… not exercising at all is not an alternative. The personal challenge is to overcome that moment of laziness and find the right dose of exercise – so that exercising is stress-free and fun!
Fauja Singh went down in history on 16 October 2011. Singh, from India, finished a marathon in Toronto, making him the first 100-year-old, and thus the oldest person ever, to complete a marathon. He started his marathon career when he was 81 years old. What does that tell us? Two things: First, it is never too late to overcome your internal resistance and get started. And second, it’s amazing how well you can train your body – at any age.
Back to us regular couch potatoes, TV watchers, and crisp eaters. Will we still be going at 30, 50, 70 and older? And what do you need to get moving?
We have become quite cosy in our comfortable world full of convenience and luxuries. It’s just too bad that it isn’t only good for us. Quite the opposite, we are moving less and less instead of more. No matter how difficult it may be to accept, the age-old realisation still holds true: exercise is healthy! It is connected with well-being, fun, a new sense of your body, and a positive attitude to life. More specifically: maintaining a healthy weight, healthy muscles, a stable skeletal system, preventing cardiovascular disease and lifestyle diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and stroke – these are all positive effects of physical exercise. Even our cognitive functions have been shown to improve with regular training. But how do we go from knowing better to acting better?
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go visit your colleague in the next office instead of calling on the phone. Get out one stop before your destination and walk the rest of the way. Or why not bike every once in a while? If you can gradually increase the distances you can go on your own two feet, you will soon notice the positive effects in your body.
But be careful: it’s essential to always find the right dose of exercise. To gauge this, look at how much fun you have during the activity and how happy you feel afterwards. You certainly shouldn’t feel stressed – our marathon star, Fauja Singh, agrees. His recipe for more quality of life in old age:
“Older people should laugh a lot, live stress-free, and do away with the notion that they are old.”