The really good news is you have the capacity to live well into your 80’s, 90’s even topping 100!
But, consider for a moment, about the quality of your life and health. It has been predicted only 3 out of 10 people will be healthy enough to really enjoy these golden years, will you will be one of them?
By the time the 21st Century arrived much of the physical demands of our daily lives had been replaced by automation. Modern life today sees many of us “sitting” and hardly moving for long stints during the day, every day. Our bodies pay the price: the stiffness of joints, the weakening of muscles, the decline in our energy level and the increased risk of disease.
We are often quick to blame this on the aging process but instead these changes are a direct effect of inactivity and the sedentary lifestyles that we are living today.
In the last century, another 30 odd years of life expectancy has been added to our lives. For some these years are not a time for happiness and well-being. Although people are living longer in the industrialized world, they are also getting chronically ill at a much earlier age. It seems modern medicine can prolong life; but seems far less able to promote healthy aging.
The downward health spiral
The downward spiral of degeneration is not automatic or an inevitable part of the aging process. The shame of it is most of us age at an accelerated rate surrendering to the downward spiral and we don’t even know it. We slowly lose the will and energy to stay strong and active, muscles and joints begin to become stiff and painful. It hurts to move so we start to make excuses not to have to.
This loss of function doesn’t happen out of the blue, it has been going on beneath the surface for years sometimes decades. It sneaks up on us; we lose a bit here and a bit there. We stop doing things, maybe a sport or activity that we used to enjoy. Or maybe we hire somebody to mow the lawn or do something that we used to do ourselves. We lose our strength, flexibility and mobility by degrees often not realizing what is happening and certainly not doing anything to slow down this ticking health bomb.
If you own a body that hurts and no longer performs as it should it becomes an intrusion in your life. If it hurts whenever you have pick something up off the floor or carry something heavy it sucks the life energy from you. Would this situation not make you wonder “if it is this bad now what is it going to be like for me in 10 or 20 years from now”?
For many people this downward spiral of declining health and subsequent disability is happening at younger and younger ages – thirties, forties, fifties. For most of us exercise is something we should do, but we choose not to, continuing to live our lives without any degeneration preventing exercise. We can live like this for many years, or even decades while experiencing a gradual and barely noticeable decline in overall health and physical functioning.
For our bodies to become and remain healthy they require the stimulation of challenging physical activity to replace the “work” they have been designed to do. This is the primary way our bodies renew every living cell each day. In other words we are still hard wired for hard manual labor and our bodies don’t know we no longer need to do it.
Our bodies have responded with the loss of our muscle mass and strength as it is no longer needed, the old “use it or lose it” scenario. Our modern world now faces an epidemic of overweight and obese people, sky rocketing levels of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other life threatening illnesses and conditions, all of which have been labeled “lifestyle diseases” as they are considered to be premature and preventable.
Your level of strength is the absolute foundation of your life and equals your level of health. Being physically strong enables you to do more, and be more, which means more of everything – more vitality, more energy and more out of every aspect of your life.
How do you do this?
Researchers have been studying men and women in their 80s and 90s whose brains have much more mass related to attention and learning than most people their age. In essence, they have younger brains — and bodies. We can’t really take care of either without taking care of both. A healthy, vital lifestyle cultivates a healthy, vital mind. Dementia is, for the most part, as preventable as heart disease.
The beauty of the elements of a healthy lifestyle is that they tend to work together. Each of these tends to help reinforce the others. Exercise to keep your body strong and you get to manage stress and sleep better. Eat better and you will have more energy to exercise longer and harder. It’s an endless loop with one thing supporting the other and around it goes, in an upward spiral leading up to the best possible life.
I hope you can see now that you do have the ability to choose how you will age. You have two choices – surrender to the downward spiral and accept the fast road to getting older much quicker than you need to. Or take control and begin practicing the most basic of self care which included proper exercise and healthy eating (hint: not processed).
After all, most objects work better when they get used regularly – cars, machinery and so on. It’s the same with our body’s muscles, bones and joints. Put them through their paces at every opportunity whenever you can. By working at staying strong and active with an exercise program you are providing the necessary fuel to keep your body functioning well and preventing a host of muscle and joint problems as you get older.
Don’t let your world become smaller and less enjoyable by relinquishing or losing your physical capabilities. Exercise is not a frivolous pastime or optional luxury; it is a form of preventative medicine, an essential ingredient for maintaining healthy bodies and minds.
If you haven’t already, start a proper structured exercise program. Don’t accept that you have to slide into a downward spiral of performance and appearance as you age. You can slow the ticking clock with a simple solution of strength training exercise, just 2 -3 sessions each week will do it.
Wellness living requires each of us taking personal responsibility for our own well-being and implementing positive programs to improve health and quality of life. A proper exercise program made up primarily of strength training exercise supported with a natural whole food eating plan will rejuvenate virtually every organ in your body, adding energy to your days and years to your life.
This will allow you to squeeze out as much enjoyment as possible to add to your life from those extra years you have been gifted with so you don’t waste them!
You can avoid premature aging…but you must be willing to change and shift the habits in your life…
“Healthy Self Healing” can help you do just that…
For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your goals and achieving the success you desire in life, please visit: