Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Keep Interested, Get Active, and You Won't Get Old Before Your Time

Age - and agelessness - is about attitude and health.Your attitude has to one of interest and curiosity: interest in the people around you, in learning, in current affairs, a craft, gardening, motor sports, fishing, reading... As long as your interests are legal and not obsessive or abusive, I don't think it really matters what they are. In my experience, those with a wide range of interests are lively, good company and they keep their youthfulness for a very long time.It is undeniably easier to follow your interests and keep active if you can keep your health. Healthy people - those who don't suffer so much from long term conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer - are often fit as well. They are less likely to be obese and more likely to be out and about, walking, cycling, being busy and active. The key to avoiding getting old before your time is therefore to keep, or to get, as fit as you can.Sadly it is much easier to keep your fitness levels than it is to get back lost fitness, so it is essential that you start on a heathier and fitter regime as soon as you can. If your fitness has already slipped so that any exercise takes a great deal of effort, you must be extra careful about how you go about improving the situation. Too much of the wrong sort of exercise may risk of injury or even a heart attack, but just as importantly is likely to put you off exercise altogether.

Over the last few years I have regularly attended several classes, such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates and Zumba and I have also regularly used the gym. I have seen lots of different people come and go, and I sometimes make little bets with myself to see if I can correctly guess who will stick with the activity and who will only come once or twice. It is almost always those who are very unfit to start with who give up. You can see they are finding the exercise a trial rather than an enjoyable challenge, and if you don't enjoy exercising it is very unlikely that you'll keep it up.Start with something that you can enjoy and that you can achieve. Walking fits the bill for many people: you don't need special equipment, and you can start very gently and build up your strength and stamina quite quickly. Best of all you can tie in walking to things that you enjoy, whether that is a walk through town or in the country.Once you start getting fitter, the benefits to the quality of your life become very clear. So don't delay. Find something you enjoy doing and start today!

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