Getting old stinks! How to make your vitality an obsession
I heard it again today, “Just wait until you’re my age!” Well, every day I do get a little older and I notice something different about the way my body responds to life.
Recently, my gut started acting differently after eating one of my favorite snacks. #SadFace
When I demonstrate squats or lunges my knees make the sound of elastic from old gym shorts being stretched after they’ve been in the drawer for far too long. That snap crackle pop from Rice Krispie cereal is quiet compared to my knees.
This one, though, hurts the most. My ass has always been one of my favorite features and it’s starting to get a little droopy. Boo-Hiss!
I’m sure this is the beginning. Getting old can just plain stink! Wouldn’t you agree?
How about you though. What have you noticed about yourself as the days and years are tacked on…
- Feeling a little more achy in your back and knees?
- Droopy tookus?
- Can’t party like you used too?
- Noticing you’re a little more tired than usual?
- How’s your memory or your ability to manipulate the scale?
- Skin getting saggy or thin?
I have the absolute joy of working with people who are in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. One of the most important things for all of them is to remain independent and able to do the things they enjoy most – playing cards, golfing, getting in and out of a car. Working with them gives me a look into the future and reminds me of the little things I can do now that will pay dividends later. Plus, I love all the stories and life experiences they tell me about.
Here are a few things I’ve learned:
Key Factor #1: Stop launching yourself towards the grave accepting your aches and pains to be “just the way it is” as you age.
Our present-day well-being is about 20% genetics and 80% of what you do daily. Once you realize you have more control over your vulnerabilities, things will change. Be an active participant in this process.
Tune in and be mindful of what is happening to your body. Change the way you think of aches and pains. They aren’t telling you to stop everything. They are telling you something needs attention.
That leads us to…
Key Factor #2: Take slow and steady action, change won’t happen overnight. You may not be able to get up off the floor with ease right now but with practice, that simple act can be yours again. Pain in the joints and stiffness when you wake up may be a sign that you’re not moving enough throughout the day.
Muscles tell your bones where to go, the more sedentary you are the stiffer you become. Don’t let rigor mortis set in and muscles atrophy before the light goes out in your eyes.
Do something about it. Practice getting up off the floor daily. If you can’t do that yet, practice sit-to-stands from your favorite chair. Practice balancing on one foot while touching your nose (or brushing your teeth). Hire a personal trainer… we absolutely love to help.
Remember when we were kids? Everything seemed so easy. It’s because we played! We issued challenges to our friends – I bet you can’t do this?! Which usually meant we were challenging our body to do something hard while demonstrating some random act of insanity.
Begin playing again.
Key Factor #3: Let food be thy medicine. And water.
Plan to eat the way you want to feel. There really is nothing that has to be off limits. Most often, certain foods are consumed in excess, along with too little of whole quality foods, and that’s where we get ourselves in trouble. Carbohydrates are fuel for the brain and the body, don’t skimp out on them. Protein, fat, and fiber keep you feeling full and are building blocks that will help the body become stronger. Salt and sugar… well, I won’t get into either of them here but check out these articles about the perils of salt and sugar. Remember, they aren’t the enemy and they aren’t off limits. It’s more a matter of using them wisely and well.
And let’s be real. I don’t know a single person who eats the way they should ALL the time, EVERY day, day in and day out. Use supplements that make sense for you. Here’s a quiz to help you figure out what you need most – what supplements should I take?
Key Factor #4: Lastly, challenge your doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, and anyone giving you suggestions. Ask questions and lots of them. Be your own best advocate, you know yourself best. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it. Find answers that make sense for you. Your course of action will be different from your friends, your spouse, your kids, and the celebrities who seem to have all the answers.
Don’t take anything at face value. I love it when my clients and customers have questions, when they challenge me it means they’re really invested in finding their solution.
I know my body will change and I will have to make adjustments in how intensely I do things and even what I do on a daily basis. I also know I’m not going down without one heck of a fight.
Don’t accept that things “are the way they are” without asking lots of questions. It’s never too late to do something about your vulnerabilities. Keep moving. Eat wisely and well. And, most importantly, know that you have the ability to make vitality yours again.
I leave with you this for today:
My goal is to die young at an old age. ~ Joyce, age 70+
Cruising for Fitness and Finish Lines by Sue Ward
Your #FitBodyPhatLife Broker – Jenn