Today is the oldest you have ever been and the youngest you will ever be; wise words indeed. We are all getting older, there’s no getting away from it but that doesn’t mean that we have to conform to society’s ideas of what it is to be ‘middle aged’ or ‘elderly’. It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking ‘ I can’t do that I’m too old’ or ‘I’m not young enough to wear that, I’d look ridiculous’. Be honest, have you had those thoughts and used them as an excuse not to do something you’d actually quite like to do? Why?
Fear of what people will think or your own self imposed limitations? If it’s the former then just bear in mind that you are the only person living your life and you’ll be the only one with regrets at the end of it if you didn’t do all the things you dreamed about when you had the chance.
If its the case that you don’t feel capable, there are things that you can do to make your body healthier and feel younger:
The first and most important is to keep moving; its so easy to feel an ache here or a pain there and think ‘I need to rest’ so you sit down. When you get up again you feel stiff and uncomfortable so you have another rest and start to feel a bit down and worried that you can’t do the things that you used to and so it goes on until your days consists of sleeping or sitting in a chair in front of the TV. No-one’s suggesting that you go from no exercise to running marathons in a couple of weeks but walking, swimming and yoga or Pilates are all low impact and will keep your body moving and your joints well oiled! On top of that, getting out and trying new things will give you an opportunity to meet new people.
Your body will put certain limitations on you as you get older but nowhere near as many as your mind. As Wang Deshun, the 80 year old catwalk model, put it “When you think it’s too late, be careful you don’t let that become your excuse for giving up”. When we are children we don’t really think about risk or possibilities, we assume that everything is possible so we try everything. By the time we reach middle age it’s been ingrained into us that we need to limit what we do; how many times have you heard in your life “help your granddad, he’s too old to be doing that by himself” or “leave grandma alone, she needs to rest”? When you yourself then become a grandpa or granny it’s all too easy to take on that persona because that is the image that’s been created in your mind since you were a child. The fact is it’s impossible to say when someone is ‘middle aged’ because none of us know how long we will live for so don’t let it be barrier between you and the things that you want to achieve – anything is possible whatever your age. As George Bernard Shaw said “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing”