Lacombe crowd gains playful advice on healthy living
Internationally renowned fitness guru Stephen Jepson poses with Burman University student and Physical Education Centre employee Kristen Clark (left) and personal trainer Cortney Taylor after his health presentation, Never Leave the Playground, last Wednesday night at the Lacombe university. Photo by John MacNeil, Lacombe Globe
Fittingly, the Physical Education Centre on the Burman University campus was the setting last Wednesday night for a health presentation from the ageless Stephen Jepson.
More than 200 people of all ages listened and watched for two hours as Jepson, 74, shared his secrets of healthy living.
In reality, he said, there’s really no secret, at all. Physical activity of any sort is the single-greatest contributor to proverbial “good health,” Jepson said during seniors’ week in Alberta.
His theme was Never Leave the Playground, which illustrates his philosophy that exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be structured, but can be built into everyday routines — and can be fun.
He believes the best method is simply to keep moving.
“We need to move to be healthy,” said Jepson, who has studied and lived such a lifestyle. “Our technology is killing us. We are sleepwalking through life, people. We need to get active.”
The challenges of physical inactivity have only become greater in a technological world that promotes instant service at the click of one gadget or another, Jepson said.
“Have any of you heard that sitting is the new cigarettes — the new tobacco,” he told a crowd of seniors, working adults, university students and staff and younger children.
“People can drop over dead because they’ve been sedentary.”
Jepson countered the common belief that people grow old and then slow down: “No, no. You slow down and then you grow old.”
He cited examples of seniors who are leading far-healthier lives than people twice as young. The secret, he said, is tapping the dormant parts of the body.
“There are parts of the brain that are looking for something to do,” he said.
“Being physical is the single-most important thing for your health — better than diet, friends, spirituality (and) sunlight.”
Jepson’s strategy is to make it fun, as the numbers of “toys” on the gym stage would suggest.
“All of this is the gift of play,” he said. “Constantly find new ways to be active.”
With a group stretch to conclude his presentation, Jepson joked that he was guaranteed to gain a standing ovation.
Judging from the applause and the comments from people who shook his hand afterward, Jepson resonated with the audience.
“You changed my life,” said one woman.
“You truly are an inspiration,” said another.
Other people asked to be photographed with Jepson.