Aging: Fighting and Winning the Battle in Your Head

Even though we know that aging is going to dramatically alter our lives, like an accident unfolding before our eyes in slow motion, when our bodies do change, we’re again confronted with our own mortality and another confirmation of what lies ahead.

You, like me, probably know lots of different people; some healthy and others in varying states of disability, having a wide range of responses to their aging.

What is it that gives some the courage to fight and be positive in the face of major obstacles, while others see only darkness no matter what good befalls them?

I don’t have the answer to that question, but I can undoubtedly declare that if you’re going to have a shot at happiness in the waning years, courage needs to be part of your psyche.

For sure, you’ve got to come to grips with the reality in your own head. Accepting the fact that I had become a ‘senior citizen’ was, for me, an actual decision to embrace that fact and the accompanying consequences. This is a new phase, and I will be tested and tried in new and challenging ways. To approach it otherwise, in my thinking, would be a setup for disaster. While I promote health, fitness, and wellness as lifestyle choices to improve the quality and quantity of life, I understand that all I have is this moment; there are no entitlements to health and longevity.

These thoughts were prompted by a great article written by a 69 year old marathoner, who reflects on the decline of her performance due to aging:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/aging-marathoner-still-running-but-at-a-much-slower-pace/2014/12/05/d77ab396-691e-11e4-9fb4-a622dae742a2_story.html?wprss=rss_national

I hope you take the time to read her story and her personal reflections. You will have those same thoughts, if you haven’t already.

Learning how others come to grips with circumstances can be a source of strength in your own daily walk.

Take a lesson from the study of the longest living population groups: all of them have in common, among other things, the characteristic of a strong social network. There’s no substitute for people around you who care.

To all of my fellow seniors who face each day with a much more difficult mountain to climb than confronts me, I admire your courage!

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



Categories: Aging

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4 replies

  1. I would be interested in your take on the growth of health clubs specifically designed to address the physical falling-apart phenomenon of us seniors, such as welcyon: http://welcyon.com.l01.project-qa.com. The marketing for these clubs implies that once you get that AARP-invitation letter, you need a personal trainer.

    • Good to hear from you, Anita! Here’s my take on the issue. The market for helping Seniors is huge, and the need is even greater. It’s funny, but even when I trained as a young man in the well known franchises, I always thought to myself that the ones that really needed to be there were the seniors. And even though there are an increasing number of Seniors these days, I don’t see a major influx of my peers where I train now. Regarding the need for a personal trainer, I advise everyone to learn proper technique, whether they’re lifting weights or practicing Tai Chi. Wrong techniques and improper form can lead to injury when
      exercising. That being said, I’ve noticed a wide variance in quality of personal trainers as I’ve observed the sessions around me while doing my own training.

      The routine I do today is the same basic routine I’ve done for 50 years: The nucleus of my training consists of Bench Presses, Squats, Chin-ups, and Core Training. Of course, for each main muscle group there are additional exercises. Before my lifting, I do 10-20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training, usually on the treadmill.

  2. Well said Steven! The 60+ crowd at my gym have remained constant. Now that it has an association with Silver Sneakers I hope I see more seniors! The trainers do a good job of matching age with the proper exercises!

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