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HAVE YOU EVER STOOD on a sideline loving the way your granddaughter hustles, pivots, and bicycle-kicks a soccer ball? Do you also feel a little touch of envy? After all, just a few decades ago, women had little opportunity to play hard together.

Lisa Stuebing is a recognized leader in older adult fitness. As a medical exercise specialist, her emphasis is in brain health, chronic pain management, and movement disorders. In addition to seeing private clients in their homes, she teaches for the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington and gives talks on behalf of both the Arthritis Foundation and the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association. Contact her at CoachLisa@


That all changed with Title IX, which made sports more available to women and girls. Women are discovering skills they never knew they had while boosting their brain power, strengthening their hearts, and hardening their bones. Although Title IX is most often associated with women’s athletics, the 1972 legislation didn’t mention sports. The legislation simply states that if your federal tax dollars are paying for something, the money must be spent on both boys and on girls. Despite the specific omission, the immediate and visible impact on sports participation has been tremendous. In 1972, there were only 700 high school girls playing soccer. By the 1975-76 school year, the number of girls playing soccer leapt to 11,534. Forty years later 371,532 high school girls were playing soccer. And that’s just soccer. Add in everything else, and well over 3 million girls will turn out for a team this school year. If you’re a fan of women’s soccer, you may have found it easy to daydream about your granddaughter becoming the next Mia Hamm

3rd Act magazine | fall 2016

or Abby Wambach, Hope Solo or Carli Lloyd. But what you really want for your granddaughter is good health—and letting girls play sports nets lifelong improvements in brain, bone, and heart health. Take a quick glance back through the family photos. Do you see your daughter in impossibly tall tube socks and skimpy running shorts? Perhaps there is an embarrassing photo of her (or you!) in a Jane Fonda-esque aerobics outfit. While girls have been signing up for team sports, their mothers have been making their way to Zumba, Crossfit, hot yoga, and boot camps in evergrowing numbers. Keeping a trim figure with cottage cheese and pineapple has been replaced with spin class and barre. It is not just the muscle that tones. An athletic lifestyle sets women up to significantly reduce the chance of dementia, skirt the devastation of osteoporosis, and skip the heart attack.

3rd Act Magazine – Fall 2016  
3rd Act Magazine – Fall 2016  

3rd Act Magazine is a bold, fresh, lifestyle magazine for older adults. Well written and informative articles to help all of us age with co...