Use It or Lose It!

Your muscles‘ ability to move in various ways is a lot like a government employee’s vacation time: Either you use it, or you lose it! As you move past your prime, it is crucial for you exercise in ways that maintain the motions that will contribute to your quality of life when you are 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 … In other words, you should do today what you want to be able to do tomorrow.

Here's one of my mama friends playing today how she wants to play tomorrow!

Just ask yourself: Do you want to be able to ride a bike, pick up your grand children, hike a mountain, climb a ladder, perform pilates and yoga moves, and carry your own groceries when you are sixty-nine? How about seventy-nine? Because, let me tell you right now, if you are sitting on your rear all day at work, and then going home to sit around and watch television, do NOT expect to suddenly get fit and healthy at age 55 just in time for your sixties! If you want fitness then, you need to chase fitness now.

If your balance is bad now, how will you balance on top of a ladder in 20 years when you’re muscles have sarcopenia (age-related atrophy a.k.a. shrinkage) and your bones are degenerating? If your coordination or cardiovascular fitness have you puffing behind the pack now, you will not be living independently in your golden years. You will be dependent on others, you will be weak, and you will die early.

When I was in college getting my bachelors degree in Exercise and Sports Science, I learned a very scary thing: Over 50% of adults who lose their balance, fall and break a hip NEVER come out of the hospital. This means, your inability to balance can kill you! Pilates and Yoga are amazing for aging adults (and aging is anyone past their prime) because the combination of flexing and stretching doesn’t stress the joints yet loads them enough to build strength, bone density, stamina, not to mention improving longevity, balance and health.

Do you want to be the one with the walker or the one walking Portland to Coast? Exercise, specifically pilates and yoga and other weight bearing activities,  improves bone density and balance. When you have strong bones and good balance, you can be confident in your ability to perform the basic activities of daily living without help. If you are not using those precious movements today, you might as well kiss you ability to get up off the floor or sit down on a toilet goodbye in a few years. I’m curious to hear if you’ve witnessed this truth in people who are aging around you?

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