How to Prevent Your Body From Deteriorating As You Age (And Why it Does)
What does an old person look like?
Hunched over? Slow? Doddering? Shaky?
And how likely are you to see an older person in their 70s+ go running or performing gymnastics? Not very?
Our assumptions about the elderly are generally fuelled by stereotypes and perhaps the people we know in our own lives. But just because a lot of people lose their ability to move well as they age, that doesn’t mean you have to.
Just take a look at Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. These guys are in their 70s and they’re still more muscular than most of us every will be in our whole lives! There are old Grandmas in their 80s who can perform top-level gymnastics and at any marathon you will see a lot of elderly contenders.
The reality is that your body does not have a ‘best before’ date on it. Actually, your body should be more than capable of lasting your entire life. The problem is the way we use it.
How Your Body Deteriorates
Think about what most of us do between the hours of 9-5, 5 days a week. We sit in an office, hunched over and working. No doubt most of us will pick up some kind of injury and this then teaches us that we need to slow down and stop being active (which is encouraged by most people we know).
We spend our retirement also sitting down and during all this time, our bodies start to lose their flexibility, their muscle tone and their dynamism. This is when imbalances arrive and it’s when we start to experience chronic pain. Sometimes this is exacerbated by illness or inflammation but very often it is simply the result of a lack of use, improper movement and muscular imbalances.
How to Fix It
So how do you fix it?
Simple: you start to move again.
And you stop treating yourself like you’re made from glass! You need to push your body for it to adapt and become stronger and that is how you avoid aging.
That doesn’t mean you should launch straight into an intense CrossFit regime though. Instead, you need to make sure that you introduce yourself to exercise gently with walking or swimming and then build on that. Work with a trainer and find someone who understands functional movement. In no time, you’ll be moving better than you ever did in your youth!