Meet Jan Haig.Shes one of the 2024 Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes, and shell be sharing updates on her health and wellness journey through the rest of this year.Jan, age 68, fell in love with fitness in the 1980s.

Over the next several decades, she became a certified instructor and an elite athlete.But a serious medical setback, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, forced Jan to find a new outlet for exercise.Indoor cycling proved to be the key to rebooting Jans routine.

Now, shes on a new mission to teach classes focused on the injured or aging athlete and show that theres always another chance.My love affair with fitness started back in the 80s, when high/low-impact aerobics was a popular new craze.After participating in classes for 10 years, I was encouraged to become a certified fitness instructor.In the 30 years that followed, I taught not just hi-lo, but kickboxing, strength training, core, aqua, and other time-period classics like slide-board and urban rebounding (a.k.a.trampoline workout!) I taught at a number of gyms large and small, and absolutely loved all of it.In the late 90s, I also added running to my repertoire.

Over the next 20 years, I cranked out 30+ marathons and ultramarathons, and even participated in a Nike commercial, all while teaching my classes.In other words, fitness was a lifestyle for me.I felt great and was in excellent shape.Then, the shocker!But theres such a thing as overdoing! Running very long distances, coupled with teaching my classes, eventually took its toll.I gradually developed a permanent issue with the discs in my lower back due to over-use.When I began to feel constant sciatic pain, MRIs showed pretty serious degradation in the lumbar spine.

In 2019, my orthopedist ordered me to take up fitness activities that would have less impact on my back.Running and other high-impact sports were out.I felt like my nearly 40 years of workout options had suddenly dissolved.This was the real shock! I was accustomed to going hard in whatever I did.My fitness classes and running were a large part of who I was.Then, a double whammy: The COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S.

With gyms closed and without my running to keep me fit I felt like my nearly 40 years of workout options had suddenly dissolved.And I missed my long-time, supportive network of class-members and fellow runners.Another chance!But then, a ray of hope! My orthopedist suggested indoor cycling.He explained that proper cycling posture would actually relax my spine, keep the vertebrae in correct alignment, and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.Curious and hopeful, I joined a Spin studio and its been amazing, both for my lower back and my overall fitness outlook! I average five or six Spin classes a week, and in just over three years, I am close to completing 1,000 classes.As a side note, I hike a lot with local hiking groups too an activity also OKd by my physician.

Hiking is excellent cross-training for Spin, helps maintain good bone density, and provides community and camaraderie.A New Certificationat 68?I want to help people like me who were accustomed to going hard, but whose athleticism has (by necessity) declined a bit.Indoor cycling was one fitness certification Id never tackled.At 68, my goal is to pursue spin instructor certification with the aim of teaching classes focused on the injured or aging athlete.I want to help people like me who were accustomed to going hard, but whose athleticism has (by necessity) declined a bit.Wherever I look, I see seniors bouncing back slowly from injury (torn knee ligaments, hip replacement surgery) or managing conditions of aging, like arthritis.

They often feel intimidated attempting the typical go-hard classes at most gyms.I see value in developing a strong but safe senior Spin workout, where attendees can choose a pace appropriate to them, modify as needed, stay healthy, and have fun.Rock on, Senior Planet!Were not our parents, and I love to shatter norms.I want younger generations to understand: This is what aging and retirement look like now.As a Senior Planet Sponsored Athlete, Im thrilled with the opportunity to share my story, tips, and advice, and help host events for active seniors.Join me on May 15 at 1:30pm EDT right here on as I show you how indoor Spin can be a safe, fun, full-body workout for active seniors! Rock on, Senior Planet!In need of a little motivation to get moving? Join ourdaily health and wellness programs, stay tuned to the latest news and articles from by signing up forThe Orbit weekly newsletter, and follow us on social media (Facebook |Instagram | X) to get to know these awe-inspiring athletes.

Plus, check out past Senior Planet Sponsored Athlete programs on our YouTube channel.You might just find a new love for fitness along the way!Please consult your physician or other health care professional before starting a fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs.The advice and information presented in this article are in no way intended as a substitute for medical consultation.

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