Let me ask you a question: What are you willing to consider doing to start today? Begin with something small but get going!
I remember looking at a picture of a woman lifting a heavy power bar. How old is she, I wondered? Was she forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years old? Did it matter that I know? Whatever her age, I thought, she is obviously
training for longevity. Clearly she was not in her teens, twenties, thirties or
forties. What an inspiration for our youth! And what an inspiration for all
adults over fifty years old! It is never too late to start exercising.
I started weight training at 40. I was overweight and asthmatic. I began the exercise program to lose weight but most important to get fit. I needed to drastically change my sedentary lifestyle and eat healthy foods. And once I started, I began to feel different. I liked who I was. I felt more confident. And, I happily no longer needed inhalers! Asthma under control and weight loss was also results of my efforts. I was hooked!
Now, maybe, you may never be able to lift like the woman Idescribed (but maybe you will)–although that may not be your goal—that wasn’t mine. But what if you could maintain your independence for as long as you can–lifting groceries, bags of fertilizer and dog food, playing with grandchildren, and just doing things you always enjoyed doing–like skiing, tennis, running, swimming and dancing? What would that mean to you?
So, if this is something you value–your independence, what are you willing to do, especially after 40 to really live your life fully? Are you willing to consider choosing better nourishing foods, increasing your daily fitness routine, decreasing your stress, and increasing the amount and quality of your sleep?
To me, the adage “Life Begins at 40″ is a misnomer: when did life end and begin at 40? Didn’t life begin when we were born? And, if, after reaching 39, what are we telling ourselves about the next phase of our life?
Is it that about 40 years old, we begin to get hints of our mortality? Did
something happen to us–an illness–our wakeup call or symptom telling us that we need to take care of our bodies, minds, and emotions NOW?
It’s funny. When I was little, I watched my grandparents and great-grandparents (one of whom lived to 104 and never went to the doctor) really live life to the fullest. They trained for longevity at every age. They cooked, gardened, cleaned, sewed, played outdoor games, danced, played instruments. They didn’t entertain conversations about reaching 40 or getting older. They seemed to focus on providing their families with nutritious foods, spiritual guidance or faith, emotional support, fun activities that reduced stress and encouraged social support. Age was only a number; biologically each person was as young as they felt.
Probably the most famous senior athlete was Jack Lalanne. Jack was a well-known fitness expert, bodybuilding expert, and motivational speaker well into his nineties. The fit senior citizen famously once said:
“I train like I’m training for the Olympics or for a Mr. America contest, the way I’ve always trained my whole life. You see, life is a battlefield. Life is survival of the fittest. How many healthy people do you know? How many happy people do you know? Think about it. People work at dying, they don’t work at living. My workout is my obligation to life. It’s my tranquilizer. It’s part of the way I tell the truth — and telling the truth iswhat’s kept me going all these years.“
For Jack and many fit seniors, life didn’t begin at 40. They were always living, training, actively involved, doing things they were passionate about, being happy, sharing joy, leaving a legacy, and imparting their wisdom. But for some of you who have not begun living and are approaching a BIG birthday, let me ask you this: What’s preventing you from beginning today? What would your life look like if you were really living?