Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: Lifting Yourself from the Couch
It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Lifting Yourself from the Couch

By now, most of us realize that significant medical and psychological changes take place throughout our life and especially during the mid-life years. Genetics and nutrition are important variables in understanding those various changes. Another significant variable to consider is fitness or exercise. Of course there are many definitions of exercise.

As a result of the aging process, we can experience injury simply by getting out of bed or the tying of one’s shoe. We also know that strength, stamina, endurance and flexibility do not improve with age, so it’s important that we set the stage properly. We don’t want to make matters worse with some sort of sprain, strain, torn ligament, fall, fracture or head injury [71-year-old John Kerry recently broke a bone while cycling in Europe-supposedly he’s a fitness buff]. This is especially true, if you have been spending many hours hunched over a screen or some other device and/or sitting being a spectator. The following are suggestions from last week’s INR seminar: 1. Start out slowly, whatever the activity-checking with your physician about possible limitations or other medical conditions i.e. knee, bursitis issues- initially, get the okay to begin because we don’t want to make things worse. 2. Don’t forget that working through the pain [No pain, no gain] is old school and that tired muscles are easily injured. Yes, that may mean icing or taking an anti-inflammatory afterwards. Remember, the anti-inflammatory is taken after exercise and not before since we do not want to mask any pain or injury. 3. Build tolerance and endurance, very slowly. The physical activity doesn’t have to be all at once, and can be several times during the day   [Rome was not built in a day and you don’t have to get it all back at one time is the message here]. 15 minutes twice a day is just as good as 30 minutes. 4. Pay attention to temperature extremes. That may mean going out in the early morning or evening, while maintaining hydration in the summer months and wearing appropriate clothing during the winter months. It may also mean skipping the exercise altogether during those extreme conditions. Do not forget about the rain. There have been occasions that I have used my elliptical instead of running on the trail during triple digit or stormy conditions. Whenever I leave my house to begin a run, I always have, and I mean always take my water containers with me. I am in the habit of not leaving home without a water bottle. 5. Purchase good quality properly fitted supportive shoes. Currently, I am using Brooks and I replace them frequently. Go to your local running store and get that walking or running shoe for you. There are so many brands and styles for you to choose. When I first started almost 20 years ago, I purchased this one brand that I liked and got dependent on. I thought I would wear this particular style indefinitely. I quickly learned, that the shoe manufacturers make these shoe changes, and so when I go to the shoe store, I do not always know beforehand what generation of shoe that I’m purchasing. If it feels good, that might be the one for you. 6. Find well-maintained walking, jogging or running surfaces if you can. Since our flexibility and balance change, the more level the surface the better. Since I run on the trail, I carry two handheld water bottles to help brace my fall when I trip. I do trip and fall. My friend Tony carries a hydration pack on his shoulders since he doesn’t like to hold things in his hand. Because of all the loss of skin on his hands, he recently purchased gloves from a bike store to protect his palms. On Sunday’s run, because of the increase in temperature, he had to take his gloves off because of the heat. He says his skin will grow back. 7. Consistency is important, and hopefully it can become more of a compulsivity. Beginning is generally difficult. It may be getting off the couch, putting on that special shoe and leaving your residence.

Think of the Nike ad-“Just Do It!” when it comes to fitness, it’s about our thinking process decisions. Every decision has a consequence. It’s easy to distort reality with denial, rationalizations, intellectualization’s etc. Make your health span one of your goals. I can’t think of anything more important than mental and physical health, especially in living out one’s life. People that love themselves take care of themselves. If you can’t love yourself, you are unable to love anyone else either. Thinking otherwise is a cognitive distorted myth.

This is the true story. About 18 years ago, I wanted to begin participating in an event called Ride and Tie. This is a competition that consisted of trail riding and trail running in mountainous terrain. At that time, I was an equestrian, but not a trail runner and had not been running for quite some time. So I started running in 1997, at age 57 and quickly learned that I could run on relatively flat terrain, but not up and down hills. Initially, I walked up the hills and eventually learned that I could run them.

I gradually increased my running distances to a marathon distance, and even entered a 50 K trail run prior to running an official marathon. To make a long story short, I entered a real marathon and then a couple of 50 milers before running the Western States 100 mile one day event at age 62 in 2002. To read more about the progression and the experience, go to “It Has Nothing To Do with Age.” If I can do it…...


Post a Comment