I had a client ask me this week, “What happens when I turn 70?” They wanted to know what happened to their training routine once they hit the milestone and what happened to their body.
In short, to answer their question, I said nothing. Just because the clock hits midnight doesn’t mean the lights go out.
The more long winded answer goes like this;
Your body is a machine, and yes with time it does start to change and “break down” in a sense. That said, it doesn’t just quit working all together. If you are in fairly good health, and you’ve performed “regular maintenance” on your body it will keep going as long as you let it.
There are two aspects to this maintenance routine. One is obviously the physical. Do you get exercise regularly? Do you eat relatively healthy? Do you get regular check ups? These are all things you can do to ensure your bodies overall health and ability to keep going.
The other aspect is mental. Turning 70 doesn’t mean you have to sit in a rocking chair and say good bye to life. Your mind, like your body, is a machine. Maintain it and it will run as long as it can. Positive thinking, and mental activity (challenging games like crossword or sudoku) are just two of many things you can do. If you start to thinking that you are old, your body will eventually succumb to that thinking and feel old. If you maintain that young, zest for life mentality you may find you are overall healthier and happier, regardless of age.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know that as you get older things get stiffer and some parts of you just don’t work like they used to. That part is inevitable and it can be incredibly frustrating. However as I mentioned, it’s your outlook and your lifestyle that will help to ease those frustrations. In terms of exercise you may find you switch from a big strength routine to a more mobility or functional based workout routine. Or maybe you’ve never exercised a day in your life but you want to maintain your independence so you start going for regular walks or going to the gym.
The same client who inspired me to write this article is also the same one who told me they were sure they were too old to start training at 65. After six months of training later told me that they could now put their sock on while standing on one foot, something they had never been able to do.
The one thing that you have to remember is that you are never too old to start being physically active. Your version of physically active may differ from that of the 30 year old next to you on the treadmill, but that part doesn’t matter. What matters is you are doing something to help you live a happier, healthier life. Strength, flexibility, balance, mobility and moderation. These are simple principles that will make 70 look like chump change.
Small changes can make a huge difference in your quality of life overall. Your life doesn’t end when you hit 50, or 60, or 70, or 80. If you want to keep living, you have to Keep Living.
I specialize in helping the mature population maintain their daily lives. If you need help you only need to ask.
At age 72, Stephen Jepson is living proof of his philosophy of lifetime fitness called Never Leave the Playground. Become smarter and sharper now. He rides a unicycle, juggles while balancing on a bongo board, throws knives and plays jacks with both hands, walks a tightrope, swam across Iowa’s Spirit Lake at age 66 and...
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