We are told all our lives about what old people can and can’t do. In fact, we are first instructed what young people can and can’t do. I am not saying that there are certain things that a 5 year old shouldn’t do like drive a race car, but it does seem that from the crib we are taught about the expected boundaries of our age. Our problem, especially as we get older, is that we believe them.
We have accepted limitations to our health and fitness put on us by society. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2000 stated that from the age of 25-44 men gain 3.4% of weight per year and women gain 5.2%. You get older and gain weight, right? You get older and “can’t do the physical things you use to do”, because you are “old”. We are bombarded with commercials telling us to take a pill for everything. The list goes on. I am not saying there is a grand conspiracy, but we are preached to in the media, in our community and maybe even in our families that age comes with certain limitations. My growing up was filled with, “you can’t do that”. When you add that into the psychological mix of seemingly built in limits, it screams at us and can be a mountain to overcome.
Thank God we are made to overcome mountains. In fact we are made to think for ourselves! We don’t have to take a pill for everything. We don’t have to gain fat weight. We don’t have to stop doing what we love to do. We can stay fit and healthy into our 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and yes, even into our 80’s! Am I taking it too far? I think not. We can be “Younger Next Year”, like the title of the popular book by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge. Our bodies are engineered to heal themselves, lose fat, gain endurance and get stronger if we will cooperate with them. We are NOT engineered to fall apart in our 50’s. You might be asking, isn’t there are time when the body does start to crumble? Why ask that question? That is the WRONG question! The question is, what do I need to do and how do I need to rethink my approach to health and fitness.
The above book may be a good starting place. Get your brain convinced that you can be more fit and healthy than you are right now. Find some good books and articles that can convince you of that. There is more than hope, there is concrete evidence. From there you are going to need to find friends that believe it too. The power of community cannot be underestimated. Then you define and live the lifestyle it will take to propel you to your best you. It will take discipline, but so does taking medication. Today we choose how we will live tomorrow. Why not choose a great life?