Challenges Of Maintaining Physical Fitness As You Get Older

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Me and RichardI could have never imagined myself writing about physical fitness and ‘staying physically fit as you get older’ 30 years ago. When I was in my 30’s and 40’s I was in the best shape of my life. Along with working out on a regular basis, I played a lot of basketball and tennis ( just noting that I was an above-average player), along with coaching 2 – sometimes – 3 team sports.

Looking back, I must admit that I was really naive in thinking that I would be young forever, and able to maintain my participation in sports as well as my tip top physical fitness forever. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Although I was able to maintain my physical fitness level and play sports for a longer time than the average senior citizen, as I continued to grow older, it became more and more difficult to do. I would be lying to say otherwise. However. I want to note that I haven’t quit working out because that’s who I am.

.challenge aging inevitable

No matter what you do, the human body goes through certain physical and mental changes as you age, and there is nothing you can do to keep that from happening. You may be able to slow these changes down to a certain point, but’s it’s impossible to prevent them from happening.

As a senior citizen now, there have been numerous occasion when my mind said ‘yes’, but the old body said ‘no’. Don’t get me wrong, I still work out as well as play a little tennis or basketball every now and then. However, doing so now – compared to when I was young – has become much more challenging.

So, what exactly changes as you grow older? I will list just a few: stamina, pain (arthritis), willpower, priorities, hormones, taking medicines (which cause some of the changes) and illnesses. I think you get the point.

.challenge aging Keep working out2

In spite of all I have said, it is very important to stay as physically fit as possible as you age. Matter of fact, I believe that it is more important to be physically fit when you are old compared to when you were young. Being physically fit can reduce the risk of acquiring certain chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. And due to strong muscles and connective tissues, you are less like to fall and injure yourself.

Here are some suggestions for dealing with some of the problems of trying to maintain physical fitness as you age:

  • You should keep the bar high, but be realistic at the same time. Don’t overdo it. Listen to your body. It will let you know when you’re overdoing it.
  • Alternate your workout days. Workout one day, rest the next, and so on. It takes more time for the body to recuperate as you age. The days off will give your body ample time to do fully recover.

.challenge aging walking

  • Walk everyday. Walking, done often and properly, can deliver an array of benefits that are just as impressive as those often gained from other workout regimens.

.challenge aging stretching

  • Stretch and do some yoga frequently. This really works for me. Yoga and stretching eliminate muscle soreness and creates greater flexibility.

challenge aging cardio

  • Include cardio as well as resistance training in your workout regimen.

challenge aging healthy diet

  • maintain a healthy diet of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts
  • If you have to miss a workout day or two, due to illness or just not feeling it, don’t let this discourage you. Get back into it as soon as possible.

The take home points are:  Be realistic about the inevitability of aging. You can and should exercise as you get older. Just be realistic. Maintain a balance. Exercise is important, but it shouldn’t be your ‘life’. You should embrace and enjoy all facets of everyday life, physical fitness included.

 

 

 


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