At age 76 Donald Jackson is still very active in Canadian figure skating, with occasional appearances in figure skating shows, teaching skating to children and adults at his local figure skating club, as well as his more recent appearance in a HomeEquity Bank commercial, shot on the ice with fellow Canadian figure skating legend, Kurt Browning. So how does Don do it all? How does he stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle?
#10 Get a good amount of sleep
Don’s Bedtime is usually around 10-11pm, and he wakes up around 6:15-6:30 (6-7 hours of sleep). The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for older adults (55+) in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
#9 Eat a healthy balanced diet
The daily recommended foods suggested by the Canada Food Guide can help you achieve your daily intake of necessary nutrients. Don takes a daily vitamin as a supplement to make sure he is getting all the necessary nutrients he needs to stay healthy and active.
#8 Eat colourful foods
Don keeps his weight in check by eating healthy home cooked foods. His favourites are lots of produce and fresh home cooked meals made by his wife, Barbara.
#7 Stay Active
Dedicate at least 30 minutes to physical activity per day. A brisk walk or even walking the dog counts. Don does a skate session from 8:15-9:15 am in Oshawa. He warms up, tries jumps, spins and works on his school figures (figure eights).
#6 Stretch before and after you exercise
Don says that he doesn’t do this as often as he would like, but he knows how important stretching is to maintain flexibility.
#5 Stay active in the community
Don teaches young children and adults in groups at the Forest Hill Skating Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Children from 4-6pm and adults at 8pm). Get involved with your local community to stimulate your mental and emotional health.
#4 Love what you do
Don says staying healthy isn’t just physical, but mentally you have to enjoy and love what you do. For Don, his passion for skating is what keeps him going back to it every day. Even though his body may not be what it was in his 20’s, he practices and gets involved in local skating activities so that he doesn’t lose his ability to skate.
#3 Don’t be afraid to fall
Don uses this motto in his everyday skating practice. If you love what you do, don’t ever get discouraged from falling. Falling is only an indication that you have to get up and practice more. Nobody gets good at what they do without falling every now and then.
#2 Make time for other hobbies
Although skating is his number one passion, Don also enjoys helping his wife, Barbara with gardening around the house.
#1 Spend time with family and loved ones
Don says that one of the most important ways to stay healthy and active is mental health, and the best way of achieving mental health is by spending time with the most important people in his life. For Don, he gets his energy from spending time with his grandchildren and he stays grounded by spending time with his wife.