It’s no secret that as we age we need to be cognizant of the fact that we’re not as young as we once were. This doesn’t need to be a bad thing; growing older is a privilege denied to many, as they say. Particularly as we get older and accept the aging process for what it is, hopefully, we can find some wisdom in that. That we don’t need to beat ourselves up in order to maintain our fitness… and perhaps that by consciously choosing not to beat ourselves up, we can even allow our good health and fitness to continue flourishing long into our golden years.
You wouldn’t train a puppy by smacking it around with a newspaper, because that would create an unfavorable response. It helps to think of training your body in a similar way. Treat it with love and respect, and it’s much more apt to give you what you want.
As we get older, there’s a point where each of us has to recognize that perhaps jogging 30 miles per week is not the greatest thing for your joints anymore. Just like that puppy is giving you all it’s got, your knees have done the same. Show them your appreciation, and go easy on them when they need it, and chances are really good their going to keep trying for you, for as long as they can.
The trick with exercise at any age, for the vast majority of us, is simply not to overdo it. There is no need to beat yourself up. Your body, just like every other sentient being on this earth, is just trying to find balance. Regular exercise and a proper diet are definitely part of that, but if the exercise has begun to hurt, it’s time to assess whether you should move on to something a little more… your new speed. Here are some exercise ideas for each decade of life; little ways you can honor where you’re at right now. And later.
For your 20’s and 30’s
Go, crazy buddy, you’re young. What is great to focus on now, is simply building healthy habits. Get all the partying out of your system. Get a routine going. Learn how to build fitness into your life, as opposed to making it a chore. In your 30’s you might find work beginning to occupy more of your time, or you might have a child or two by then. Having already cemented good exercise habits into your life will make it easier to spend your lunch break at the gym or on a run, instead of talking shop with your coworkers. It will make it easier to know that 45 minutes of Pilates will go a long way toward boosting your self-esteem, in addition to actually giving you back the washboard abs you had before Junior came along. (1)