Updated: Mar 1, 2019
Getting Old Is Natural, Being Old Is A Choice
I mean let's face it, I'm getting old YOU are getting old and if you reading this you probably ARE old, EVERYONE is getting old, that is an inevitable process of nature similar to birth. The difference comes down to one's mental perception of not only themselves but that of their bodies. Allow me to explain.
We live in a society where youth is extremely revered and the term "aged" is classified or set aside. Consequently, we react and perceive our reality differently every decade that goes by (e.g. how you felt during your 20th birthday compared to your 30th or 40th etc.). Because we also live in a very stressful and sedentary society, many people fall under the statistic of having a chronic health problem
such as arthritis, obesity, heart disease, diabetes (type 2), and many other critical ailments. As the quality of life slowly and systematically deteriorates, many older people resign themselves to lives of modest activity, thinking exercise is unsafe for their age, condition, suitability level, or that they need some kind of special equipment and a gym membership.
Every fitness professional surely heard the phrases "I'm old I can't do that" or "That’s too hard, I'm old" too many times to count. If YOU are among those thinking or saying those same phrases to yourself and those around you, let me let you in on a secret: When older people lose their ability to do things on their own, it doesn't happen just because they've aged. It's usually because they're not active enough. Lack of physical activity can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for various illnesses. In other words, the more you make excuses and hide behind "I'm old, therefore..." the sicker and quicker to death you'll be. Unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality.
So you still exercise enough you say? You go for a 2 mile run followed by your same routine of weight lifting 3 times a week, surely that is enough right? Wrong! Here is the second part of the secret. Our amazing human body is a homeostasis organism, meaning it’s reluctant to change and adapts extremely quickly. This will require you to change up your fitness routine relatively frequently. Having the same routine for too long will reduce its benefits to almost null and may even sometimes create more problems.
So what is my point after this huge block of text? Simple, stop hiding behind your age or conditions and start taking charge of your life and taking care of your aging self. Be active, stay active and enjoy it. Of course be safe about it, but above all else, stop boxing the perception of yourself to what society says you are. See these different phases of your life as a welcomed challenge on how to maintain not only your fitness, but your health as well. Just because you are losing your balance doesn't mean you should reach for the cane. Teach your highly adaptable body how to cope to the best of its abilities and teach it an alternative way to stand on its own two feet.