Maintaining good health and feeling your best is important at any age. After all, we are all aging, and today is the youngest that you will ever be. While I researched and studied the biological, and the psychological aspects of aging, I have found that as we grow older, we will experience various life changing events. It is often emphasized by healthcare professionals, that whatever your age, a major key to maintaining your physical and emotional health, depends largely on how well you handle these life changing events… One way of preparing yourself for a healthier future is by making healthier choices today. “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step” Lao-tzu

Meditation and Yoga = Harmony

Clearing your mind of negative thoughts is essential for maintaining good health. One way of banishing negative thoughts is through meditation and yoga. This practice will inspire you to think positive thoughts, as well as provide you with great physical therapy.

Kate Webster, Ph.D., has been a violence prevention educator for over 15 years and is the Director of Violence Prevention Programs at Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center. www.thousandwaves.org 

Kate relys on yoga and meditation to balance her mind and body.

 I recently met Kate while waiting for my yoga class to begin, and she agreed to allow me to interview her for my  “healthy aging” news blog.

Interview with Kate Webster, by Vee Bright

What are some of the psychological benefits of taking a Self Defense class if you are over the age of thirty? 

As we age, we feel we are less strong, less fit, and less capable of taking care of ourselves than are younger individuals. At the same time, as we see violent incidents on the rise negatively impact our society, we develop more fear of being able to stay safe, let alone keep our families, schools, workplaces, and communities safe. Psychologically, this fear builds stress and anxiety that pervades our thoughts and also can get “stuck” in our bodies, further debilitating our physical capabilities. A self-defense course, while not a cure-all, can help individuals confront these fears head on, feel more empowered in their bodies, and more self-assured and confident to make smart and healthy choices in their lives.”

What are your motivations for teaching Violence Prevention and Self Defense classes, and what is your teaching philosophy? 

My motivations for teaching violence prevention are to help individuals recognize the cycles of violence they may encounter and participate in, and how to stop violence before it starts. I teach self-defense to help individuals physically embody personal safety skills and feel more empowered. I look to help individuals transform their fears and blocks in their lives to live life more fully, free of fear.”

Can you describe the unique program features of the Thousand Waves organization?

“The Thousand Waves Center offers both a traditional form of martial arts called Seido Karate along with violence prevention and self-defense workshops and courses. The mission of the Center is to foster fitness, healing, empowerment and peacemaking by promoting healthy minds and bodies through violence prevention, self-defense and traditional martial arts programs for adults and children of all ages and backgrounds. The center offers a holistic health practice integrating mind, body, and spirit. The center also offers self-defense intensive courses and short term workshops that highlight the Five Fingers of Self-Defense—Think, Yell, Run, Fight and Tell—along with violence prevention programs that focus on assertive communication and stress management & wellness.”

As an instructor of Violence Prevention and Self-Defense programs, how do you stay in physical and mental shape?

“Currently, I take 3-4 Core Power yoga classes a week to stay in physical and mental shape. I switch up classes that focus on stretching and breath (Hot Power Fusion) with classes that focus on core strength and conditioning (Sculpt and Core Power2). This variety keeps my mind active and my body stretched and toned. I also get a full body deep tissue body massage every 6 weeks which I have found I need more rigorously as I have aged. Last, I have an active meditation and spiritual practice that helps settle my swirling mind and keep me focused on one day at a time.”

What does the concept “healthy aging” mean to you?

“Healthy aging is a fantastic concept. Foremost, because I am frequently working with and teaching wide age-ranging groups of individuals, I have accepted that aging is a relative term. To some my 47 years of age is ancient, some it is “cool,” some it is no big deal, and some it is way young. I have never looked “my age,” and new people I meet are always shocked at how “old.” I actually am. I have never been embarrassed by or shy about my age and I am not sure why. I do actively take care of not just my physical health, but my mental and emotion and I think this actively helps. But as I have aged, I have also learned to bring laughter and humor into my life and, perhaps, this has had the biggest impact on why you’ll find me with a smile on my “young” face each day. Living life each day to the fullest with laughter and humor is the best prescription for “healthy aging” I can think of.”

Please share your Health & Fitness tips… I would love to hear from you. Vee Bright

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Vee Bright

Vee Bright is a Gerontology Consultant who specializes in health promotion and self-care. Her motto is that "it's never too early to make healthy lifestyle choices, start planning for longevity today."...

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