I’m 43 now and started forging my career in exercise in my late 30s, I’m late to the game, but I now feel better than I did in my 20s.
Many of my clients are older than me (50+), and I’m apparently a spring chicken (as they put it), yet they pace me week in and week out proving that age is just a number.
I love the determination and will my clients show.
They no longer have room for can’t.
They no longer believe that they are restricted by “getting old”.
All they see is the next challenge and bring energy to making it to the next level
Self-belief is so important
It wasn’t always that way, for some, they once believed that the things they do now were well beyond their capability.
I look at some people my age and it’s worrying. There are so many people that I know who are taking blood pressure pills, struggling with their weight and daily activities, and suffering from serious health conditions.
This has become a normal way of life.
They accept these problems as part of getting old.
There’s no doubt we are all getting older, but it is never too late to work on improving your health.
Sure, there may be reasons that you can’t perform certain moves, there will always be some exercises that come with physical limitations, especially where operations or injuries have caused lasting damage, but that doesn’t write us out of the game. We adapt, we can still do a hundred other things.
We can still be fitter, stronger, more agile, and more flexible than before and improve our cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of serious illness and disease as we age.
I want to be mobile and active as I age.
That is not an impossible goal. It’s highly attainable and it still would be 20 years from now.
It is possible to slow our aging process…..well, that’s not right….we are aging faster than we need to by being sedentary and falling into damaging lifestyle habits.
We are giving in to simple aches, pains, and stiffness caused by inactivity, we believe we should slow down as we grow older, we hold more fear about hurting ourselves and that makes us lead less active lifestyles.
Exercise doesn’t have to be hard or complicated
Moving from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active lifestyle is not about throwing yourself into a hard-core workout.
It is enough to simply move more. Start thinking about how you can use your body more throughout the day and work within your current fitness range.
For some people, this may be as simple as taking a daily walk.
Any activity that you do beyond your current level will lead to improved health.
Set yourself some challenges.
This could be a decision to exercise for ten minutes each day for the next week.
Increase the duration of a daily walk.
You could walk faster.
Start with one exercise and increase the number of reps by one every day.
What ever you decide to do, always set yourself the goal of the next challenge.
Half a push up leads to one push up, then two, then three…before you know it, you can do ten then twenty.
No matter how small, every increment you add to your fitness routine will move you forward in the right direction, but do keep adding, whether that be daily, weekly, or monthly.
Make exercise work for you.
Given that you are going to do this, you may as well make it work for you.
Think about what you want to improve.
Are you able to bend to the bottom shelf in the supermarket?
Do you want to be able to carry more shopping at once?
Would you like to be able to move faster?
Do you want to be able to twist more freely when you are reversing the car?
There are lots of little movements that can become restricted as we get older. There are lots of things we simply stop doing because we begin to believe we no longer can.
Often, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We believe we can’t because we stop doing them or we don’t do them often enough and they become difficult.
By creating a functional workout, we can train ourselves back into simple movements that we need for our activities of daily living.
The squat and hip hinge helps us to safely reach the low shelves in the supermarket.
Strength training in our core helps us to carry the shopping.
Cardiovascular exercise helps us to build endurance and move faster.
Stretching exercises help us to mobilise joints and muscles leading to freer movement.
Once you have mastered your functional movements and begin to use them every day, your lifestyle becomes part of your workout.
Set yourself the first challenge today.
People tend to wait for motivation to strike.
Don’t fall into the trap of overthinking this.
Motivation comes from doing.
Choose one thing that will benefit you and do it. Just get up and do it.
This might be getting out for a short walk. You might just stand up now and do a few squats.
Do it again tomorrow.
Then the next day.
Do it more when you can.
Recognise how it makes you feel when you do more.
Pay attention to when it starts to become easier.
Look for the moments when you can do something in your daily life that you struggled with before.
Always take time to feel good about your achievement and then set yourself the next challenge.
This is you becoming fitter, stronger, more agile, and healthier than you once were.
Always be sure to check with your GP or health care professional before starting a new exercise or nutrition program and seek support from an exercise professional to ensure you are exercising correctly.