Nancy and I recently celebrated another birthday, and it got me to thinking along these lines;
"I know I am a year older, but I really don't FEEL any different than 10 years ago, in fact in a lot of ways I feel better. Do I really have to accept that getting older comes with unavoidable aches, pains and weight gain?"
Now don't get me wrong. I have noticed some physical changes that have come with the passing years. But they have more to do with recovery than they do with ability.
I have continued to get stronger in the gym, but he fact of the matter is I just don't bounce back from training or injury as fast as I used to. I spend more time on mobility work than I used to, and I can't pound quite as many calories as I used to and stay lean. When something gets tweaked, I am careful about addressing it, not ignoring it, confident it will eventually "go away". Part of that probably has to do with a little wisdom gained over the years from doing stupid things. 🙂
Many of us are at the stage of life when we see our parents starting to struggle with the aging process too, and we want to help them as well. The fact of the matter is the more proactive we are with our physical fitness and healthy eating habits now, the far better off we will be in the next 10, 20 , 30 years and beyond.
I recently read a very thorough article, "Nutrition for Seniors", distributed by our partners at Precision Nutrition and authored by Jennifer Broxterman, MSc, RD. You can read the full article by clicking the link here.
Now slow down, I realize everyone reading this would not classify themselves as a "senior". But the thing that caught my eye and caused me to read the entire article was a sentence right near the beginning:
"It's not the number of years you live; it's how you live them."
She then wrote something that really drove the point home. It's not about lifespan, it's about healthspan. It's not how long you live - it's how well you live.
The bottom line is that good nutrition and lifestyle habits - regular appropriate exercise, healthy amounts of sleep, and stress management strategies, are the best tools to improve healthspan.
The good news? Those things are in your control. While we can't always change what happens to us, we do have a choice on how we are going to deal with the mess that life throws our way.
One of my favorite words is "resilience". One definition is; "the capacity to to recover quickly from from difficulties, toughness."
We hit the gym to build resilience in our bodies. A strong, flexible (dare I say "pliable", TB12 fans?) body is less prone to injury and recovers more quickly from injury than a detrained body.
We nourish our body with healthy foods to support that training, to promote healthy cell function, and to build a rock-solid immune system that fends of the ravages of illnesses and the stress of life.
Resilience doesn't happen by accident. There is daily effort and struggle involved. But it is worth it.
Dylan Thomas wrote; "Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
I am not on some Quixotic quest for immortality. But I am not averse to a little "raging" either. 🙂
So happy birthday to us. And many more, full of health, life, and happiness.
Glad you are here with me,