Exercise ~ activity requiring physical effort carried out especially to sustain or improve health and fitness.
Exercise. I might have made some attempts to sell you on the idea 😉
Ok.. maybe I feel a bit passionate about it. Maybe I know once you get started, get over that “obstacle” that holds you back from committing to it and making it a new habit in your life, you will not be able to imagine not doing it in your day.
I don’t know what your “obstacle” is. But if you aren’t doing it and make excuses not to, you have an obstacle.
Exercise really isn’t something that we naturally and inherently flock to… like… “ohhhhh yes! Of course I want to feel uncomfortable and sweat and breathe hard and have my heart pounding out of my chest!”
No one does. This is the point we can see, feel and know … ugh… we are really out of shape. In turn, this makes us feel worse, feel inadequate and that we’ll never “get there”.
We quit before we start.
Exercise then, is something we must teach ourselves to do. We have to push through our own personal obstacles. We must do it until it begins to feel weird if we don’t do it.
We’ve got to turn it into a new habit.
Building new habits my friends, takes time and a healthy amount of determination.
I recently ran into an woman I had gone to school with. I don’t think I’ve seen her in person since then ( she’s only seen me via social media). We chatted about many things when the convo turned to exercise and she commented on my physique telling me how inspiring I was. When I mentioned I didn’t start exercising till I was 46 she was shocked. I told her it was a few years later that my athletic side really started to kick in… when I started getting more serious about running and ultimately training for marathons.
She asked how I did it and I told her I just kept at it and didn’t quit. The rest is history.
When you press on and exercise every day ( or almost every day) your body responds in wonderful ways and there are tons of health benefits that come with it.
Here’s a few:
controls your weight, reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, lowers blood pressure, reduces risks of some cancers, strengthens bones and muscles, improves your mental health and mood, increases your chance of living longer, and improves your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult.
Let’s not forget things also like gaining new energy, confidence, and overall feeling good. If you’re looking for the fountain of youth more and more research suggests exercise is the key to it. In order to stay healthy you have to keep your cells young. Exercise forces new cell growth and turn over in our bodies causing an anti aging effect ( this is sooo simplified right now. Maybe I’ll do a blog on just this idea … stay tuned!)
Let’s just say this.. our “chronological” age is pretty well set and that’s something we have no control over. Our “biological” age… we have a huge amount of control over.
This is why two people the same chronological age can look years different.
Ok if all that isn’t enough let’s just focus on the part about being older and still being able to do daily activities and being strong and balanced so you don’t fall. Falls are one of the leading causes of death in older people and reasons as well why they are in care homes.
You don’t want to wait till you’re “old” to start exercising. You start now wherever you are. Being fit and strong is something that you will draw from as you get older. There is a huge misconception that getting old means you get weak and frail. That you lose strength because you are.
No. You get weak and frail because you’ve stopped using your body and the old saying is true “use it or lose it”. But at some point in your 30s, you start to lose muscle mass and function. The cause is age-related sarcopenia or sarcopenia with aging. Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. This is what contributes to weakness and not being able to do things as people get older.
You must counteract all of that to preserve and build muscle. Enter strength training and muscle building exercise.
You can’t wake up old and decide to pop some Geritol or some magic pills and hope they will carry you through. Ideally you work out and you work hard, most days of the week. Then as you age your body is used to labor and the things you’ve done help you maintain balance and strength ( hopefully protecting you or totally keeping you from falling) you then live a strong, energetic, and independent life doing the things you like and want.
But… you’ve got to start now. It’s like saving money. You don’t have any to draw on if you don’t save it.
Goes like that with exercise. If you want something to draw on years from now, you need to start now. You work your body every day and let it do things that will help you live strong and independent when you’re older.
If you don’t know where to start, start walking. Everyone can do it and it’s generally safe for most people. Be sure to walk briskly and move at a steady pace for at least 30 minutes. You will seriously want to incorporate some strength training in your week too.
Think of activities you like that you might want to try. Experimenting is one of the best ways to find your passion.
Focus on taking one day at a time. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses to not do it. Think of how you’ll feel when you are finished… strong, accomplished, clear headed and moving forward to a healthier more fit you now, and in the future 🙂