Evening all !!
Quite a bit recently, I’ve been thinking about age…. as in the actual number that is the count we’re up to in years on planet earth. It’s 42 (& a half) for me right now.. and what I’m finding interesting.. and encouraging.. is that I continue to not have any concern about how ‘old’ I am. While others I know actually get depressed about their birthday coming around each year… I continue to just love every birthday…. as it’s always brought many many blessings in the year leading up to it. Also, there’s pretty much always things to look forward to in the year ahead.
I think back on when I was my daughters age, (she’s just turned 18), I honestly thought of my parents and their friends as ‘middle aged’. My grandparents were ‘old’, but my parents… being the age I am now… were middle aged in my reckoning, and I thought that there was no way that when I got to their age, I’d still feel remotely ‘young’.
Well… surprise surprise… I honestly don’t feel much different than when I was 24 and having my first baby. When talking to my Mum about this, she says that’s exactly how she felt at my age… and she did, in fact, ride a pushbike up & down half the Queensland coast at my age.. a round trip distance of about 1000kms. She says that she didn’t really begin to feel any ‘age’ until her 50s… so here’s my challenge…. to keep on track with my fitness journey with as fierce a conviction as I have had for 3+yrs now. I want to ‘push out’ this ‘feeling of age’ as long as I possibly can. But… there’s more to the story…
Sadly, it’s true, as a person ages, we’ll experience a decline in our maximum exercise capacity. Our capacity to recover quickly from long or intense bouts of physical activity will also decline.
Our maximum heart rate declines, and our maximum oxygen uptake also declines by about 1% per year. Oxygen uptake is crucial, as all our muscle energy is made by combining oxygen with the fuel in our body (carbs, and fat). The faster you transport and use oxygen, the faster you can go, and the longer you can keep going for. (interesting facts don’t you think !!)
Sound a little dreary ? Well, it can be.. but in fact, this info prominently speaks to those operating at their maximum fitness level, which, let’s face it… most of us are not. I consider myself a very active person, who is very health and fitness conscious, but I also know that I am in no way operating at my maximum capacity. And, to be honest, I don’t really desire to.
As a person operating at my kinda level… It’s very encouraging to know that with the right types and amount of training (including recovery and nutrition) we can actually gain back more fitness than time takes away from us! Sounds good, right !!
Another great thing about getting older is that we have wisdom on our side. We are far more likely to ‘respect the temple’, as well as taking better care of the recovery side of the athletic equation. (this is mostly due to common sense, as we KNOW that we pay for it if we don’t.) We’re also more likely to approach training and exercise a little smarter and more sensibly than our younger selves.
A lot of this comes down to a drop off in our lack of interest in training, and staying fit as we get older.. whether that’s about laziness, lack of motivation, time or knowledge… it’s fairly common that we age quicker than is biologically necessary. We see it all the time… older men and women, appearing to defy age… but when they’re questioned about it…. it’s nearly ALWAYS the fact that they remain active in their everyday lives. In other words, ‘Use it or lose it’ isn’t just a saying… it’s a legit thing.
I personally think the lack of knowledge one is extremely prevalent.. and sadly it’s not just about people not seeking the knowledge… it’s a lack of care for it. I am ‘up against a brick wall’ with a lot of those I know and care deeply about.
I can speak very personally about how I KNOW that my chosen diet of nutrient dense meals keeps me healthier in general. I hardly ever get sick, as in general colds/flus etc. Sadly, I do experience a LOT of unpleasant symptoms due to my cycle… but hopefully that will be sorted out soon. (Sidenote… I have seen a great improvement in some of the symptoms by including Maca powder in my smoothies.) But when it comes to general health and wellbeing, I know that the food & drink I choose to fuel my body with, as well as the amount of physical activity I do each day, improves my life immeasurably.
But these things don’t seem to factor in with a lot of people. I suspect they resent the idea of the effort required…. only thing is, if they simply started… they’d find they enjoy the benefits so much, and begin to enjoy the physical exertion so much, that the effort required becomes a great enjoyment in their lives.
No judgement here tho, as I was ever so slightly like this in previous years. I do firmly believe that each person needs their own conviction, of ‘light bulb’ moment. I don’t believe, other than in a dangerous health situation, that a person can be TOLD to care about their general health to a degree that would greatly improve their lives.
I believe that those of us who do strongly feel the conviction to respect our temples to the best of our ability need to lean on the knowledge that God will use us as an example to others, and work through that. Which, less face it, is going to be far more effective than anything we can say or do in the natural.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
So, as we wrap up this weekend, and prepare ourselves for the week ahead, let’s go forward in the knowledge that God’s plans are abundantly, amazingly, above and beyond anything we could even imagine… that’s a pretty big deal… a huge reason to go forward in confidence, expectancy and excitement !!
Blessings peeps !!