Getting old is not a joke. For many individuals health can be impaired, mobility diminished and possibly independence compromised. It does not necessarily have to be the case. However, the harsh reality is things change, some within our control and others maybe beyond it.
How we learn to work with these elements is an ongoing challenge. Gratifying movement that fulfills one with passion, more than a prize, is high on my list of supporting tools.
This demands that you find something you enjoy, keeps you engaged in learning and at the end of the day is good for your body. Something one learns quickly through the aging process is that we recover much slower than in our younger decades. Exercise thus should invigorate and energize not demolish needed resources.
I’ve spoken previously about what I call the need for rational fitness. In that post I pose two questions:
- Would this program help you age gracefully and with minimal injury risk?
- Is it enhancing the rest of your life?
If you can answer yes to both above then probably you will continue to have many years of enjoyment in exercise. If not maybe it’s time for change. Why does this matter?
If there is one thing that most doctors, researchers, academics and wellness practitioners can agree on is exercise is good for you. Short list of the potential benefits:
- Keeps you mobile and potentially independent
- Enhances circulation and breathing
- Promotes healthy posture and bone health
- Supports balance and agility
- Positively aids numerous chronic illnesses such as diabetes and depression
There is an endless supply benefits but let’s keep it short and sweet. I see movement and I include recreational activities in this also as your own personal insurance policy. Certainly none of us have the power to guarantee 100% health but at the same time efforts within our control, seem worthy of investment.
How do you hit the passion switch?
I see the number one hurdle is the concept of exercise to lose weight. This is by far the most common road to failure in achieving enjoyment and moreover lifetime participation. If you are simply counting calories in order to eat an extra cookie and that is the reason you are walking, there is little room for passion. It’s a number’s game with a high risk of failure, both on losing weight as well as enjoyment in exercise.
I’ve written numerous times about a calorie is not a calorie and letting that go equals freedom. In addition, “exercise to exercise” is a better motto if seeking the fun factor in movement. The more criteria one must fulfill, such as pounds lost, calories counted and time spent, the more chances if milestones aren’t met you will quit.
And that’s the point; the real benefits kick in when one has consistency and dedication long term. It’s really hard to do something you don’t like day in day out. Why should you?
Part of this new mentality and drive for passion means you can’t compare yourself to someone else. I feel this is especially true as we age. It’s not that the older you get the more you sit on the sidelines, no. It does require that you find movement that fits your needs, body and age appropriateness.
Lastly it’s important to remember that good health comes in lots of sizes and shapes. The ability to move with ease and grace, enjoy life and have energy over after a workout is in my opinion part of winning program. If you are kind to yourself, reward your dedication and let go of having to win a prize or certain weight, passion just might come your way!
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”