I had a great conversation today with a very enthusiastic 50 year old woman who was seeking information about our services. Before she went into her questions she qualified herself as obsessive about exercise, loving to mountain bike, push her limits, train for specific improvements such as power, strength, injury prevention, and on and on. Obsessive? I stopped her to revisit that specific word. You see, our society has become so turned around in thinking that if you exercise with any kind of regularity and intensity past 50, you are somehow obsessive. Here is reality and this is exactly what I shared with her also. Replace obsessive with two words; consistent and disciplined.
The truth unfortunately these days is this. What many past 50 are consistent and disciplined about is not exercise! It might be hanging with friends, going on trips, playing with grandkids, or getting outdoors. Don’t get me wrong. These are all wonderful things to be consistent and disciplined about also. Just understand this. When it comes to your body, you only get one. How you take care of it while you still are physically able will determine how you age. You may not know this so I’ll tell you. Past 30 years of age our body’s aging clock it set to gradually whittle away at our bones, muscles, lung capacity, heart efficiency, joint integrity and range of motion, and even our capacity for learning, to the tune of 30% loss or greater in muscle mass alone! That is the difference between keeping your independence or not. So, if you’re ignoring exercise now thinking you can get to it “when you have more time” or “after you start feeling better” or any other number of delays, your body’s clock is still ticking away. I think about my situation where it seems only a few years ago my daughter was learning to dance. Now she’s a freshman in high school! My point. Time flies by.
So, the next time you find yourself wondering why one of your unusual friends exercises so obsessively, stop yourself. Instead, appreciate how consistent and disciplined they are. Recognize that they are not satisfied with simply letting years go by that could have instead been used to fortify bone density, skeletal muscle, lung capacity, and heart efficiency. Remember, we only have one body and the clock to decline starts ticking faster and faster past 30 years of age if we sit back and do nothing to slow it down. And on the flip side, you can GREATLY influence how you age with the inclusion of consistent and disciplined exercise!
Now go and age on your terms!