27 Aug 50 is the New 40
They say that 50 is the new 40. I don’t know who “they” are but my hat goes off to “them”. Of course, this another way to advance the hopeful canard: “you’re not getting older, you’re getting better!” However, I think Bob Seger said it best in his smash hit Runnin’ Against the Wind: “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”
Whatever way you look at it, we are an aging population; or shall I say, a more mature population. National demographics show that “boomers” (born 1945-1965) comprise an increasingly significant portion of the work force and with the recent economic events of recession, flat wages and high unemployment, many will be working more years than originally projected.
Let’s be honest, if you are 50 you are 50. As a matter of fact, if you had been alive during the turn of the 20th century you would already be 2 years beyond the average life expectancy of an American adult! So, I am not going to lie to you. In point of fact, the earth has gone around the sun 50 plus times since you were born and you can remember when the Beatles broke up or when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. You did not dream it! You were there!
But you know, until I look in the mirror, or try to elevate my body on the basketball court, I think of myself as a young man. So I figure that as long as I prepare myself for the daily rigors of work and play, I don’t have to fully give in to my age. And as long as you are smart, prepared and realistic, you can do almost anything you could do when you were younger and weren’t worried about sore knees or if you’re a guy, how much hair you had in your ears.
Four Exercise Tips to Help You Look and Feel Your Best
- Be smart about how you exercise! Since you are not 20 anymore, stay within yourself and your physical capabilities. Instead of trying to run 5 miles or lift 200 pounds or swim 50 laps, try running a more manageable distance at the outset of your training, or lifting less weight or swimming a few less laps. Give your body some time to increase capacity. Experts say to increase your activity no more than 10% every week or so to allow your body to gradually acclimate.
- Another important exercise tip that I found really works for me is to not push it too hard on days when I am not feeling “up to snuff”. It doesn’t mean that I am a failure because today I only swam 30 laps instead of my usual 40 because my legs began to cramp. If you push it too hard when your body is giving you the signal to back off, you can negatively impact your exercise regimen for the remainder of the week and beyond. You don’t need to be in a hurry to “get in shape”. Give your body a break when it is asking you to or change up your routine and work a different aspect of your body.
- If you don’t use it you lose it! I have found this to be oh so true. The more you can find that balance between exercise and recovery, the better off you will be. Make it a point to allow yourself to physically recover from a workout, but don’t wait too long before you get back at it! Tell yourself you will exercise at least 3 days a week and whatever the configuration, make sure to stick with it.
- Preparation is a key! Stretching and limbering up before you get going is crucial to reducing potential muscle pull and injuries. Get a little sweat going before a big one.
And remember, getting older and feeling old are both states of body and mind. The former you can’t do anything about and the latter you influence for the positive!
Leave a comment below and please let us know what keeps you feeling young and at your best.
Here’s to your health!
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