One summer day, on my daily trek home from work to the metro station, I noticed quite a few elderly people, specifically, what they looked like and how they walked.
- Hunched over
- Some, overweight
- Some, underweight and looked really frail with little muscle mass
- Some walking upright, but slow
- Some could keep up with the crowd, they were generally walking with other family members (younger)
- A lot were missing a certain spring in their step
- None, were where I would like to be in my twilight years…
That brought me to a thought:
What kind of old person do I want to be?
Here is my list:
- Walk upright
- Slim, but with good muscle mass,
- Strong bones,
- Good posture
- Zero wrinkles (lol), good skin tone
- Good internal organs, in good shape
- Good bowel movements (TMI :))
- I want to look vibrant and not like someone that is dying off. Kinda like Joan Rivers (may her soul rest in peace).
So, if I do Yoga now, it will help me stand upright for longer into the future, it will help me be an upright old person. If I do pilates or barre or anything that tones my muscles now, it should help me maintain good muscle mass into the future and help me stay strong. If I keep running , will I have bad knees in the future? I like the fact that the movement strengthens my bones and reduces frailty. Maybe there is a way to run that is better for my knees?
Eating well, will improve my internal systems. Getting into good daily habits, will let my body know what to expect and will get me into a good long term natural rhythm. I need to stop frowning so much, I don’t want future “frown” lines. I need to smile and make myself happy. I need to hang out with fun and intelligent people to keep my mind mentally sharp.
You get the point, whatever we do now affects us later (Did I hear someone say, “Thanks, Captain obvious!”, lol).
I could kinda look at some older people and figure out what they have done consistently, or not done, through their lives.
- If I sit on my ass for a good amount of time a day, chances are I’ll have a fat ass in old age
- If I keep moving now, chances are I’ll keep moving in old age
- If I smoke and drink a lot now, chances are my lungs and liver will fail me earlier in life
- If I hunch over now, chances are I’ll hunch a lot more in old age
Kudos to those I observed who were actually out walking. A lot of their counterparts, can’t walk too far and some others have made choices that ensured that they wouldn’t grow old at all.
So here is the anti-aging doctrine:
Think of the kind of old person you want to be
Write down all activities that will help you get there
Write down all the things that you are doing that will prevent you from getting there
Start doing the things that help
Stop doing the things that don’t
In short, whatever you want to be in the future, determine what you have to do today to get there and then, do it. (This applies to so many other areas of our lives)
A few days ago, I saw a older woman. She was a healthy size, walking upright with a spring in her step as she walked with her daughter. You could tell that she probably looked just like her daughter when she was that age. She was pretty much the same size with the same vitality. I almost stopped to ask how she aged so gracefully, but didn’t.
See, there is hope!
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