NOW I KNOW WHY WE DON'T
- I remember once speaking with a friend a number of years ago about how if you practice yoga, structured meditation and ate properly that you would lead a happy life. I was laughed out of the room by a now 70 year old who just had a knee replacement. By the way, I was right.
- Every time I visit a senior residence I see lots of older people who obviously need exercise judging by the difficulty they have getting around. Yet most refuse to take part in the wonderful classes that are often available to them right in their own home.
- According to statistics, only 40% of older adults (those over 65) take part in regular exercise. In my personal experience I would say that only about 10% of those more elder are regularly active.
- The fear of falling is now a recognized medical diagnosis. Falls are easy to prevent. The reasons they aren't prevented are numerous, but the biggest reason no doubt is that an inactive lifestyle increases fall risk substantially. If people are so afraid of falling why is it that they don't do the one thing that can significantly help them? Exercise.
- Almost all of the conditions we face as we age are immensely helped with exercise. Our lives would be so much better if we would. Pain would be greatly reduced, chronic illnesses limited or eliminated, depression lifted. Yet we don't take the advice to exercise regularly even though is recommended by so many experts and verified by so much research.
NOW I KNOW WHY WE DON'T!
It all has to do with delayed reaction.
- The effects of inactivity are extremely bad for physical and mental health and wellbeing. Sitting on the sofa for an hour watching TV without moving is really harmful for the body.
- YET, sitting on the sofa for an hour watching TV without moving feels just fine at the time. In fact, it often feels great! After a while I feel like a slug and have less and less energy to do anything, but for the most part it feels like being on vacation.
- We don't realize that it is bad for us till we go to stand up. Then it is often hard and maybe even painful to straighten our spine, legs and hips. We are stiff.
- BUT we ascribe our stiffness to something else, like getting old instead of blaming what caused it, sitting.
- We associate the pleasant experience with the dangerous activity and of course we don't want to change, even though we may know it is best for us if we do.
- Add to this that exercise requires effort and can feel unpleasant at times and our natural inclination is to procrastinate even when we know we shouldn't. It doesn't feel right to exercise. And it frequently does not feel right until we have gone through the effort of establishing and practicing a consistent routine. That can take weeks of adhering to irksome activity before we start feeling the benefits.
- This delay of the consequences of inaction as well as the delay in experiencing the benefits of exercise make it even more necessary for us to use mind over matter.
When we go to stand up after sitting and we feel stiff, it is not because we are old. It is because we sat too long. 5 minutes per hour of activity reverses the effects of extended sitting.
Contact me by email for "Secrets to Successful Fitness" describing 5 easy steps to take to ensure success at establishing an exercise schedule for improving overall health and wellbeing.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of obstacles to being active in our older years. I write about this subject extensively. Another great article is one I title: "Age is not the enemy. Inactivity is." Well worth reading to get some perspective about how we can get better as we age instead of the reverse.
We can take small steps to improve in many different ways. We can improve strength, flexibility and balance. It all comes up to what choices we make. We choose our own path. Choose to put improved health through exercise on yours.
The Building Better Balance system was developed to help you navigate through the aging process. Learning about the things we have to deal with gives us an extra layer of understanding which in turn improves the effectiveness of exercise so significantly.