I remember when I was a kid, you know a kid, maybe 10 years old. I was almost invincible. If I fell and was hurt, I probably cried a bit and then picked myself up and continued playing. That’s what most kids do. If I was tired of running I would stop, catch my breath and start to run again. I played outside a lot and I loved it. Life was just a continuous game in the street. The street was the largest playground in the world. That’s the was it was in my world. An invincible kid playing forever on the streets of the Bronx. (Bronx, New York).
As a teenager I was no longer almost invincible – I was invincible. If I fell I didn’t cry. I just got up and continued on. If I was tired of running or playing I just stopped for a few seconds and continued to run and play. I played in the street from early in the morning to whenever I was expected to be home. I played stick ball, curve ball, Johnny on a pony, king of the hill. Basketball in the school yard, softball in the fields. It didn’t matter what the sport was or if I was good at it or not. If it was free I played it. The list of activities I could do as a kid was endless. If it could be done, I did it.
When I enlisted into the service I was still a kid. Basic Training made demands on my body that was much more challenging than anything I could have imagined and certainly more demanding than playing all the games that I played in the street.
If basic training was a challenge Special Operations training ( the Navy Seals and other special forces were not yet commissioned) was next to un-imaginable. If far exceeded physically and mentally anything I ever did before. BUT I was invincible and successfully completed the training.
Sometime between my discharge from the service, getting married and having a wonderful daughter, I began to notice things that I wasn’t aware of before. I was now in my late 20’s and yeah, you guessed it, Invincible. BUT what I started to see was very frightening to me. A lot ot people were not as invincible as I was. What made them different than me? They were starting to get to middle age and older. People were getting older. Some in wheel chairs, some needed canes or walkers to get around. Older people were having trouble getting around, and doing all the things that I can do. Walking bent over, losing their balance, unable to bend over and pick something up from the ground. Having trouble carrying packages. Some could not even stand up from a chair without using their hands to push their bodies up. They were having difficulty with daily physical fundamentals of every day life.
Apart from being born and dying, perhaps aging is the only experience every single human being shares. From the moment we are born, we begin to age. When we begin to age, things happen to our bodies. Things with horrible sounding labels such as, chronic disease. This usually starts early in life and develops gradually like diabetes, emphysema, heart disease, breathing problems, just to name a few. Yes It’s very true. Medicaid will provide for you once you become destitute. They will provide lodging in a nursing home. You will get a hospital be, a TV set, at least one roommate, who might not be coherent, three meals per day and maybe change your depends, (If necessary).
It this sounds like a great way to grow old, then don’t worry about a healthy life style, you will be taken care of.
If this doesn’t sound like a good idea to you, and you can still remember when you were invincible, and you want to be invincible again.
The solution is very simple. Increase your activity which will……
- Maintain optimal health and decrease incidence of secondary health problems related to disuse syndrome
- Increase muscular strength and endurance
- Increase flexibility
- Increase balance
- Increase stamina
- Improve cardiovascular function and blood lipid management
- Reduce risk factors responsible for cardio vascular disease
- Reduce obesity and glucose intolerance
- Lessons the symptoms of depression
- Improves sleep
- Enhances self esteem and a feeling of being in control
- Improves basic motor skills
- Makes activities of daily living easier
- Turns disabilities into handicaps
A past surgeon has said, “that close to 80% of our most dreaded diseases could be prevented with appropriate lifestyle changes, including a good diet and regular exercise”
Dr DeVies of USC has shown that men and woman in their 70’s and 80’s can achieve levels of vigor associated with people 30 years younger. This means that assuming there are no underlying disorders exercise can make an 85 year old as strong and as capable as a 55 year old.
Other studies have shown that be the time men reach 70 years old, only one out of 10 can lift a 10 pound weight over their head.
Are you beginning to see the path to the end of invincibility we all once had? In everyone’s life comes a moment when that person realizes that their invincibility is related to age. At that same moment you should realize that invincibility can last as long as you do. If for a moment a fleeting a fleeting second, no matter what your current age is now that you think you are getting older and can’t do the things you used to do……..
You need to know one simple truth. Men and woman of all ages even 70, 80, and 90 years of age can increase their strength by more than 50% in just three months after beginning a strength training program. If you keep training you can double and even triple your strength.
Remember we all start to age the moment we are born. If you are only 30, 40 or 50 now is the time to start a vigorous progressive weight resistance training program. Some actually feel an immediate change in terms of balance, coordination and strength. During the first few weeks of a properly developed program, changes occur in the ability of your nervous system to move more effectively and recruit muscle fiber that was inactive or, sleeping before you started your program. Progressive weight training can serve as a wake up call for the 50% of the muscle that was previously inactive prior to starting a strength training program. What this means is simply this…..your feeling of well being and invincibility will start to return.
An improved cardio vascular training program will start to make a difference on how your heart and body processes blood and oxygen. This can mean you walk, run, exercise and play without having to stop every so often to catch your breath. You will breath more efficient in a short period of time. You will be able to walk, run bicycle without feeling like you are going to run out of breath any second.
A modified diet rich in protein for muscle synthesis, complex carbohydrates for energy and good fats for so many metabolic processes, will enhance your exercise program.
The moment I was talking about earlier, the moment of doubt, the moment you realize that age has played a toll on your invincibility is the very same moment you can do something about it. Start an exercise program that is right for you.
We cannot prevent again, but we do have the power to age the way we want. To be invincible again is within your reach….all you have to do is want it enough.