As the saying goes, “attitude is everything.” Every phase of our lives possesses beauty and meaning. People often get discouraged as they age, but as with most things, there is good news and bad. There are many stories of people having various kinds of trouble due to age, but increasingly we also have wonderful stories of people in advanced years living fulfilling, rich lives continuing to do things they love. So while aging has challenges, getting older is also a gift, and if you’ve been granted this gift you must be doing something right.
We are all different and everyone ages and matures in different ways and at different times. Certainly, some very real physiological changes do occur. Fertility, skeletal maturity, bone density all evolve. Our nervous system, however, remains permanently “plastic” and able to adapt to changes. You can change the brain well into your older years. The key, experts say, is to keep learning new thing, stretching and working your brain as you do any other muscles.
Although we often hear people blame challenges on age, it is also true that in many cases the problem is not age but the body conditioning. You have probably heard the expression “use it or loose it” and that’s absolutely true. Even if you have not exercised in a long time, with the appropriate program you can regenerate your body. Of course, you must take certain factors related to age into consideration when creating an exercise and yoga routine. For instance, the healing process slows down as we age, so while it shouldn’t impact a health or physical conditioning routine, it is something to keep in mind. You may need more recovery time in between work outs. Once you are consistent with your program you will probably be able to build into a high level of activity and maintain it with constancy over time.
Remember, do not compare yourself to how you were when you were 10 or 20 years younger; that’s self-defeating. Instead, learn to meet yourself where you are. It was hard, but it was what I did when I first began doing yoga in a serious way in my mid 40’s.
Today, I routinely help people jump start a fitness routine, in a private session where we assess your needs, evaluate your posture and strength, and begin a slow, safe program to rebuild your condition. Even a at a slow-but-steady pace, you will be amazed at how together we create positive, healthy physical change.
Take your age into your own hands. Use your wisdom and experience to take advantage of the rejuvenating effects of exercise. You may be surprised to find that this next phase is the best one of your life.