Oh my goodness! Some mornings, just some mornings, there is that urge to pull the duvet over my head and ignore the little voice inside me that's saying "Get up Stephanie, get up!". I guess the fact that I still have that voice in my head means that I'm still up for living life ... because it would be so easy to just give in and give up wouldn't it? We have a fight on our hands don't we? The tiredness that sneaks up on us as we get older is a villain of the sneakiest variety. One day at a time, it saps us of a little more energy in the hope that the day will come when we just give up and take our last breath....
But STOP right there! It doesn't have to be like that. We can fight the beast ... if we choose to. It struck me the other day that old age is going to be hard work for us all. If it were any other challenge we were taking on in life we would do some serious training for it. After all, when I decided to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats, I spent a whole year training to be fit enough to do it. So why do we not take the same attitude to the challenge of old age? Do we subconsciously buy into the stereotypes of being old? And therefore act old? I know some people who do. Or do we just neglect our nutrition and exercise programmes until it's too late and we realise that we should have started years ago.
The lifestyle diseases of our time make popular television viewing right now ...with many a celebrity chef having a go at the government for "allowing" us to get so out of shape. But is diabetes and obesity really the fault of the powers that be ? What's next? Are we going to petition the government for allowing us to grow old? You may disagree with me here ... a lot ... but I don't like being a victim. I believe I make my own choices about what happens to my body. I don't blame anyone else for the state it's in - good or bad. I see old age over the horizon for me (still) and I am damned if it's going to be anything other than the most active one I can make it!
If old age is going to be a challenge then we need to start getting in shape for it. As you probably know, I teach exercise to music to seniors and although I'm teaching them, they are also teaching me. From the limited time I've been with them so far, I have found them to be the most inspiring people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Aged from 40 to 83 years of age their attitudes are keeping them going. To a person they all say " you have to keep moving even if it hurts a bit" and "you mustn't give in to it". Yes they have their aches and pains, good days and bad days but their overall philosophy is to keep moving.
Have we forgotten that it really is that simple? It doesn't have to be some convoluted exercise plan designed by the latest fitness guru with sets and reps and time spent in the target heart rate zone nor does it have to be some "clean eating plan" (oh how I loathe that term) when you can only eat things like Mediterranean seaweed with purple Nepalese salt! Just go for a walk for 10 minutes a day - EVERYDAY (come on you can do this ... yes you can ... take some responsibility) and just cut down on the stuff with the sugar and salt in it (notice I said down not out). Cutting things out leads you to crave what is forbidden so just moderate your intake of them ... and I know that sounds so incredibly dull but that's what will see you through for the long haul ... and that's what we want don't we? To be here for the long haul? I'm not sure about you but I'm not bothered too much about showing off ripped abs in a bikini when I'm 80... what I am bothered about is being able to ride my bike, walk up the hill, climb the stairs in my house, get off the chair without using my arms to push myself off and of course, get out of bed.
Better start now then Stephanie ... so get up!
I am an exercise4happiness specialist. Forget the bikini body or the 6 pack, exercising to feel good is where it's at! Join me in my adventures in happiness, on the bike, in the studio, or in the classroom and I will infect you with my enthusiasm to get out there and be active too! You will feel good, I promise you.