dance class, or cultivating better posture—you’ll move better. And feel better, too. x
  • 6
    It’s Not Just Physical—Mindful Fitness
    Mindful fitness is an important part of aging healthfully and involves exercises that cultivate unity between your mind and your body. Among the many exercises you learn about here are basic yoga, tai chi, martial arts, and meditation—all of which combine physical exercise with deliberate breathing and mental training. x
  • 7
    Motivation—Goals and Willpower
    Take another look at why solid goals and environmental support are key to staying healthy as you age. You’ll explore each of the five characteristics of a good goal and discover how your environment affects your health-promoting decisions and supports your willpower. x
  • 8
    Friends, Fitness, and Social Support
    Whether you want them to or not, your friends and family have an effect on your overall fitness. Dr. Bonura shows you how to leverage your social circle at work and at home to support your well-being. How can your relationships inspire your health? And how can fitness cultivate stronger relationships? x
  • 9
    Accepting a New Reality
    Eating disorders such as bulimia and binge eating. Exercise addiction and overtraining. Explore these and other obsessive behaviors that occur when fitness doesn’t support but consumes your life. Learn what causes them, find out how someone can get help, and lower your own risk by cultivating more realistic expectations. x
  • 10
    Challenges—Illness and Chronic Pain
    How you respond to the illnesses and pain that come with advancing age can lead to drastically different outcomes in your ability to maintain or rebuild your physical health. This lecture includes exercises that can reduce pain and improve function. x
  • 11
    Small Steps—A Path to Big Benefits
    The one activity that consistently promotes health: exercise. First, examine some of the many benefits of physical activity on your body (including its ability to reduce your risk for diseases). Then, turn to the psychological benefits, including higher self-esteem, a stronger sense of self, and improved body image. x
  • 12
    Making It Work—The Right Plan for You
    Successful health goals have to be framed in a context that gives them greater purpose. Learn how to do this with a rewarding discussion of our three innate psychological needs (competence, autonomy, and relatedness) and Dr. Bonura’s expert advice on the best approach for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in advancing age. x
  • 13
    Relaxation Strategies
    Who doesn’t want to relax more? Find out how, in the first of several exercise sessions you can follow along with. Here, you’ll practice simple breathing exercises, a full-body progressive relaxation exercise, alternate nostril breathing, and a Japanese energy-based exercise for helping you work through pain and discomfort. x
  • 14
    Foundational Fitness
    Using only simple exercise tools and a yoga mat, discover how to get a well-balanced, 30-minute workout that incorporates both strength training and flexibility. Complete this workout session two to three times a week (along with gentle cardio) for a well-rounded exercise routine to keep you fit as you age. x
  • 15
    Core Strength and Balance
    Maintaining core strength and balance is essential for maintaining our physical independence as we age. In this session, focus on a series of yoga and Pilates exercises—performed both in a chair and on the floor—designed to improve your posture and strengthen the muscles in your core and back. x
  • 16
    Workplace Fitness
    Think you have to wait until after the workday ends to exercise? Here, Dr. Bonura reveals some simple (and surprising) ways that you can stay active and energized at the office by taking short walks, practicing good posture in your chair, performing stretches to work your muscles, and more. x
  • 17
    Chair Yoga
    For those of us with limited mobility, yoga on a floor mat can seem like an activity that we’re better off skipping. But in this fun exercise session, you’ll discover how you can still perform basic yoga routines to work your whole body—all from the ease and accessibility of a chair. x
  • 18
    Qigong—Practicing Fluid Movement
    Explore the world of qigong, an Eastern practice that focuses on slow, deliberate movement integrated with key breathing exercises to increase your mindfulness. With this session, you’ll learn how to tap into the healthy flow of your internal energy—and encourage the balance of opposing forces within your body. x

Lecture Titles

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Kimberlee Bethany Bonura
Ph.D. Kimberlee Bethany Bonura
Fitness and Wellness Consultant

Dr. Kimberlee Bethany Bonura is a fitness and wellness consultant with decades of experience teaching the benefits of physical and mental health to elite athletes, higher education institutions, nonprofit community organizations, and corporations. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, with a research emphasis in sport and exercise psychology, from Florida State University. Her doctoral dissertation won national awards from the American Psychological Association (Division 47) and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. Dr. Bonura is a triple-certified yoga instructor, registered with the Yoga Alliance and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She also holds certifications as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, kickboxing instructor, tai chi and qigong instructor, senior fitness specialist, weight management instructor, and prenatal and youth fitness specialist-all issued by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and the International Fitness Professionals Association. She has developed specialized programs in seated/chair yoga for senior citizens; yoga for empowerment to encourage self-esteem; partner yoga for family and marital enhancement; and more. Featured widely in national and international publications, Dr. Bonura is a peer reviewer for journals including the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,and the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. She currently serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by 5 reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Outstanding Approach & Presentation This course far exceeded my expectations! The presenter is highly knowledgable in the area and is VERY thorough in presenting the material! Bravo to her & the Great Courses! Really well done. Full of substantive info and great approaches!!!! December 7, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by How To Stay Fit as You Age I would recommend this program to anyone at any age. The instructor is very knowledgeable and she gives varied instructions for all levels of fitness. I can do the 30 minute workouts before work and am feeling great. August 27, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by Bury me in meaningless statistics I returned this because it's so badly done. Dr. Bonura's presentation consists burying the viewer in so many statistics that they loose all meaning. I got to the point where I couldn't listen to her any more. I got nothing out of this program. June 26, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by A Great Course for those Seeking improved health. The course "How to Stay Fit as You Age" provides excellent scientific research and exercise methods to help understand how to maintain a better quality of life as we age. The professor is knowledgeable and passionate about maintaining a physically fit life style. She does an excellent job delivering the message. Areas such as managing your "internal locus of control", finding exercise that you enjoy, and everyday taking advantage of the opportunities to do healthy things, are key to having as best as possible enjoyable physical existence. I greatly enjoyed the course and the professor although walked away feeling like it did not meet maximum content expectations. Would have liked to hear more detailed guidance on areas such diabetes. I would recommend the course as it is worth the investment. December 12, 2013
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