Keep on Moving on
While sitting in the waiting room of yet another Doctors appointment for one of my aging parents, I picked up a magazine that caught my eye. I read a great article about “The Aging Athlete”. Have you wondered if your years of exercising are paying off for you as your body is aging?
The answer of course has many variables starting off with your own family genetics. Orthopaedic Surgeon Vonda Wright, MD, reports that how we age is 30% genetics and 70% under our direct control. She states that those of us Baby Boomers who “get that” want that control. The people who continue to be physically active carry this aura through other aspects in their lives, says Dr. John Vani an Orthopaedic Sugeon and Sports Medicine Specialist.
He feels the greatest area of focus for athletes (and yes, I feel we are athletes if we are getting out and doing something physically active) should include strength conditioning as muscle mass loss can start as early as age 40.
Our bodies are physical structures that break down with time so be realistic about your abilities and skills and what is part of the natural aging is important. Keeping active in our 50s, 60s, & 70s adds at least 4-6 years to life expectancies while seeing decrease in the likelihood of acute & chronic diseases, add in improved mental health and that to me is incentive enough to keep putting one foot in front of the other. As we age it is not just about how fast you finished your run or how far your club hit the ball, but more importantly did you finish it.
Preparing our bodies for aging is a new thought, but one that will serve us well as we do age. In our physical activities in addition to strength training adding in balance along with consuming plenty of Vitamin D, Calcium and good oral hygiene and healthily managing our stress makes for well rounded balanced living to hopefully get each of us to a ripe old age not sitting in the rocking chair but moving around on the RIGHT FOOT.