Local couple enjoy rewards of an active lifestyle

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A well-rounded fitness routine and healthy eating habits enable Ken (left) and Kim Davis to participate in all the activities they enjoy. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker 

Research indicates that older adults with an active lifestyle are less likely to develop certain diseases, have a longer lifespan, are happier and less depressed, are better prepared to cope, and may be able to improve their cognitive abilities. 

Ken and Kim Davis

Staying healthy and active is top priority for Ken and Kim Davis of Guttenberg. The couple often walks up to three times a day, regardless of weather, making sure to get in their 10,000 steps or more. 

The Davis' both participated in high school and college athletics. "Staying active is second nature. It is part of what we want to do now," commented Ken. 

The couple agreed they are both very rewards based. "I love my Dove dark chocolates and enjoy them as a treat following a long walk," explained Kim. 

"In the Davis family we eat! It is my stress relief. My reward is psychological when the scale stays the same," said Ken.

"Like most women, I stay away from the scale. I can tell when my weight fluctuates by the way my clothes fit," Kim added.

Healthy choices

The Davis' cite well-documented evidence that eliminating between meal snacks is key to maintaining a healthy weight. "We try to eat before 6 p.m., and not eat before 8 a.m. It's like a mini-fast everyday," says Kim. "When I feel hungry in between meals I drink a glass of water, and it works!"  

Staying fit and active is a reward in itself for the couple. "Having the ability to actually do the stuff that we want to do is great!" they shared. 

Ken and some of his high school classmates are still able to water ski. "We call ourselves the 'Old Man Ski Club' —  all of us are in our sixties," he noted. 

The couple's motto is: motion is lotion. "We feel better when we are moving and not sedentary," Kim pointed out. 

Even when Kim and Ken were working full-time and raising two children they walked together. "We have a unique relationship. Our best means to facilitate communication is when we are taking a walk," Ken commented. 

In addition to a walk three times a day the active couple participated in pickleball this past winter, and enjoy biking, hiking, snow shoeing, and downhill skiing when the opportunity is there. Ken also lifts weights each week with a former classmate "There are so many outdoor opportunities for recreation in northeast Iowa," they agreed. 

When the Davis' retired they purchased electric bikes. "It's not as physically challenging as a regular bike, but we can go a lot farther," Kim laughed. 

Financial benefits

There are other advantages to remain active. "We finally signed up for Medicare, and as a function of that we discovered 'Silver Sneakers' which offers free gym memberships at participating fitness centers, and online classes. We just printed off our cards. We just need to activate them. I also just received a ten dollar reward card because I walked 5000 or more steps each day this month," they listed.

Staying motivated

Kim and Ken recommend finding a friend for motivation. "Make it a social outing. It is much more of an incentive, and remember it takes 21-days to create a new healthy habit. If you feel tired give yourself permission to take a break," they encouraged. 

Ken was shocked to discover The Guttenberg Brewery would be such a catalyst to their exercise program. "We walk to the brewery, do repeated one arm curls with a glass of beer and walk home. We would also loan you our grandsons if you would like to jump start you fitness routine. They can wear anybody out!" he concluded with a hearty laugh.

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