I have the habit of asking everyone I meet if they want to live for 100 or more years. How do you think the majority of people respond? I hope your answer is yes, however I have been very surprised to find that most people answer no. It seems we have a negative image of what it’s like to be 100. Even though very few of us know anyone of age 100, the image commonly held is one of being weak, sick and unable to take care of oneself. This negative image of aging comes from the fact that too many people find themselves in poor physical condition at an early age. In my opinion this undesirable condition of aging is due primarily to a lack of proper nutrition and physical exercise. If we could maintain a high level of mental and physical fitness all of our life, we would no longer dread aging. The great news is we can, we really can! The real point is not only that we can, but that we should. Be looking forward to aging with great anticipation. I believe we all are spiritual beings experiencing our physical bodies for the lessons that we need to learn. Life is a continual learning process in our quest to become a higher conscious spiritual being. We now know that our life span should be approximately 125 years as opposed to our current average life expectancy of 78 years. Failing to adopt a healthy lifestyle is actually cheating us out of about fifty years of valuable and enjoyable learning experiences… I think most of us are aware of the many health benefits that a personalized fitness program has to offer, such as lowering of blood pressure, pulse rate, and body fat, improving circulation, muscle strength, flexibility, mental alertness and on and on.
As we age these factors become necessities, if we are to stay vital and enjoy our life journey to the fullest. In his book “It’s Better to Believe, “ Dr. Ken Cooper states that his latest studies on aging have shown no significant decline in the major parameters of aging in physically fit individuals. Factors such as blood pressure, aerobic capacity and flexibility in fit individuals over age 65 are quite often better then those of unfit 25 year olds. There are also many good examples of what is humanly possible at any age. One such example was a friend of mine; author Noel Johnson of Pacific Beach. Noel ran marathons in his nineties. You certainly do not have to become fit enough to run a marathon, however, there is no reason you can not obtain and maintain a level of fitness that will give you the ability to lead an active, vital life, all of your life. For most of us an adequate level of physical fitness can be described as a condition that enables us to undertake any necessary daily physical activity without reservation or undue stress. This state of physical fitness is a primary component of good health and well being and helps us to look, feel and be our best. A basic but comprehensive physical fitness program should include proper breathing, flexibility, aerobic and muscle strengthening activities. First and foremost practice proper breathing techniques on a daily basis. Nothing is lost quicker with aging than flexibility Learn proper stretching methods and again practice them daily. Aerobic activities such as fitness walking, bicycling, jogging, swimming, dancing, skating etc. can be enjoyed every day or at least every other day.
The key word here is enjoyed. Make sure you have fun doing it and you will stick with it. Keeping our muscles toned and strong is also very important as we age. Lack of strength and balance is a major reason many people fall and injure themselves. A muscle-strengthening program of calisthenics or lightweight training exercises performed two or three times per week is very beneficial and can help prevent injuries. Taking time out daily for rest and relaxation and some form of meditation is also very beneficial. I highly recommend consulting with a fitness professional to assist you in developing a safe and effective fitness program that suit your specific needs and desires. Other advantages of having a personal fitness trainer are avoiding procrastination and staying motivated. One of my favorite sayings that help keep me motivated is; “Do we stop playing because we grow old? Or do we grow old because we stop playing?”
I think we all would like to discover our life purpose and have the energy and longevity to fulfill all our desires. Creating and implementing a personalized fitness program is the foundation for achieving these desires. Taking good care of your body will enable you to fully enjoy the wondrous experience of aging.