Are you familiar with the saying: “It’s not just the years in your life, but the life in your years”?
It’s a good one and I have an eye-opening “what if” exercise for you today to bring that saying to life.
Start here: Imagine you can fast-forward to the age of 75, when you’re spending a day at the beach (yay, you!). What are you doing while you’re at the beach? Are you fishing … body surfing ... swimming and/or walking the shore? Or are you sitting under an umbrella in a tall lawn chair (because getting in and out of the short ones is almost impossible!), watching your family or friends enjoy the fun?
Next: Let’s pop over to your home, where you are unloading the car from your weekly grocery trip. Can you carry it all in 1-2 trips? Or do you have to make several trips, and use a railing to help you up and down the stairs?
Right now, are you able to easily do all the things you want to be able to at 75? If you can, awesome – and be sure to build a lifestyle that continues to support that.
Keep the term “use it or lose it,” in mind.
But … if doing those things is getting harder all of the time, it’s time to ramp up your strength and endurance.
1. Research shows that you lose 3% to 8% of your muscle mass every decade once you turn 30, and that rate can skyrocket to up to 15% after the age of 60.
2. The kind of muscles that are most susceptible to loss are “type 2” – which help you generate force and power. Those are the muscles that assist with fun activities like swimming, fishing, and body surfing … and even more importantly, they also are the ones you need to kick in to help catch yourself to avoid falling down!
This is why it is so important to stay ahead of your fitness and strength as you age.
It’s so much easier to KEEP muscle than is to try to regain it once it’s lost!
Here’s a quick list of how you can do that:
● Have active hobbies - don't stop moving as you age, pick activities that get you using your body
● Get regular, intentional exercise - be specific about what you do and when
● Sit instead of lying down, stand instead of sit - keep those muscles going
● Find ways to sneak extra movement into your day - walk, stand, stretch!
It will pay off now … and for decades to come!